Overwhelmed At Trader Joe's? Use This Year's Fan Favorites As A Cheat Sheet

I'm pretty sure my Trader Joe's tally is about the same every time I go there, within a 20-dollar window: That full-fat yogurt the kids like, some ready-made soup, produce, two packs of the frozen mac-and-cheese, a box of Puffins and some body butter and the grapefruit hand soap, and some cheap(ish) bottles of wine: It all adds up. If, like me, you are a creature of habit at the TJ's, or even just overwhelmed by the multitude of choices, which seem to increase by the day, there may be a curating source that can help you. Namely, the Trader Joe's customers themselves.

The chain recently released its 9th Annual Customer Choice Awards Winners, and the results are not that surprising to those who frequently frequent the laid-back grocery chain. Besting all comers: The frozen Mandarin Orange Chicken, which is better and cheaper than takeout itself and just about as easy. Also-rans include the highly addictive Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups, Everything But The Bagel Seasoning, Unexpected Cheddar, and just-eat-it-out-of-the-jar-with-a-spoon Cookie Butter. The awards then helpfully break down into more specialized categories, like beverage, holiday, coffee, and frozen appetizers. It's all a very interesting and informative list for creatures of Trader Joe's habit like myself: After all, I've never even tried the Cheddar Cheese With Caramelized Onions or the Chicken Gyoza Potstickers, giving me just another reason to stop by and stock up.