We already know the best items that you can find at Trader Joe's, but not much is said about what you shouldn't be buying. As a former employee of the grocery chain, I shared with you guys the six things that you need to know about Trader Joe's. Now I want to tell you more about two Trader Joe's products that you should stay away from because its quality is not up to standards. 


vegetable, tea
Kimberly Kao

The produce at Trader Joe's is not that bad. As customers, we come to expect high quality in all of TJ's products. But the produce department just falls short.

As its name implies, Trader Joe's is a trading post. It outsources products from around the world—and in some cases—that gives the store a more global atmosphere. Yet sometimes products are more appealing when they come from somewhere closer to your backyard. For instance, an avocado from Mexico might lead you to question how long it's been in a shipping crate. 

If you want high-quality produce, do yourself a favor and visit your local produce market. The produce at farmer's markets is usually cheaper and farmed by your local community—meaning it could only be fresher if you picked it yourself. Not to mention you'd be supporting a small business. Do yourself a favor, and buy produce elsewhere.


sushi, seafood, salmon, tuna, avocado, rice, wasabi, fish, caviar, sashimi, shrimp, goody
Rebecca Block

For those of you who don't know—Trader Joe's allows you to return any item that you are dissatisfied with for a full refund. So if you've eaten an entire box of Joe-Joe's and then suddenly decide that you disliked them the entire time you were inhaling them, you can get a refund for that empty box of cookies. Trader Joe's allows this because they stand by their products 100 percent.

I found this statement to be overwhelmingly true—with the exception of sushi. As a former employee, we were told specifically not to eat the sushi because it's not made in store and it sits in a box from production, to your shopping bag. So I never tried it for that very reason.

One professional sushi chef sums up the experience of eating Trader Joe's sushi pretty accurately. And some reviews claim that the rice tastes like it is compacted and stale—yuck. 

All things considered, Trader Joe's still has my heart. It always fascinates me how much product variety and creativity is crammed into such a small space. If a few things in a store full of amazingly unique and interesting products don't suit your fancy, it's still worth the trip to TJ's in my eyes. Just don't eat the sushi.