Food & Nutrition

11 Things Trader Joe’s Employees Want You to Know

Trader Joe’s has almost a cult-like following thanks to their amazing products, great prices, and happy employees. But all that doesn’t happen by accident: Here are some behind-the-scenes secrets from everyone’s favorite store.

Employees taste test all the new products

Portrait of a handsome seller in uniform cutting young cheese in front of the store showcase full of different cheesesRossHelen/Shutterstock

A perk of working at TJ’s is sampling all of the latest and greatest products the store introduces—from Japanese Style Fried Rice to Lemon Elderflower Soda, Why? So that when customers ask about something on store shelves, employees are able to answer questions knowledgeably and thoroughly. These are the products you really should only buy at Trader Joe’s.

Customers can taste test products, too

This kid is eating delicious cookies.Bunphot Kliaphuangphit/Shutterstock

You can also try things in the store before you buy them—so long as they are not items that need to be cooked, of course. Let an employee know what you’re doing before you rip open that bag of Joe-Joes Cookies, and common-sense dictates that you should limit your sampling to one or two products per visit. If your store sells wine, that’s fair game, too. Discover 20 secrets from America’s top grocery stores.

They private label a lot

New York, February 14, 2017: Cans of Organic Black Beans are stacked on a shelf in a Trader Joe's store.Roman Tiraspolsky/Shutterstock

Trader Joe’s is well-known for its high-quality, store-brand products, which usually cost less than a similar name brand product you find at other grocery stores. That’s because 80 percent of the products TJ’s sell are actually made by those same name brand companies, specifically for Trader Joe’s. (Who those brands are is top-secret, but that hasn’t stopped the Internet from speculating.) The store usually pays upfront and in cash, which also helps keeps costs down.

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