After a two-year pandemic hiatus, Trader Joe's samples are back.
The freebies began making their comeback Oct. 1, though dates will vary from store to store. Trader Joe's has also made major changes to its sample stations, according to crew members on Reddit.
“It is most likely going to be smaller satellite demo stations and they will not run all day. There won’t be free coffee or drinks either,” one Redditor said, adding that they’d heard the news during a work meeting.
Another crew member also confirmed that coffee samples wouldn't be returning because “way too many customers abused it.” Despite those changes, Trader Joe's superfans celebrated the news on TikTok, where they posted videos of the beloved freebies' return.
One TikTokker called it "possibly the best day ever," adding that "the world has officially returned to normalcy."
Trader Joe’s stopped serving samples in March 2020, joining Costco and other retailers in efforts to reduce the spread of COVID-19.
“There is nothing more important to us than the health and safety of our customers and Crew Members,” Trader Joe’s said in a March 2020 announcement.
@addison.jarman 1. WHO KNEW THIS?! 2. (More importantly) who’s brave enough to ask?!! #shoppinghack #traderjoes #freesample ♬ original sound - Addison Jarman
Costco brought back free samples in May 2021 with additional hygiene measures.
While shoppers wait for samples to return to their local Trader Joe's, they can also take advantage of the retailer's little-known try-before-you-buy policy, which lets you open and taste ready-to-eat products while shopping. Excluded from the items you can sample are frozen and raw products and alcohol. It's also probably a good idea to limit your sampling requests to only a couple of products so as not to upset the otherwise typically cheery disposition of Trader Joe's employees.