7 Products Trader Joe's Does Better Than Costco, According to Superfans

Trader Joe's Mandarin Orange Chicken

Trader Joe's

Cheapism is editorially independent. We may earn a commission if you buy through links on our site.
Trader Joe's storefront

David and Goliath

Costco and Trader Joe's resist comparison because, well, they're so dang different. One is a members-only warehouse retailer piled high with pallets and bulk goods, while the other sells cutesy products like "Everything But the Bagel Seasoning" in baby-sized, Hawaiian-themed stores. And yet, the retailers share a customer base because they both offer high-quality, low-cost goods. If you're one of those discerning shoppers who appreciates both, it's important to know what to grab at one store versus the other. So here are seven products that Trader Joe's does better than Costco, according to Redditors.

Not already a Costco member? You can apply here.

Related: Costco, Trader Joe’s, Aldi: How Do They Stay So Cheap?

Trader Joe's employee in red clothes with customer, trolley shopping carts by store entrance doors outside women, winter flower pots, gardening plants in Virginia


Prices vary

Costco superfans say that Trader Joe's flowers are "fresh" and "cheaper" than the warehouse store's selection. That’s in part because of the retailer’s fresh stock, which workers replenish seven days a week, according to Maggie Meccia-Vogt, Trader Joe’s national floral category manager. “There could be somebody out there that does, but I don't know of a single other retailer in the United States that gets fresh flower delivery seven days a week,” Meccia-Vogt said on an episode of the Inside Trader Joe’s podcast. “So we move an absolute massive amount of flowers just because we're known for our freshness.”

Related: Why Trader Joe’s Plants Are Growing a Following Online

Peanut Butter-Filled Pretzels from Trader Joe's
Trader Joe's

Peanut Butter Pretzels


"Unpopular opinion: the peanut butter pretzels at Trader Joe's are better than the ones at Costco," one Costco superfan admits. But based on the upvotes and replies their comment received, the opinion isn't that unpopular. Another Costco fan adds that they don't buy Trader Joe's chocolate-covered peanut butter pretzels for fear of eating the entire package (relatable).

Related: Sam's Club Versus Costco: Redditors Compare the Warehouse Giants

Carr Valley Cheese Glacier Wildfire Blue from Trader Joe's
Trader Joe's


Prices vary

Buying in bulk isn't always frugal, especially if you end up wasting food. That's why one Redditor says that they buy Trader Joe's cheese, which is well-priced and reasonably portioned.

Related: Trader Joe’s Meals that Take 10 Minutes or Less

Trader Joe's Mandarin Orange Chicken
Trader Joe's Gluten-Free Bagels
Trader Joe's


Prices vary

As we wrote in our review of Costco's bakery, the wholesaler makes a better-than-average bagel. However, it's frustrating that consumers are forced to buy a dozen bagels at a time (or none at all), which gives Trader Joe's a convenience edge. One Redditor also writes that Trader Joe's bagels are cheaper and a more manageable size.

Trader Joe's Wine at Sacramento Store
Trader Joe's Wine at Sacramento Store by Robert Couse-Baker (CC BY)


Prices vary

Although Trader Joe's is best known for its Two-Buck Chuck (a misnomer these days), the retailer also has a respectable variety of wines that range in price. "Trader Joe's has some of the best deals on discounted wine," a Redditor writes. "Some bottles I'd say are worth double or triple the price. I know Costco has great discounted wine too, but not at those lower price points."

Hot Cocoa Cream Cheese from Trader Joe's
Trader Joe's

Specialty Products

Prices vary

Despite the Trader Joe's small size, the California-based retailer dwarfs Costco's selection of fun and weird specialty products like chocolate hummus (RIP), hot cocoa cream cheese, and pizza-flavored seasoning. Whoever is in charge of Trader Joe's product team is a creative genius (if not a little crazy).

Related: 15 Discontinued Trader Joe’s Products That Shoppers Miss the Most