5 Trader Joe's Products That Fans Say Have Gone Downhill

Trader Joe's Mandarin Orange Chicken

Trader Joe's

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Trader Joe's Mandarin Orange Chicken
Trader Joe's

Fall From Grace

If there's anything Trader Joe's fans hate more than a product's inexplicable disappearance (rest in peace, Belgian chocolate pudding), it's when the retailer ruins a beloved item's recipe. According to superfans on Reddit, that unfortunate fate has befallen some of the store's hall of famers, including the hash brown patties and the mandarin orange chicken. Here's a list of the most popular products that have fallen from grace, so you can avoid them on your next trip.

Related: Things No One Should Buy at Trader Joe's

Trader Joe's Mini Beef Tacos
Trader Joe's

Mini Chicken and Beef Tacos


One fan literally gasped when the mini chicken and beef tacos returned last year. But the products' new supplier leaves a lot to be desired, with fans describing the tacos as dry and flavorless. "I got the beef recently and they’re terrible," one shopper writes. "I scooped out the meat of one and it tasted like a milder version of what I imagine dog food to taste like."

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

Trader Joe's Frozen Mashed Potatoes
Trader Joe's

Frozen Mashed Potatoes


Trader Joe's sent fans on a similar emotional roller coaster when the chain discontinued its frozen mashed potatoes, only to rerelease an inferior version more than a year later. Whereas fans said that the old recipe was nearly indistinguishable from homemade mashed potatoes, one Redditor writes that the new iteration is "gluey and icky." "How could their test panel have approved this new version? The original mashed were awesome," another commenter adds.

Related: Trader Joe's Best Seasonal Items, According to Superfans

Trader Joe's Mild Salsa Especial
Trader Joe's

Homestyle Salsa Especial Mild


Trader Joe's says that this homestyle salsa is great for dipping chips, but fans argue that it's more like a marinara sauce (it even has oregano). If you do want to try this "salsa," you should swap out chips for mozzarella sticks.

Related: The Best Frozen and Ready-to-Eat Meals from Trader Joe's

Trader Joe's Hash Browns
Trader Joe's

Hash Browns


Multiple shoppers complain that Trader Joe's hash browns — a longtime hit with fans — are now too soggy and oily. "The hash brown patties have been a lot oilier and it takes longer in the air fryer to crisp up now," one commenter writes.

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Trader Joe's Mandarin Orange Chicken
Trader Joe's

Mandarin Orange Chicken


If there's one frozen meal that Trader Joe's is known for, it's the mandarin orange chicken. Since 2004, fans have praised the sweet and savory morsels, even voting it into the store's 2023 product hall of fame. But not everyone is convinced that the mandarin orange chicken is still a top-tier product. Naysayers' main complaint: the meat. One fan described it as "gamey," "gray," and "slimy," while another commenter added that the store's meatless version avoids the item's "sketchy meat issues."