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This Is How Far Shoppers Will Travel to Shop at Trader Joe's

How far would you go for the mandarin orange chicken?

Trader Joe's has serious fans who flock to stores to pick up their favorite frozen meals, snacks, drinks, and more. But just how far are they willing to travel to get their hands on TJ's products? Apparently, pretty far.

The closest Trader Joe's to Myrtle Beach, S.C., is about 70 miles away. Nonetheless, a group of residents who love the chain's frozen food offerings and low prices make the trip every few weeks, according to Myrtle Beach Life.

The 1.5-hour trip to Wilmington, N.C., is an adventure for members of Senior Adventures in Learning and Travel (SALT), a group that formed after "many retirees had been suddenly left alone without much connection to the outside world" amid the pandemic.

Related: 6 Things You'll See at Costco This Year

The group regularly meets for art, cooking, and history classes—but also excursions to restaurants and Trader Joe's. When they head to the low-cost chain, the group makes a whole day of the visit, hitting stops along the way before finally reaching their destination.

A member named Sheila is known as the biggest TJ's fan of the group. During their last visit, in which Myrtle Beach Life's Chase Karacostas tagged along, another member joked that she would follow Sheila around the store to find the best items. "I know exactly what I want," Sheila said, noting that her favorite items were the mandarin orange chicken and veggie fried rice. She left with three full bags of groceries.

Though the group likes making the trip, they wish there was a location closer to home. A cashier recently told them that the store "gets quite a few visitors from Myrtle Beach." And they aren't alone—residents of Lancaster County, Penn., created a Facebook page to help make their wish come true last fall.

"There's no plan currently to open a store in Lancaster County, but that plan is always evolving…" a spokesperson for the company told Lancaster Online. "…And it's based on a whole host of factors that we keep as a proprietary formula so that we're not sharing with our competitors what we're trying to do."

For now, only time will tell if Myrtle Beach is next on the list. Until then, here are the 5 Healthiest New Trader Joe's Foods, According to Dietitians.

Amanda McDonald
Amanda has a master's degree in journalism from Northwestern University and a bachelor's degree in digital journalism from Loyola University Chicago. Read more about Amanda