Trader Joe's
Trader Joe's by Mike Mozart (CC BY)

Gross Trader Joe's Products You Should Never Buy, According to Superfans

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Trader Joe's
Trader Joe's by Mike Mozart (CC BY)

Downright Gross

Sure, taste is subjective. But if anyone's opinions on Trader Joe's products can be trusted, it's that of the grocery chain's superfans who have probably tried more items in the store than anyone. Recently, a user on the r/traderjoes subreddit asked fellow shoppers what they considered the most disappointing and "grossest" items. Here are the products that got the most hate to help your decision making next time you're weighing whether to try something new at TJ's or not. And don't forget: If you don't like something you buy at Trader Joe's, you can always return it and get your money back.


RelatedDiscontinued Trader Joe’s Products That Shoppers Miss the Most

Trader Joe's Beef Pho
Trader Joe's

Beef Pho

The item that gets most consistently hated on across the internet is the frozen Beef Pho Soup. "I only assume it’s for people who haven’t actually tried pho and have nothing to compare it with," says one commenter, while another uncharitably compares the beef in it to dog food. Another complained about the flimsy plastic container it comes in, which is less subjective and more of a hazard.


Related: These are the Most Popular Items at Trader Joe's

Trader Joe's Organic Watermelon Jerky
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Organic Watermelon Jerky

This item has a weird name, but it's just dried watermelon slices. That sounds inoffensive — even delicious! — but commenters think it actually "tasted and smelled like bird seed" when they tried it. I guess when you take the refreshing part of the watermelon out, the water in it, it just leaves a disappointing husk of a fruit, unlike other dried fruits like raisins and apricots.


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Beef Birria
Trader Joe's

Beef Birria

Mexican birria has been trendy lately, and Trader Joe's is not one to let a food trend pass them by. But one popular comment poo-poos the frozen product because it didn't have enough meat in the package, only a large potion of "congealed fat and a sauce." Someone responded that they've gotten enough beef in packages to make a couple big quesadillas or half a dozen tacos, so perhaps you should check the package closely before buying.

Trader Joe's Broccoli Fries
Trader Joe's

Broccoli Fries

We're all about healthier alternatives to junk food, but these Broccoli Fries just go too far for many Trader Joe's shoppers. They look, well, pathetic when they're baked up, and one person complained about how fibrous they are. On the other hand, someone added that they "just tried these and immediately made a plan to get like 6 bags" so you may want to try them for yourself if you're on the fence.

Artichoke Timbales
Trader Joe's

Artichoke Timbales

These frozen individual side dishes look very inviting, similar to those broccoli and potato medallions that Ikea serves in the cafe. But where one commenter expected "cheesy artichoke goodness," they got "grassy mushy sludge" instead. 

Trader Joe's Peanuts in a Pickle
Ebay

Peanuts in a Pickle

You have to be a real sour puss to enjoy pickle flavored peanuts, so it's not surprising that many are not on board with these. Some people say they have "the worst aftertaste," while others say they immediately regretted their purchase. But the predominant view can be summed up in one visceral comment: "They taste the way a public restroom smells."

trader-joes-sandwiches-salads
Cheapism

Prepared Ready-to-Eat Foods

A popular opinion was that all the ready-to-eat grab-and-go salads, sandwiches, and other deli items at Trader Joe's are terrible and filled with "half-rotted vegetables, slimy meat." But unlike the frozen foods that the store gets in, the quality of these deli items is store- and freshness-dependent. If the veggies in a wrap or salad look wilted to you, don't buy it. And like things you buy anywhere, always check the sell-by date.

Chili crisp
Amazon

Chili Crunch

Modeled after a popular Chinese condiment, the original brand is so widely beloved that it's hard to live up to its reputation. One commenter says it "lacks flavor" and is "too grainy." Someone else chimes in that the flavor it does have is "wayyyy too onion-y," and as a chili crisp fan myself, I concur. 


Wondering which other products you might want to skip? Check out our own list of Things No One Should Buy at Trader Joe's.