Trader Joe’s Brands Uncovered

Even though I am cleansing my body and soul of packaged products, I have to admit there are still a few things I purchase from Trader Joe’s.  In my ongoing quest to a) know more about what is going in my body, b) know more about where my food is coming from and c) save money, I’ve decided to find out more about the products labeled under the Trader Joe’s brand.

Trader Joe’s is a privately held company and not required to divulge their suppliers.  They buy from high quality third-party suppliers and repackage the product for their own customers.  The product is then sold at a lower price to the consumer because of the larger scale of production.  Often, the packaging looks extremely similar to the original products and they are sometimes even sold side by side.

When I developed an incurable addiction to Strauss European Style Yogurt, I remembered reading the rumor that Strauss Family Creamery

Image found here.

supplied Trader Joe’s with their branded European Style Yogurt.  As the Trader Joe’s version of the yogurt is $2.50 when the Strauss version runs about twice that, I thought if I could confirm this hunch I could save $2.50 a week, $10 a month and about $120 a year. I also wanted to make sure my hard earned cash wasn’t going to support any companies I don’t believe in and try to avoid (including Coca -Cola).  My childhood addiction to Encyclopedia Brown and Nancy Drew books convinced me I had the investigative skills necessary to figure this mystery out.

I started by going to my favorite Trader Joe’s items and checking the ingredients against those products I suspected it matched.  I trolled message boards, asked friends to taste test and did some extensive google research on suspected doppelgängers.

This list is hardly exhaustive so please let me know in the comments what I am missing!  I plan to keep this as a regular, updated feature and include a price savings from the original product and Trader Joe’s branded item.  For a printable list, click here.

Trader Joe’s Branded Product Supplier Branded Product
Trader Joe’s Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips Callebaut Chocolate
TJ’s White Baking Chips Guittard  Baking Chips
Trader Joe’s Vienna Style Lager Gordon Biersch Marzen
Trader Joe’s Vintage Ale Unibroue
Trader Joe’s Mission St. Pale Ale Firestone Walker
Trader Joe’s Mission St.IPA Firestone Walker
Trader Jose Beer Tecate Brewery
Trader Jo’es Bottled Water Poland Springs
Trader Joe’s Sprouted Wheat Bread Alvarado Street Bakery
Trader Joe’s Newton’s Folly Cider Woodchuck Cider
Trader Joe’s Granny Smith Woodchuck Cider
Trader Joe’s Goddess Dressing Annie’s Naturals
Trader Joe’s Organic Ranch Dressing Earth Island Products
Trader Joe San’s Soyaki Soy Vay’s Veri Veri Teriyaki
Trader Joe’s European style Yogurt Strauss Family Creamery
Trader Joe’s Indian food Tasty Bite
Trader Joe’s Shells and Cheese Annie’s Homegrown
Trader Joe’s Frozen Spinach pizza Amy’s Kitchen
Trader Joe’s Pizza Dough Il Fornaio
Trader Joe’s Pita Chips Stacy’s Pita Chips
Trader Joe’s Pure Butter Shortbread Walker’s Shortbread
TJ’s Veggie Sticks Potato Snacks Good Health Natural Foods Veggie Stix
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14 Comments

Filed under Beer, Finance, Food, Grocery shopping, Lifestyle, Trader Joe's, Uncategorized

14 responses to “Trader Joe’s Brands Uncovered

  1. i LOVE this list. i vaguely knew that trader joe’s did this, but never looked into it. i think its awesome that you were able to detective your way into figuring out the brand name products. thanks for the list!

  2. Jo

    I really like that you did this! I’m a huge fan of Trader Joe’s and it’s interesting to know where it comes from.

  3. samherb1

    I believe the “Cream Top Milk” is also made by Straus

  4. Liz

    Dude, you totally rule. This is awesome! Great work!

  5. Irene

    Great to know. Thanks for all the sleuthing!

  6. kate

    ….and what about that barbeque sauce?! It’s so good and I am really curious who really makes it. someone needs to find out… (maybe i will!)

  7. Marla

    Pretty certain that TJ’s addictive EVOO “California Estate Olive Oil” at $8 or $9 for the 500ml bottle is the same California Olive Ranch from arbequina olives going for $14 online.

  8. Chrisc

    The milk can be verified as Straus (or Clover, etc) based on the codes on the carton: http://www.whereismymilkfrom.com/

  9. Ann

    Also I discovered several years ago that the TJ’s canned meat chili is Stagg Chili. It was confirmed to me by a TJ employee as well.

  10. Karen_in_CALIF

    Just found out that TJ’s will no longer carry red label cinnamon swirl bread, effective immediately. Do you [or other readers] know the bakery that produces this TJ’s delicacy?

  11. Norm

    Wow, a TJ fan after my own heart. I’ve only got as far as IDing the dairy products. To expand on another fans post, all dairy products have a processing plant code if their label/brand is not a dairy per se, e.g. Trader Joe’s. The codes are all available online whereismymilk.com. Trader Joe’s milk is packaged at Straus, not necessarily meaning it’s identical but more than likely.

  12. Rex L

    Anyone know who supplies TJs with their candied nuts??

  13. amy

    Just found this list, very interesting. Currently heating up a TJ’s Roasted Vegetable pizza that looks exactly like Amy’s. Their Pesto variety also looks to be a clone.

  14. Dave

    THANK YOU for posting this partial list. I’d be curious on how you were able to obtain this info. How certain are you about the first item on the list, the semi-sweet dark chocolate chips?

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