photo: Mike Mozart via Flickr
Does that Trader Joe’s mango smoothie taste familiar? If you ever have deja vu when you bite into a Trader Joe’s snack for the first time, it might be because you’ve tasted that item somewhere before, under a different name.
If you’re a rabid Trader Joe’s fan then you might already know that many of the grocery chain’s packaged items are actually from third-party companies re-branded under the Trader Joe’s name. While the company has never revealed its trade secrets, according to Eater there are some clever ways consumers can sleuth out the companies behind their favorite products. One of the most sure-fire ways, as Eater explains, is by checking recalls. When items are recalled by the FDA, they will list all the companies and brand names that the item is sold under. Eater requested recall info on products that named Trader Joe’s for the past 10 years and used that to reveal a few secrets.
You’ll probably recognize many of the big brands, like Wonderful Pistachios, which doubles as Trader Joe’s Pistachios, Tribe Hummus, which is the same as Trader Joe’s Smooth and Creamy Classic Hummus, Naked Juice, which supplies many of Trader Joe’s bottled juices, like the very green and mango smoothies, and Stacy’s Simply Naked Pita Chips, which are the same as the Trader Joe’s version with sea salt.
While most of the products uncovered by Eater were a perfect match, some items are slightly different when it comes to the ingredient list. Eater is quick to point out that it doesn’t mean the major brand isn’t the supplier, but rather that some of the items might have been retooled specifically for the Trader Joe’s label. For more uncovered labels check out the full Eater report here.
Are any of these snacks in your kitchen? Can you taste the difference from the originals? Tell us in the comments below.