If I only get to choose one place to go to for my groceries, only one store comes to mind. Yes, it’s Trader Joe’s! First of all, they have so many branches. Second, they have lots of unique and interesting flavors. And lastly, they always have new products!
Now I know Trader Joe’s website already shows a list of their vegan products. But do you know which ones are the best?
So I’d say this is more than just the ultimate list of vegan products at Trader Joe’s. It’s also your guide to the must-try vegan products at Trader Joe’s!
Why Buy Your Vegan Grocery From Trader Joe’s?
Not that you cannot shop through different grocery stores in a single day, but who wants that hassle? Well, let me share with you why TJ’s is one of my few favorites:
1. Prices are generally cheaper and more reasonable
I often find that Trader Joe’s prices are more competitive. For example, they are able to offer products that are normally expensive at a lower price. They usually make this possible by offering smaller packs.
Smaller packs are also excellent for customers who want to try out a product first before buying more. Now if there are products you love, they also sell in bulks, which will give you more servings and savings. And if you’re wondering why you never see promos, that’s because their prices are already the lowest they can offer.
However, they do have products that are relatively more expensive than other stores. If you’re keeping to a budget strictly, then you’ll have to be careful and take time to compare. That said, TJ’s is generally affordable anyway especially because they are selling their own brand of products. No middlemen costs for that.
2. Good product quality
Now of course their products are not all perfect, that would be quite a reach, right? But for most of them, I love that I often find simple and basic ingredients. The more cryptic the list of ingredients gets, the less likely I will buy it. As you know, the more puzzling the ingredients sound, the more difficult it is to figure out hidden animal products.
Moreover, their private-label food and drinks, as they claim, do not contain artificial ingredients and GMOs.
Their effort to reduce plastic packaging is also a plus. Consequently, this also helps to reduce product prices significantly. That means you get more product for your money!
But of course, this does not necessarily equate to their products being all healthy. While TJ’s could be a wonderland for vegans, do not forget to always check product labels. Always choose your products with scrutiny.
3. Easy return policy
Do you know how easy it is to return items to Trader Joe’s? If you simply dislike the taste or packaging, you can return whatever you have left and get a refund!
Lost your receipt? Yes you can still return items! However, you’ll only get the lowest advertised price for that product, and as a store credit only. Not bad, eh?
Is it too much leniency on TJ’s part? Actually, I think a risk-free return policy speaks more of their confidence about their products. It also means they value customer satisfaction that much.
4. Unique private-label product finds
Unheard of flavor combinations? Trader Joe’s is known for that! They always have unique flavors that every food lover will want to try. They also carry a lot of exclusive products that will make you keep coming back.
Who hasn’t heard of their popular Cookie Butter that rivals the original one? Or the best-selling Everything But The Bagel Seasoning? I think it’s the only seasoning with its own cult following!
Although they’re notoriously known for discontinuing products without warning, they’re also known for introducing new ones at least every week. I guess that makes up for it? They also have seasonal items for major holidays, which sees a lot of customers coming back.
5. Product testing is easier than you think
A lot of shoppers are probably not even aware of this. Ever heard of their “try before you buy” policy? This applies to all their food items except raw and frozen ones, and of course, alcohol. So if you feel unsure about something you’re eyeing, just ask their staff and they’ll be happy to open a pack for you.
Product sampling also helps to keep returns to a minimum. If you didn’t like what you tried out, you don’t have to buy it. Imagine trying it at home, only to find out you have to make another trip just to return it. That will be such a bummer.
6. Friendly staff
Another thing TJ’s is quite known for is their friendly and approachable employees. I have heard of some stories that say the opposite, but they seem to be very few and uncommon.
Fortunately for me, I can say my personal experience has been nothing short of pleasant. My advice though is it’s always worth reaching out to their corporate office if you have any unpleasant experience. Well, especially if you’re shopping at that particular branch quite often.
Now it’s not all sunshine. Although Trader Joe’s policies are quite forgiving, there are a few disclaimers worth noting:
- As with any other food retailers, there can be product changes without notice.
- They do not have an online store. And by the looks of it, they never will. Although you can find lots of third-party sellers online like Amazon, TJ’s will not guarantee their quality.
- There are products specific to certain regions only.
- They cannot offer promos or discounts because their product prices are already their lowest.
When it comes to discontinuing products, it’s often because the product in question needs improvement. It could also be because there’s not enough demand for it, or they have supplier issues. But also, discontinuations, for them at least, keep their product variety new and interesting.
They also go through products fast since they only order less quantities to reduce waste potential. And as it turns out, there’s a limit to the quantity of products a store can order. But that’s just them being fair with all other branches.
Now back to product discontinuation. One thing you can do is approach their staff. Talk to them if you think this is the case for a particular product. Who knows, you can add up to the customer demand they need to bring a product back to their shelves. If demand is high enough they usually introduce a similar product.
At the end of the day, there are lots of vegan online shops that offer convenience. However, having a grocery store with more to offer like Trader Joe’s can take away the stress from last-minute shopping.
Also, there’s nothing like seeing the actual products in your hands first before paying for them. And to top that, sampling and returns are so much easier!
What To Look For When Shopping For Vegan Grocery At Trader Joe’s
You probably already know to look for the vegan label when shopping. Easy, right? However, Trader Joe’s also carries a lot of “accidentally vegan” products. This means they have plenty of items that do not have a vegan label but are actually vegan-friendly.
So, here are a few tips to help you find Trader Joe’s accidentally vegan products:
- For products that seem vegan-friendly, check the ingredients. If there are names that you’re not sure about or sound alien to you, it’s best to skip it.
- Watch out for red food colors, gummies, jellies, and chewy confections that do not have a vegan label. They usually have hidden animal products.
- Non-dairy is not always vegan. Double check the label to make sure.
- Ask their in-store staff, especially if it’s one of their exclusive products baffling you.
The Most Recommended Vegan Products At Trader Joe’s
If you always shop at Trader Joe’s you’ll find that they often change up their products. What you see now may be gone next week, but you’ll definitely see new ones every few months at least.
So while they last, check out these top vegan product favorites from each category:
Well aside from the popular vegan favorite Ezekiel bread, which is cheaper at Trader Joe’s, here are some of their bakeshop goodies that a lot of vegans recommend:
Vegan Banana Bread With Walnuts
Made with simple ingredients, this dense loaf has a strong banana flavor. It’s also not too sweet, and will remind you a lot of homemade banana bread.
Jumbo Cinnamon Rolls
Who doesn’t love a good cinnamon roll? This accidentally vegan treat is a popular favorite among Trader Joe’s shoppers. It’s ready to bake and ready to eat in just 20 minutes. That’s a quick and hassle-free way to get fresh, moist, and warm cinnamon rolls. And a big one at that!
Just keep in mind to keep your indulgence to a minimum because it’s a sugary treat! So if you’re calorie-conscious, you might want to check the label first.
Do you love trying out new flavors? You’ll always find something at Trader Joe’s! But for now, try out these unique beverages you might just love:
Organic Green Kombucha
You might have heard of kombucha already, but with more common flavors like mango. This unique beverage looks like a grass juice that might seem intimidating, and even unappetizing for some.
TJ’s green version of the fermented black tea is made with spirulina and chlorella, making it a healthier blend. However, you’ll notice that the dominant flavor is apple, with just the right hint of ginger. The smooth, mellow flavor is rather refreshing, and if you like kombucha, this just might be your new favorite.
Cold Brew Coconut Cream Lattes
Available in two flavors: original and caramel spice, this vegan cold brew from arabica beans is a perfect breakfast beverage. The instant caffeine hit, strong flavor, and icy coolness will definitely wake you up when you need it!
The blend is also thinner but silkier, and you might find the coconut flavor a surprising punch. But if you love coconut, then you’ll probably find this unique flavor interesting.
For candies, always go for ones with a vegan label because it’s mostly candies that have hidden animal ingredients. Gums, gelatins, and chewy candies, for example, mostly contain connective tissues from cattle. Here are some exceptions at TJ’s:
This organic mint candy is low in sugar and calories. It’s also a great alternative for regular mints that cause an upset stomach. The ginger flavor is not too strong and can even help with nausea.
Unlike the gingermint flavor, this one has a strong flavor that makes just one mint enough to clear your sinuses. It’s also low sugar and low calorie, and made with simple ingredients. Plus the mini tin can it comes in will fit your purse and pocket easily.
Quick cereals are the answer when you’re in a hurry but can’t miss out on important breakfast nutrients. Here some of TJ’s new solutions to get that fix quick:
No it’s not like the alphabet soup. These Almond Butter Cocoa bars are chewy treats made from an oat base. They’re gluten-free and flavorful, but not too sweet, and are a great alternative to granola bars. It’s seriously addictive, especially when you find out it’s also low in sugar!
Organic Fruit & Seed Granola
These versatile clusters of fruits and seeds are a useful addition to your grocery list! Use it to top your cereals, mix it with some yogurt, or just eat it as it is! They’re grain-free, gluten-free, and rich in protein and fiber too! Just be careful with the calorie count though.
Cheese & Dairy Alternatives
Trader Joe’s has plenty of options when it comes to vegan milk and creamers. But what other vegan dairy alternatives are there? These ones are a stand out:
Miyoko’s Vegan Cultured Butter
Perhaps the most popular vegan butter brand, you’ll find a selection of Miyoko products at Trader Joe’s. This highly-rated “cultured” vegan butter has a hint of umami taste that you won’t find in other vegan butters.
Miyoko’s Organic Vegan Cream Cheese
If you love desserts then cream cheese is probably a big treat for you. Miyoko’s cream cheese is made of simple ingredients. It uses coconut cream as a base, and fermented the traditional way. If you love your cream cheese with a tang, then this one’s a must-try!
Looking for tasty cookie treats? Take a bite or two from these bestsellers:
These chewy sugar cookies with cinnamon dusting will remind you of the Enjoy Life cookie brand. The cinnamon and brown sugar taste are notable with a hint of fruitiness. They’re free from common allergens too! Just pop them in the microwave for a few seconds to get that freshly baked goodness!
Vegan Sandwich Cookies
TJ’s vegan sandwich cookies are available in two flavors: Lemon and Chocolate Brownie & Vanilla Crème. The lemon flavor is reminiscent of the popular lemonade Girl Scout cookies, which is vegan by the way (if they’re from ABC Bakers). As for TJ’s, both of these flavors are equally very popular.
For quick meal preps, frozen vegan goodies are always a lifesaver! They can last a long time in proper storage and can help you whip up fresh meals in a jiffy. For new vegans who still find meal planning challenging, here a some deli products from TJ’s you stock up with:
This vegan chorizo always gets rave reviews! They’re gluten-free and tasty, with a spicy flavor. However, it doesn’t retain its shape especially when you toss it around while cooking. But then again, since it tastes like ground beef, it’s a versatile vegan meat. It can only be limited by your creativity in the kitchen!
Beefless Ground Beef
Made with soy protein, this vegan ground beef from TJ’s is made to be the perfect canvas for different dishes. The flavor is mild so you can add your own spices so it suits your dish for the day. With its beefy texture, I love using it for tacos! Just be careful with the spices you add as it has significant sodium content.
TJ’s got an impressive line of vegan dietary supplements. Meet their most popular ones:
Organic Pea Protein Powder
Protein is no doubt one of the most controversial nutrients when it comes to veganism. Although they offer a selection, TJ’s best vegan protein supplement comes from organic peas. Both flavors (unsweetened and vanilla) are gluten-free and made with only one ingredient: organic pea protein isolate. Ahh, the pureness!
This organic vegan protein supplement is low carb, low fat, and provides 20g of protein per serving (2 scoops)! Although it has no flavor and seems bland, it tastes smooth and is better than the typical hard-to-swallow protein smoothies. It will also easily take the flavors of any fruit you add.
Another advantage is it’s also useful in baking. You can add it to your pancake batter or mix it with your favorite cereals. Check out my previous articles for more about vegan protein sources and vegan protein supplements.
Once Daily Prenatal Supplement
Pregnant women usually get at least two different supplements in their prescription. But let’s admit it, it’s not so fun when you have so many pills to pop. Even worse when they make you feel sick! TJ’s Once Daily Prenatal Supplements are potent and complete, just what a pregnant woman needs.
The only downside is some users find the tablets a bit too big and dry. However, they’re inexpensive and gluten-free, plus it doesn’t have any strong odor. It’s the easiest way to get healthy hair, skin, and nails, when you have a bun in the oven. You’ll also find that they’re gentle on stomach and won’t make you feel sick.
Processing food products with fruits often involves a lot of sugar, which makes the fruits unhealthy. So thank heavens for TJ’s fruit products that do not need any of that:
Freeze Dried Strawberries
It’s nice to always have fruits at home, but the thing is you can’t keep them for long. So when I came upon these freeze-dried strawberries, among others, I felt like I found gold! They are on the pricey side though, but for fruits that keep much longer without additives…. hmmmm… I’ll take it!
These strawberries are naturally sweet. You can eat it on its own or use them for quick snack fixes. You can also blend them into smoothies and what have you. They also keep for much longer if you store them properly in a cool, dry. I’m talking about up to a year or even more!
Apple + Banana Fruit Bar
Most sweet fruit treats I find are sickeningly high in sugar. But this is one of the few exceptions. This fruit bar has no added sugars plus it’s gluten-free and only made with very simple ingredients. And I mean very simple: just apples and bananas, literally!
I love that they’re moist and a bit chewy, and you’ll definitely get that fruit taste. Its natural fiber content also makes it a filling treat. They also have other flavors you should check out!
On the busiest days, it’s understandably hard to make your own fresh meals. So here are some of TJ’s answers to that:
Miso Vegetables + Brown Rice Sauté Kit
Who doesn’t love a handy meal kit? This veggie mix includes broccoli, brussel sprouts, carrots, cabbage, kale, carrots and snow peas. The pack also includes pre-cooked brown rice and miso sauce, all ready for stir-frying. The sauce has a mild taste that’s sweet and savory with an umami flavor.
Just sautee the sauce and colorful veggies in extra virgin olive oil until they’re fragrant and crisp or firm-looking. I personally love adding some bits of tofu into the mixture. As for the rice, you can use either the same pan or a microwave for reheating it. Easy, fresh meal.
Another colorful mixture, this Rainbow Wrap is great both as a snack or a light meal. The reddish tortilla is made with beet and flour. Inside, you’ll find sweet potato, curried hummus, crisp spinach leaves and more beet. It’s flavorful and has an earthy crunch, and if you need a filling-enough lunch on the go, look no further.
Thawing is still easier than cooking from scratch, right? Yep, another answer to quick, fresh food is frozen food! Here are some of TJ’s must-try vegan frozen goodies:
This cult favorite being usually low in stock or sold out should be enough to pique your curiosity. That is, if you’re yet to try it. It’s firm enough to hold its shape in sauce, and is very filling. In contrast to the usual potato gnocchi, this has less calories and carbs, but is higher in fiber.
The cauliflower taste is subtle, but is actually surprisingly nice. It’s worth stocking up your fridge with a few packs because there are so many ways to cook it!
Organic Açaí Purée Packets
Often seen as a superfood with a premium price, this Açaí Purée has a more reasonable price. It’s a rare find with many uses for your vegan kitchen. Aside from the popular açaí bowl, you can also add it to your smoothies, cereals, beverages, and favorite desserts.
The small packets are also perfect for traveling so you can easily bring some to work or wherever without mess.
More pantry staples for your vegan kitchen? Grab these on your next trip to TJ’s:
Organic Sprouted Tofu
A favorite brand among tofu lovers, TJ’s earthy tofu with a bold soy flavor is more affordable. It’s high in protein, calcium and iron, and is an excellent sub for regular tofu. Well, especially if you’re not a fan of tofu. This type of tofu is also easier to digest, probably the reason why it’s becoming more popular than the regular ones.
If you’re yet to try this Italian grain, I’m giving you a reason now. This chewy and nutty grain looks like barley but feels like brown rice. It’s a great pantry staple because of its versatility, not to mention it’s very easy to prepare. Use it for a healthy rice bowl meal or just add your favorite pasta sauce.
No need to pass on tempting snack time! Here are some of TJ’s better-for-you vegan snacks:
Date And Nut Bites
If you love the Larabar energy bars, you should try this smaller, bite size version from TJ’s! They’re gluten-free, low in sugar, contains fiber, and made with simple ingredients, making them a healthier snack option.
They’re also available in two flavors. Get them in Cashew Apricot (with coconut and citrus) and Blueberry Almond Peanut (with coconut, chia and sunflower seeds). Both flavors have a mixture of crunchy and chewy texture you’ll love.
12 Grain Prebiotic Mini Crackers
Ugh, I just love buttery crackers! These unique prebiotic snacks with inulin fiber are crunchy with a light onion flavor. I usually eat it on its own, sprinkle it with vegan cheese, or dip it in hummus. They’re one of my not-so-guilty guilty pleasures. They’re good for your tummy!
Oh, are you curious about that dozen mixture of grains? It includes: wheat, rye, triticale, barley, corn, millet, soybean, sunflower seeds, rice, flax, durum wheat, and oats. Whew!
Trader Joe’s is a dream for vegans and foodies who love discovering unique flavors. Their generally simple ingredients and more reasonable prices are also a hit. But while all that can make it tempting to hoard and indulge yourself to oblivion, always remain careful with labels.
TJ’s shelves of course also include a fair amount of processed and junk foods too. And remember that not all vegan is healthy, so always watch out for too much sugar, sodium, bad fats, and nasty additives. Ready for your vegan TJ haul now?
Which vegan food products from Trader Joe’s are your favorite? Got more recommendations? Let me know in the comment section below. And don’t forget to share this article on your favorite social media platform.