We independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission. All prices were accurate at the time of publishing.
The Trader Joe’s Customer Choice Awards turn 15 this year. This year, the grocer is ushering in some new categories (hello, Favorite Breakfast or Brunch) and cutting others (farewell to our Favorite Vegan or Vegetarian Item). In the latest episode of the Inside Trader Joe’s podcast, hosts Tara Miller and Matt Sloan announce the nine winners and even tease some launching-soon products (we see you, Brazil Nut Body Oil!).
Avid TJ’s fans — and voters — might not be too surprised to learn that this year’s Overall Favorite is a two-time winner times two. That’s right — once again, the Chili and Lime Flavored Rolled Corn Tortilla Chips take the top spot for best Overall Favorite AND Best Snack. Plus, we take a look at the eight other new and returning standouts.
Favorite Cheese: Goat Cheese
After receiving hundreds of votes, goat cheese has dethroned any cheddar as the longtime favorite. Unexpected Cheddar was retired to the Hall of Fame in 2022 and is no longer eligible to win, but it also bested last year’s top choice: English Cheddar with Caramelized Onions. While it’s true that no one particular kind of goat cheese won, we recommend starting with a classic, plain log. It’s a must-have for this “fancy” three-ingredient appetizer.
Favorite Produce: Bananas
Favorite Beverages: Apple Cider
Like goat cheese, the favorite beverage is bigger than any one product. Dubbed “the most interesting winner” by Tara, Apple Cider is the beloved can or bottle you pick up in the center aisles or refrigerated section week after week — it might even be sparkling.
Favorite Breakfast or Brunch: Hash Browns
The winner in this new category is so popular, it’s even hard for TJ’s to keep them in stock, according to Tara. The iconic freezer find “received almost three times as many votes as the second place finisher” she adds. If you’re unfamiliar, now’s an excellent time to get acquainted.
Favorite Lunch and Dinner: Butter Chicken with Basmati Rice
Favorite Lunch and Dinner is another newly named category (perhaps replacing the “Favorite Entree” of years past), but that didn’t stop this frozen standout from earning its second victory in a row. After the famous Mandarin Orange Chicken (you know the one) was also retired to the Hall of Fame, it seems we have a new saucy titan in town.
The freezer section at Trader Joe’s is loaded with personal bests, and that is very much the case for appetizers as well. In fact, the top five in this category are frozen items, according to Tara. After a short hiatus, this year’s #1 — Creamy Spinach & Artichoke Dip — is back in the winner’s circle. It’s a no-brainer to put out with pita chips. We also highly recommend this two-ingredient egg bake.
The results for the favorite sweet treat are, in a word, shocking. The Sublime Ice Cream Sandwiches have dethroned long-time champ Hold the Cone! Mini Ice Cream Cones — and even cohosts Matt and Tara didn’t see this coming. Tara credits the newcomer’s gold star status to the “really good-sized chocolate chip cookies, sandwiched between … a giant amount of vanilla ice cream [that is then] rolled in chocolate chips.”
Favorite Bath, Body, and Home: Brazil Nut Body Butter
In next-to-no surprise here, Brazil Nut Body Butter swept the Bath, Body, and Home category. The viral sensation was an instant success at launch and has since spawned many offshoots, like this new Brazil Nut Body Oil (coming soon to a shelf near you). This body butter is often a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it item, so do *add to cart* when you spot it.
What’s your favorite thing to buy from Trader Joe’s? Let us know in the comments!