The Best Items at Trader Joe’s, According to Customers

A Trader Joe's in Pinecrest, Florida.
A Trader Joe's in Pinecrest, Florida. / Joe Raedle/GettyImages

It’s time to find out how your opinions about Trader Joe’s items measure up to those of the masses. Every year for the last 14, the company has polled customers on their favorite products to determine which ones are the best in various categories. 

This year, the query—specifically “If you were to spend the rest of your life on a deserted island, which nine Trader Joe’s products would you take with you?”—garnered more than 18,000 responses. And it turns out a lot of people would spend their castaway days munching on Trader Joe’s Chili & Lime Flavored Rolled Corn Tortilla Chips. Not only did those clinch the blue ribbon in the snack category (trailed by other maize offerings: Organic Elote Corn Chip Dippers, regular Organic Corn Chip Dippers, and World’s Puffiest White Cheddar Corn Puffs), but they also came in first overall. Runners-up included hashbrowns, chicken soup dumplings, chocolate croissants, and the ever iconic Everything but the Bagel Sesame Seasoning Blend.

Honeycrisp apples seem to have an active fan base among TJ’s shoppers: The fruit was a runner-up in the produce category (topped by bananas), and the beverage title went to Sparkling Honeycrisp Apple Juice—the only seasonal offering to win a category.

And Trader Joe’s Butter Chicken with Basmati Rice, deemed 2023’s best entrée, has saved many a lazy gourmand from the effort of cooking dinner from scratch. TJ’s devotees will no doubt notice the conspicuous absence of their beloved Mandarin Orange Chicken from the top five entrées list. It’s not because it’s fallen out of fashion: It’s because Trader Joe’s decided to retire it from the Customer Choice Awards altogether, giving other items their chance in the limelight. That product and several other longtime favorites have been inducted into the newly created Trader Joe’s Product Hall of Fame.

See the rest of the 14th Annual Customer Choice Awards category winners below, and explore the runners-up here.

  • Best Overall: Chili & Lime Flavored Rolled Tortilla Chips
  • Best Beverage: Sparkling Honeycrisp Apple Juice Beverage
  • Best Cheese: Cheddar Cheese with Caramelized Onions
  • Best Entree: Butter Chicken with Basmati Rice
  • Best Health and Beauty Aids/Household: Scented Candles
  • Best Produce: Bananas
  • Best Snack: Chili & Lime Flavored Rolled Corn Tortilla Chips
  • Best Sweet/Dessert: Hold the Cone! Mini Ice Cream Cones
  • Best Vegan/Vegetarian: Vegan Kale, Cashew & Basil Pesto