15 Popular Items Trader Joe's Discontinued In 2022
If you're wandering into a Trader Joe's for the first time, you're likely to find yourself surrounded by sheer possibility. However, the seasoned vets of the neighborhood grocer might look at the shelves and immediately spot gaping holes where their favorite products used to be.
While Trader Joe's sporadically prunes (mostly) underperforming items, sometimes even cult favorites aren't safe from losing a spot in the store. According to Real Simple, there are few reasons the retailer could discontinue your favorite products.
There are certain products that have a small but dedicated following. That's not always enough for the company to keep them around. Items need to sell well across many locations in order to justify the dedicated shelf space.
Marketing VP Tara Miller explained on the brand's podcast that "when a product doesn't work… [the] Trader Joe's business model dictates that the team should 'develop something new that might sell better and make more customers happy.'"
The other factor is the recent supply chain challenges. If there's an issue with some of the product's ingredients, Trader Joe's might have to bid a bitter adieu to the item altogether.
Matt Sloan, another marketing VP, said on the podcast episode, "[A product may be discontinued] if there are quality issues or if we determine that the value that we once had is no longer as strong—if we are facing different competitive pressures on a given product."
To that end, here are all the products that left Trader Joe's this year. We're hoping this list will help you find some closure—and maybe even some alternatives.
It was a rough start to the year when customers found out that this spicy red sauce was being pulled from shelves in early January. Shoppers posted on Reddit about the disappointing loss. "This sauce is one of the best sauces you can get. I lived in Italy for a while and the TJ's is still one of my faves. What a shame," commented u/steeplechase_jr.
The reason, some were told by crew members, was that Trader Joe's lost its supplier. "According to the computer at a store in [Arizona], he said they had been looking for a new vendor, didn't find one and as of Jan 22 showed up discontinued for them," said u/yayitssunny.
The good news is that Rao's sells an authentic Italian jarred Arrabiata Sauce at certain grocers. It's pricier, but it's also likely one of the best sauces out there.
Out of all Trader Joe's frozen pizzas, this was the favorite of many. But after months of speculation about spotty supply, @traderjoestobediscontinued, an Instagram fan account that tips off shoppers on the latest product announcements, confirmed the discontinuation in January. "Booo! This was the best pizza they have ever sold. How disappointing. Bad choice on their part," commented one disappointed customer.
As for why it was so popular, the quality was top notch. One commenter said, "The Trader Joe's Arugula Pizza is my favorite Trader Joe's pizza. It's an authentic pizza made in Italy with natural ingredients. No additives or artificial / heavily processed ingredients."
It may not ever be the same, but if you're looking for a substitute, you can try adding fresh arugula and tomatoes to a plain cheese pizza. Adding balsamic glaze, per one Redditor's suggestion, could take it to the next level.
"Just Sauce" Turkey Bolognese
The absence of this widely-loved meat sauce had buyers baffled. After the announcement by @traderjoestobediscontinued, fans' reactions ranged from denial to bargaining.
"This item is still going strong at my store. When they looked it up, it said nothing about it being discontinued. This post is false," one commenter said. Another added, "This is the BEST EVER! I'm SERIOUSLY begging you to bring it back! I was a staple in my home! Dips, meals, sides it goes with EVERYTHING."
It's unclear what led to the product being discontinued, especially because so many shoppers routinely bought boxes of the bolognese for years. In April, Reddit user u/mrs_traderjoes posted a review, rating the Turkey Bolognese a ten out of ten: "This is a new staple in my life. You all know how I feel about red sauce, and how nothing compares to my grammas homemade sauce. Well, this is my new go-to when I don't have access to the good stuff."
For those items you just can't live without, Trader Joe's has a feedback form on their site. It doesn't always work, but it's worth a shot.
Many were gutted that this high-quality, preservative-free mayo left the shelves in February. Some on Reddit speculated that the cost of production had gone up due to rising canola prices, and that was why it was getting the boot —even though there were customers who would rather cover the difference than say goodbye to their favorite sandwich spread.
"Please, PLEASE bring this product back! It had the healthiest ingredient list of any mayo out there—no sugar!" commented @pathwaytohome on the post by @traderjoestobediscontinued. "I cannot find any other brand that comes close to this one. I would gladly pay extra, if that was the issue."
Red Refresh Herbal Tea
Long-time drinkers of this herbal brew were bummed to see this item cut, leaving them with one fewer caffeine-free option in the tea aisle. "No way! I am really upset. I've been drinking this tea for years and it's going away? It's my daily drinker!" commented @ringwrm on a post by @traderjoestobediscontinued in May. "Where can I purchase a case? Highly disappointing that this fan favorite is gone. Any insight on how to obtain some?"
Others were quick to point out that Celestial Seasonings' Red Zinger has the same blend of hibiscus, peppermint, lemongrass, orange, and wild cherry bark.
Dark Russet Potato Chips
It was a sad day when @traderjoestobediscontinued posted this discontinuation news in May. "These are so good, why would you discontinue?!? Absolutely delicious with the caramelized onion dip," one commenter wrote.
However, it's possible these kettle-cooked chips weren't as universally loved as it may seem. "At my store, they're consistently one of the worst-selling potato chips. Maybe the worst seller," commented u/makingajess on a Reddit post. "Frankly, if there weren't so many things constantly in flux with being in and out of stock with the chips specifically, they'd probably have been discontinued sooner."
If you're a fan, don't despair. Rumor has it that Utz Kettle Classics Dark Russets taste exactly the same as the Trader Joe's kind. Cape Cod also carries its own Dark Russet variation.
And if you're not willing to make a separate trip, according to this Reddit post, it sounds like TJ's has a new supplier in the works to bring them back in the near future.
Sweet Cream Creamer
Not all of us like drinking our coffee black. Sometimes it just tastes better with your favorite creamer—like this one favored by many TJ shoppers. "I'm so sad, I just went to the store to replenish my stock and they said they were out and that the item had been discontinued. I love you [Trader] Joe's but this was one of my few joys in the morning," commented u/NightOwl4848 on a Reddit post about the sweet cream in April.
Luckily, according to other users in the thread, Chobani carries a dupe for those looking for a replacement.
Popcorn in a Pickle
If you didn't think that dill flavoring belonged on your favorite movie theater snack, think again. This popcorn gained a cult following after it was released as a seasonal item in 2015. Food reviewer Junk Banter called it "stupidly addicting if you enjoy pickles."
Instagram account @traderjoestobediscontinued made the discontinuation announcement in June to hundreds of fans. "NOOO! First the russet chips and now these? I guess TJ's doesn't want me to enjoy my favorite snacks anymore," commented one customer.
Others were quick to point out that ALDI carries a dill pickle popcorn by Clancy's for under $2, which Reddit user u/techgal_R said was "wayyy better than Trader Joe's!" So maybe this farewell isn't as tragic?
Cultured Salted Butter
High in fat, rich, and creamy, butter is delicious at baseline. But after shoppers tasted this French imported butter from Trader Joe's, they never wanted to use anything else. "This French butter is definitely the Good Stuff. If I'm having some toast in the morning and I put some of this French butter from Brittany on it, or anything, [it's] heavenly," wrote Trader Joe's Rants in a blog post in 2019.
After this French-made spread disappeared for months in stores, customers began catching on to news of a permanent discontinuation, according to a Reddit post. Many were disappointed, while others rallied to contact the grocer in protest. We don't have much consolation for this one, although you can still find Kerrygold Irish Butter if you need another premium option.
If you're really dedicated, one Redditor wrote a how-to for culturing butter yourself: "Making your own is pretty easy. Add some yogurt to some cream. Leave it out for 2-3 days. Add it to a stand mixer. Beat with whisk attachment until butter forms. Wash the butter in ice water until the water is clear. Salt and refrigerate."
Organic Chia Bars
Trader Joe's carries a huge selection of snacks, and these gluten-free on-the-go bars had a healthy dose of almonds, pumpkin seeds, and cranberries. It's possible you've never spotted the Organic Chia Bars among all the products on the shelf, but there were certainly shoppers who bought them regularly.
"[That] sucks! Every other bar has cheap chocolate in it. These were my favorite," @la_bexpix commented on @traderjoestobediscontinued's post in June. Luckily, there are bound to be plenty of other bars to choose from.
Jalapeño Pepper Hot Sauce
When you need to kick up the flavor a few notches, a fiery hot sauce can be handy to have in your fridge. The Jalapeño Pepper Hot Sauce was a go-to for TJ's customers, so it's unclear why it was dropped this past February.
"This is the best hot sauce ever. Can't believe they discontinued it," said u/realitybeats. "I used to work at TJ's and asked an employee. The habanero is coming back but not the jalapeño."
People were quick to chime in and offer Arizona Gunslinger Red Jalapeño Pepper Sauce as a formidable alternative, if not a better option altogether. "Arizona Gunslinger Jalapeño Pepper Sauce is very close to this to the point that I was disappointed when I tried this Trader Joe's sauce, since I was hoping for something different," added u/NinjaRaver208.
Trader Joe's used to carry wet food for both your feline and canine companions. But due to a disruption in aluminum production, the grocer had to cut back on these in April, according to a Reddit post.
People were sad to see them go, especially because they found TJ's prices more affordable than other pet food sources. "So sad! My dogs love the grain free canned dog food, and it's like half the price from TJ's compared [to] similar options," commented u/wvegmadebones.
You can still shop for a limited selection of dog food and treats during your normal grocery run, but pet owners are definitely going to miss the variety that Trader Joe's used to have for their furry friends.
Thai Iced Tea Mochi
One reason this neighborhood grocery store is so beloved? Giving you access to a catalog of international treats. Trader Joe's has dabbled in the mochi game before, bringing ube, green tea, and strawberry ice cream-filled rice cakes to your freezer. But in March, the retailer said goodbye to the popular Thai Iced Tea flavor, along with the mango.
"I'm gonna cryyyyy. it was the only one at TJs that was vegan! all the rest they changed the ingredients to have milk and eggs," commented u/hobobonobo88. Others in the thread crossed their fingers for another dairy-free mochi option, but only time will tell what desserts take its place.
Organic Smokey BBQ Flavored Coconut Aminos
This trendy product didn't stay long after it was introduced in June 2021. Just earlier this month, a customer spotted a Trader Joe's "soon to be discontinued" sign on the tag for the BBQ version of the Coconut Aminos seasoning sauce.
It appears that most shoppers hardly noticed this sauce in the first place, which may be why the store is letting it go. "As someone who has worked for the company for 4 years I don't think I have ever rang this item up," u/Look-up-to-the-stars commented on the post.
Unless you're sensitive to sodium, you may not have heard of coconut aminos. It's a product made from the sap of coconut, and tastes umami, adding a savory layer to your food. People commonly substitute soy sauce with coconut aminos because it doesn't contain soy, has a lower sodium content, and holds protein-building amino acids. You can still find the regular Coconut Aminos when you need it, located in the dressing and seasoning aisle.
Aloo Chaat Pouches
Referred to as "Indian hot pockets" by food review blog What's Good at Trader Joe's?, this South Asian street food snack could be found at the grocer for nearly a decade. But around the end of 2021, customers began noticing supply issues when they looked for the savory pastries in their stores.
So maybe it came as less of a surprise when @traderjoestobediscontinued made it official in March. Mixed reactions were posted in the comments. "This may be one of the few TJ items I threw out," one account wrote in favor of the decision.
Others said they were losing one of their favorite snacks to have stocked at home. "That sucks!! Both my wife and I loved these! And they made great, fast, backup lunch options," commented @metalheadbeergeek.
For the best Trader Joe's foods of 2022, read more here.