Who can resist?
Trader Joe’s surveyed its customers about their go-to TJ’s products for its 15th annual Customer Choice Awards, asking them to rate their top items in several different food and beverage categories to determine everyone’s favorites for breakfast, dinner, dessert, and everything in between. And this year, we have a brand-new overall winner.
After calculating the responses, the California-based grocer determined that the all-around No. 1 product was … Chili and Lime Flavored Rolled Tortilla Chips. Whether it’s their satisfying crunch, the just-hot-enough seasoning blend, or the fact that they’re $2.99 per bag — or a combination of all of the above — these rolled chips bested everything else on Trader Joe’s shelves and in its freezers to come out on top. The runners-up in the Best Overall Category were Steamed Chicken Soup Dumplings, the Korean Kimbap rice rolls, Steamed Pork and Ginger Soup Dumplings, and Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese.
Personally, we always scroll down to see what the top-ranked cheese is, and this year’s Customer Choice Award winner was the goat cheese — which Trader Joe’s serves up in several different ways — followed by the limited-edition Syrah Soaked Toscano Cheese Spread & Dip, the eternally classic Burrata, Toscano Cheese with Black Pepper, and the savory English Farmhouse Cheddar with Caramelized Onions. (If you’re wondering where the Unexpected Cheddar is on the list, it’s no longer in contention for an annual award after being moved to the Trader Joe’s Product Hall of Fame, along with other GOAT-level offerings like Mandarin Orange Chicken, Peanut Butter Filled Pretzel Nuggets, and Soy Chorizo.)
As for some of this year’s other awards, the top Breakfast was “the humble hashbrown,” as TJ’s described it, followed by the Chocolate Croissants and Almond Croissants, in that order. Butter Chicken took the top spot in the Lunch and Dinner category, followed by Chicken Tikka Masala and the Steamed Pork & Ginger Soup Dumplings. (And the fact that the Paneer Tikka didn’t get a mention is an egregious oversight, right up there with the Academy failing to give “Barbie” director Greta Gerwig the Oscar nomination she TRULY DESERVED.)
Ice cream ruled in the dessert category, with the Sublime Ice Cream Sandwiches being rated the No.1 Sweet Treat, as it squeaked past Mint Chip Ice Cream and Hold the Cone! Chocolate Chip. The top three appetizers were Creamy Spinach & Artichoke Dip, Mac and Cheese Bites, and Parmesan Pastry Pups, and the big winner in the Produce section were those hard-to-beat $0.19-cent bananas. Finally, Trader Joe’s seasonal Apple Cider edged past the French Market Sparkling Lemonade and the pleasantly spicy Triple Ginger Brew.
Next year is your year, Paneer Tikka. We just know it.
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