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
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|