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(Huffington Post)   Ever want to know which big-name brands are making Trader Joe's labeled products? Well here you go   (huffingtonpost.com) divider line 81
    More: Interesting, double-blind, moral of the story, taste test, Cheerios  
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8854 clicks; posted to Business » on 12 Feb 2013 at 1:49 PM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-02-12 01:16:02 PM
Thought that was going to be really interesting. It was not.

Did by a giant jug o' Kirkland brand vodak at Costco for $13 tho.
 
2013-02-12 01:46:12 PM
 
2013-02-12 01:46:36 PM
Trader Joe's chocolate croissants are the same as the ones they sell at Williams Sonoma but are much cheaper
 
2013-02-12 02:00:53 PM
Gordon Biersch and Unibroue do the important ones.
 
2013-02-12 02:02:34 PM
I got to see what amounts to a half afternoon worth of research on the taste of snacks..

I'd go to a TJ's takeout place, I hear their prepped hot foods are pretty good.
 
2013-02-12 02:04:00 PM

Contrabulous Flabtraption: Thought that was going to be really interesting. It was not.

Did by a giant jug o' Kirkland brand vodak at Costco for $13 tho.


My roommates in college had a big bottle of McCormick's Vodak that we re-printed a new label marked "HMS Unsinkable" because it was so awful. But hey, it was cheap.

Excuse me for not wanting to buy defective ('undercooked' as an example) product from name brands because 'its cheap'. My tastebuds would revolt.
 
2013-02-12 02:05:39 PM
Monsanto, Cargill, Tyson? What do I win?

DNRTFA
 
2013-02-12 02:06:54 PM
FTA
<i>We conducted a double-blind tasting -- not blind, because it's important to note visual differences in the products, in this case </i>

Not sure if HuffPo is trying to crack a joke, or they don't understand that the term "blind" in a test such as this has nothing to do with the participants visual cortexes.
 
2013-02-12 02:08:16 PM

Contrabulous Flabtraption: Thought that was going to be really interesting. It was not.

Did by a giant jug o' Kirkland brand vodak at Costco for $13 tho.




Isn't CostCo vodka Grey Goose, I've always heard it was.
 
2013-02-12 02:08:42 PM

H31N0US: Monsanto, Cargill, Tyson? What do I win?

DNRTFA


You win nothing
 
2013-02-12 02:12:57 PM

max_pooper: H31N0US: Monsanto, Cargill, Tyson? What do I win?

DNRTFA

You win nothing


Unless they are growing their wheat out behind the store...Cargill is involved
 
2013-02-12 02:17:33 PM

H31N0US: max_pooper: H31N0US: Monsanto, Cargill, Tyson? What do I win?

DNRTFA

You win nothing

Unless they are growing their wheat out behind the store...Cargill is involved


I don't know for sure, but I'm pretty sure Cargill isn't producing Trader Joe's branded wheat. Raw ingredients and finished food products are not the same thing.
 
2013-02-12 02:29:04 PM
They have the Jews making their Irish soda bread.

i.imgur.com
 
2013-02-12 02:31:12 PM

there their theyre: Contrabulous Flabtraption: Thought that was going to be really interesting. It was not.

Did by a giant jug o' Kirkland brand vodak at Costco for $13 tho.

Isn't CostCo vodka Grey Goose, I've always heard it was.


I don't know for sure. Whatever it was, it was good enough when mixed. I don't drink vodka straight so my bar is whether the bottle it comes in is plastic or glass. I draw the line at plastic.
 
2013-02-12 02:34:03 PM

Kristoph57: I got to see what amounts to a half afternoon worth of research on the taste of snacks..

I'd go to a TJ's takeout place, I hear their prepped hot foods are pretty good.


They used to have an AWESOME frozen spanakopita but it's either discontinued or very difficult to find (I've tried 3 different TJ's in NJ).  Their frozen chicken tikka masala is awesome, as is their naan.  Not too crazy about their frozen Italian stuff but my husband likes their pizza.
 
2013-02-12 02:43:13 PM

UseUrHeadFred: Unibroue


upload.wikimedia.org

/ Also, Annie's mac & cheese rules, good to know I can buy it at TJ's
 
2013-02-12 02:45:22 PM

imashark: Excuse me for not wanting to buy defective ('undercooked' as an example) product from name brands because 'its cheap'. My tastebuds would revolt.


I doubt their explanation was correct, and was just wishful thinking.  My guess is most of those cereals are purchased from whoever it is that makes the cereal knock offs that you purchase in plastic bags at the supermarket.
 
M-G
2013-02-12 03:04:21 PM
They must have abused their bag of pretzel chips, because I've never found there to be what I would consider and excessive number of broken pieces.  TFA comes off as trying to make TJ's sound like a salvage store.
 
2013-02-12 03:14:27 PM
Holy Fark, Huffington Post is awful.
 
2013-02-12 03:21:58 PM
I doubt their explanation was correct, and was just wishful thinking.  My guess is most of those cereals are purchased from whoever it is that makes the cereal knock offs that you purchase in plastic bags at the supermarket.

Great reasoning there... "It doesn't taste like the name brand, but we couldn't find any other ones, so we still think it is."
 
2013-02-12 03:24:11 PM
There were people who didn't know about this practice? Huh. My parents told me sometime back in the early 90s... you know, before high school even.

The interesting thing though is that in my experience, they don't always get it from the same name brand vendor, or maybe that vendor uses a cheaper recipe. Mostly I pin this on Aldis, but Wegmans has store-brand snacks and such that are definitely not the same recipe. Their version of wheat thins are decent, but the don't taste quite the same, for example.

Aldis though... ugh. There's a reason I don't shop there, and it's 'LOW QUALITY' for most packaged food.
 
2013-02-12 03:25:37 PM

there their theyre: Contrabulous Flabtraption: Thought that was going to be really interesting. It was not.

Did by a giant jug o' Kirkland brand vodak at Costco for $13 tho.

Isn't CostCo vodka Grey Goose, I've always heard it was.



I tend to like the Kirkland's vodka, particularly as a mixer, because I don't get nearly the bitterness that I get from a lot of mid-shelf vodkas of comparable price range.


One of my good friends was a longtime upscale bartender in a former life and I tend to rely on his palate on all "spirit" matters.   One night I had him do a taste test comparison between Costco Vodka and Grey Goose to get his take on the rumor.    His verdict was that they probably weren't the same vodka, but they were very similar.   He actually preferred Kirkland's brand.
 
2013-02-12 03:30:05 PM
Ever want to know which big-name brands are making Trader Joe's labeled products? Well here you go keep wondering.
 
2013-02-12 03:39:08 PM

Contrabulous Flabtraption: Thought that was going to be really interesting. It was not.

Did by a giant jug o' Kirkland brand vodak at Costco for $13 tho.


Wish I could do this, but I live in Oregon. I make cordials and hate paying liquor store prices for my vodka.
 
2013-02-12 03:41:54 PM
Maybe I didn't spend enough time at Trader Joe's or looked at the wrong products. I didn't think anything there was cheap.

I thought they were wildly overpriced for the same thing I can get out of Wegman's Organic section - which is larger anyway - and haven't been back.
 
2013-02-12 03:44:24 PM

slykens1: Maybe I didn't spend enough time at Trader Joe's or looked at the wrong products. I didn't think anything there was cheap.

I thought they were wildly overpriced for the same thing I can get out of Wegman's Organic section - which is larger anyway - and haven't been back.


Maybe its a regional thing. Its hella cheap in New York compared to the other choices.
 
2013-02-12 03:45:34 PM
slykens1:
I thought they were wildly overpriced for the same thing I can get out of Wegman's Organic section - which is larger anyway - and haven't been back.

How YOU doin'? <3 Wegmans, and their slow creep into other states...
 
2013-02-12 03:45:50 PM
Huntsman. Cheese.

It's like a cake made of cheese. Delicious Stilton for the cake and Double Gloucester for the frosting.

Damn you Trader Joes. Damn you.

images3.wikia.nocookie.net
 
2013-02-12 03:53:11 PM

InmanRoshi: Holy Fark, Huffington Post is awful.


When you don't actually pay your workforce, what do you expect?
 
2013-02-12 03:56:34 PM

kidgenius: Not sure if HuffPo is trying to crack a joke, or they don't understand that the term "blind" in a test such as this has nothing to do with the participants visual cortexes.


That's okay; they think niche organic products are "Big Brand".  Annies is okay.  My fiance loves Annies.  Let me know when they repackage Kraft products at a third of the price.  We already KNEW Annies was expensive for what it is.  Repacking generic cereal isn't big news either.
 
2013-02-12 03:58:43 PM
I stopped in at Trader Joe's to see what it's all about. Since I live low carb and wasn't headed home anytime soon I didn't see much of interest, since packaged foods tend to be creative ways to turn $1 pound grains and starches into $5 a pound crap. Maybe some of the meat selections would have interested me but I did hit the cheese case.

I'm pretty sure good cheddar shouldn't crumble.

I know gouda shouldn't.
 
2013-02-12 04:01:26 PM

slykens1: Maybe I didn't spend enough time at Trader Joe's or looked at the wrong products. I didn't think anything there was cheap.

I thought they were wildly overpriced for the same thing I can get out of Wegman's Organic section - which is larger anyway - and haven't been back.


In my neck of the woods Trader Joe's is significantly cheaper than rival grocery stores. I'm not talking just cheaper than brand names at other stores but even cheaper than the rival's in-store brand. A loaf of whole grain bread at Trader Joe's is $2.49. Comparable bread at the other grocery store is over $4 and isn't nearly as good.
 
2013-02-12 04:08:36 PM
Had a terrible experience with Trader Joe's charcoal - it turned to dust and clogged up my Egg.

Food is good though, especially the Fruity O's.
 
2013-02-12 04:17:03 PM

Justin Bieber's Acne Medication: Had a terrible experience with Trader Joe's charcoal - it turned to dust and clogged up my Egg.

Food is good though, especially the Fruity O's.


You dropped 800 bucks on an Egg and used Trader Joe's charcoal?  Heathen.

/love my Egg
 
2013-02-12 04:19:25 PM

UseUrHeadFred: Gordon Biersch and Unibroue do the important ones.


I was on a brewery tour of Gordon Biersch a few weeks back.  The brewmaster said that the Kirkland beers are a custom recipes that GB developed for Costco.  To my taste, they are really close to standard GB brews.  The GB brewery does all the Kirkland beer on the west coast, and there is a brewery on the east coast that uses the same recipe for the east coast Costcos.

Not sure of the story with TJ's beer, but probably a similar story.

/drinking unfiltered beer right from the tank was tasty
//everyone that does the brewery tour also gets a to-go six pack
 
2013-02-12 04:21:10 PM
TJ's is worth it if they're on your regular route home from work or the like.  Even then you need to learn what is good and what is crap.  At least they have no hassle returns.

/sometimes their produce section can be a total disaster area as well
 
2013-02-12 04:25:07 PM
I love seeing fellow Wegman's cultists pop up.  I moved to Massachusetts, and when they opened their first one here, we were part of the 100,000 person crowd (yes, 100,000) that showed up that day.  It's wonderful.
 
2013-02-12 04:28:53 PM
Way to blow the lid off the private label industry, Huffpo.
 
2013-02-12 04:32:39 PM

TheShavingofOccam123: Huntsman. Cheese.

It's like a cake made of cheese. Delicious Stilton for the cake and Double Gloucester for the frosting.

Damn you Trader Joes. Damn you.

[images3.wikia.nocookie.net image 374x372]


Huntsman cheese is my favorite too.  It's one of the few cheeses I've found that goes well with sake for whatever that's worth.
 
2013-02-12 04:35:59 PM

wildcardjack: I stopped in at Trader Joe's to see what it's all about. Since I live low carb and wasn't headed home anytime soon I didn't see much of interest, since packaged foods tend to be creative ways to turn $1 pound grains and starches into $5 a pound crap. Maybe some of the meat selections would have interested me but I did hit the cheese case.

I'm pretty sure good cheddar shouldn't crumble.

I know gouda shouldn't.


Good cheddar should crumble a little bit if it's an aged cheddar and not the usual cheap, waxy stuff.

I've had better luck with the cheese section here in Omaha myself.  Good stuff.  Even found a wedge of Roquefort for five buck.
 
2013-02-12 04:46:57 PM

ha-ha-guy: TJ's is worth it if they're on your regular route home from work or the like.  Even then you need to learn what is good and what is crap.  At least they have no hassle returns.

/sometimes their produce section can be a total disaster area as well


It's definitely hit or miss (but mostly hits) and in the 5 months since my neighborhood TJ opened Im starting to learn what is good and what is not worth it. Bagels good, cream cheese meh. Shredded Monterey jack good, sour cream not as good as Daisy. Salsa outstanding, tortilla chips so so.

I have to say I've mostly been surprised at the quality. There are some items that are far superior to, some on par, and some worse than other grocery stores. No matter the product TJ's is almost always cheaper.

I find myself getting the majority of my groceries at TJ so my trips to my old stores are less frequent and for fewer items. Grocery shopping at multiple stores may be a no go for some people but since my house is walking distance to TJs and two other grocery stores it works great for me.
 
2013-02-12 05:07:13 PM

gingerjet: You dropped 800 bucks on an Egg and used Trader Joe's charcoal?  Heathen


I deserve that. Never again!

Anyways, what do you use? Now I use Cowboy, which is easy to find and gets the job done. But come to think of it, I do have trouble reaching higher temperatures, which may be because the smaller pieces are blocking the airflow.
 
2013-02-12 05:07:30 PM

Rapmaster2000: Way to blow the lid off the private label industry, Huffpo.


they left out a couple parts of the story.
manufacturers want to run their expensive equipment 24x7x365
by running the line at full capacity, they get maximum ROI.
The slight loss in sales of their name brands is more than made up for in volume sales.

Add in that these production lines can generally make minor changes to ingredients and cook times to customize a product and you have win-win.

That being said, TJs, like any other store in the universe, can be hit or miss. One product you might love, another is terrible.
Nuts? esp 50% salted? generally VERY good quality.
lamb vindaloo, chicken tika masala, naan (garlic or plain)? quite yummy. the lamb is crazy spicy
kimchi fried rice and bibimbap are quick and easy meals

frozen pasta? not so much.

try it. if you like it, go back and get a lot more before they discontinue.
if not, move on.

but when did you like everything that you bought from the "chains"?

/on the other hand TJs is the closest store to me ...
 
2013-02-12 05:27:21 PM
I'm guessing that Huffpo would explode if you told them that the same people who run Trader Joe's also run Aldi's. We get a number of things that have identical (or nearly identical) alternatives at Trader Joes, but Aldi's is usually cheaper.

ladyfortuna: Aldis though... ugh. There's a reason I don't shop there, and it's 'LOW QUALITY' for most packaged food.


The packaged dry foods, canned fruits and vegetables, dairy and produce we've never had a problem with. They tend to have less variety than Trader Joes for sure, however, but when they do have stuff in season it's fantastic. Nothing beats pineapples or a 1lb box of berries for less than a dollar.
 
2013-02-12 06:01:27 PM
Anyone got the list for those of us who refuse to allow flash or scripts due to that stupid autoplaying video crap they got?
 
2013-02-12 06:12:46 PM

Fubini: I'm guessing that Huffpo would explode if you told them that the same people who run Trader Joe's also run Aldi's. We get a number of things that have identical (or nearly identical) alternatives at Trader Joes, but Aldi's is usually cheaper.

ladyfortuna: Aldis though... ugh. There's a reason I don't shop there, and it's 'LOW QUALITY' for most packaged food.

The packaged dry foods, canned fruits and vegetables, dairy and produce we've never had a problem with. They tend to have less variety than Trader Joes for sure, however, but when they do have stuff in season it's fantastic. Nothing beats pineapples or a 1lb box of berries for less than a dollar.


Was going to say this. I'm in the boat that Aldi is better in some stuff than others. I've found their milk best, since it comes in plastic that is not translucent. Some of their snacks meh. Hummus is crap. But I do love their fit and active line.
 
2013-02-12 06:16:11 PM
Huffington Post, please learn how to responsive design.  Your whole site is zoomed out and unreadable in Firefox.

I don't care if it's because Firefox implements certain HTML5 features incorrectly.  Fix it.
 
2013-02-12 06:56:26 PM
I buy most of my groceries from TJs. But none of the ones mentioned. The best is the Cod Provençale. Fish, ratattouille, microwaves in 4 minutes, 400 calories.
 
2013-02-12 07:20:57 PM
You guys must live in the suburbs...in SF, where it's next to impossible in some neighborhoods to fine real food (anyone living on the wrong side of Mission st., for example), a TJ's is a godsend, and far cheaper than the other options. One just opened about 6 blocks from our place and it's awesome -- our alternatives had been corner stores (where everything's triple price) and Whole Foods (where everything's triple price and the owner is a dickhead).

Isn't CostCo vodka Grey Goose, I've always heard it was.

It's not. It's made in a completely different distillery...that's like a quarter mile from where Grey Goose is made. So, same ingredients, same water, and since vodka is just pure alcohol and water, that's why it's almost indistinguishable in taste.
 
2013-02-12 07:21:42 PM
Jesus, what happened there. Sorry all.
 
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