Trader Joe's Pasadena, California
Franklin M./Yelp

These Are Trader Joe's Fans' Biggest Gripes About the Store

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

Room for Improvement

For a low-key, laid-back grocery chain, Trader Joe’s has an abnormally fanatical following of supermarket superfans. Just take a look at the store’s subreddit, which boasts more than 144,000 members. Every day, enthusiastic shoppers review products, share their favorite Trader Joe’s-inspired recipes, and ask about products’ granular details. But the posts aren’t always complimentary. One of last week’s most popular threads asked the community how the store could improve, and more than 500 Trader Joe’s shoppers replied. We’ve compiled some of the most compelling and popular ideas that resonated with the TJ’s community. Let us know what you think of the most popular complaints, and feel free to make your own suggestions in the comment section.


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

Trader Joe's (Lent 10)
Trader Joe's (Lent 10) by Cathy Stanley-Erickson (CC BY-ND)

The Store Layouts

By the number of upvotes, the most popular suggestion was a more navigable store layout that would accommodate more shoppers and better product organization. In particular, commenters disliked stores' narrow entrances and Trader Joe’s placement of sweets on shelves over the frozen food section.


Related: Why Trader Joe’s Employees Are Surprisingly Helpful and Happy

Trader Joe's Linguine With Clam Sauce
Cheapism

All the Plastic

Trader Joe’s superfans lamented the store’s overuse of plastic packaging, much of which they deemed unnecessary. The Kung Pao Cauliflower, for instance, comes in a plastic bag encased in yet another plastic bag, according to one Redditor.


Related: 31 Products to Help You Use Less Plastic

Interior of Trader Joe's in the Alabama Theatre in Houston
Interior of Trader Joe's in the Alabama Theatre in Houston by WhisperToMe (CC BY)

Produce That Spoils Quickly

Multiple Redditors complained that the supermarket’s produce spoils quickly compared to other stores. This isn’t the first time shoppers have complained about Trader Joe’s produce, though it’s worth mentioning that some of the store’s devotees came to its defense.


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Trader Joe's
Trader Joe's by Steel Wool (CC BY-NC-ND)
Trader Joe's Chocolate and Peanut Butter Joe-Joe's
Cheapism

Not Enough Savory Snacks

While folks with sweet toothes will be pleased with Trader Joe’s selection, multiple commenters agreed that the store doesn’t offer enough savory snacks. Even some of the savory snacks — like the Nuts About Rosemary Mix — are packed with “unexpected sugar,” according to one commenter.


Related: The Best Snacks at Trader Joe's

Trader Joe's
hapabapa/istockphoto

The Parking Lots

Commenters have had enough of Trader Joe’s parking lots, which one Redditor described as “hell.” But it turns out there’s a good reason for the supermarket’s scaled-down footprint. According to the Pasadena Star-News, the small lot helps keep operating costs down.

Trader Joe's Website Screenshot
Cheapism

No Product Availability on the Website

Unlike Target’s website, for example, which will show you what’s in stock at your local store, Trader Joe’s site is simply a repository of prices, nutrition information, and pithy product descriptions. One commenter said that they’d wasted “many trips” because of its lack of information.