Trader Joe’s asked its customers a simple question: if you were to spend the rest of your life on a desert island, which nine Trader Joe’s products would you take with you?
More than 18,000 customers responded to its 14th annual survey ranking the grocery store’s most popular items in nine different categories.
There were a few caveats this year: Five products that have won many victories in the past (think Mandarin Orange Chicken and Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups) have disappeared from the race, and instead are featured in its Product Hall of Fame.
The first Trader Joe’s opened in Pasadena, California in 1967. Its founder, Joe Coulombe (yes, Joe was a real guy), was a convenience store owner who wanted to open a chain of grocery stores to attract a market of niche of well-educated, well-traveled consumers. The idea led him to create a cult grocery store empire.
Here are the products that customers have voted favorites, in categories ranging from cheese to appetizers.
Chili Lime Flavored Rolled Tortilla Chips, Spicy Corn Chips, swept the competition this year, taking home the top prize. Finalists included Hash Browns, Chicken Soup Balls, Everything But Bagel Sesame Seasoning Mix and Chocolate Croissants.
See all-time favorites included in Trader Joe’s Hall of Fame
Chips also won in the poll’s favorite snack category. Customers were also fans of Elote Organic Corn Chip Dip, Organic Corn Chip Dip, World’s Puffiest White Cheddar Corn Puffs, and Crispy Curls, all of which were among the top voters.
Sparkling Honeycrisp apple juice was the fan-favorite drink, despite being seasonal. The canned drink is a simple three-ingredient mix of apple juice, water, and bubbles.
Introducing Triple Ginger Brew, Sparkling Peach Black Tea with Peach Juice, Sparkling Cranberry Ginger Beverage and No Brown Sugar Oatmeal Creamer.
Now that Hall of Famer Unexpected Cheddar is no longer an option in the poll, the store’s cheddar cheese with caramelized onions won top accolades.
See the full list of Customer’s Choice Award winners
Finalists included Syrah Soaked Toscano, Saison Baked Lemon Ricotta, Blueberry & Vanilla Chèvre and its various Bries.
Trader Joe’s Butter Chicken replaces the longtime Tangerine Chicken, spicy chicken in a tomato and cream sauce with basmati rice.
Indian is popular with Trader Joe’s clients. The second runner-up was Chicken Tikka Masala, followed by Kung Pao Chicken, Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese and Teriyaki BBQ Chicken.
Seasonal candles won in this category. Its seasonal scents include Peony Blossom, Cedar Balsam, Honeycrisp Apple and Vanilla Pumpkin.
Finalists: Daily Facial Sunscreen, Ultra Moisturizing Hand Cream, Tea Tree Tingle Shampoo and Conditioner, and Shea Butter and Coconut Oil Hair Mask.
Unsurprisingly, customers voted bananas as their top choice. The chain is known for its 25-cent organic bananas and its 19-cent regular bananas. The next picks were Teeny Tiny Avocados, Honeycrisp Apples, Brussels Sprouts, and Organic Carrots of Many Colors.
The tiny and crispy Hold the Cone! Mini ice cream cones won the first dessert, followed by Danish Kringle, Sublime ice cream sandwiches, chocolate lava cakes and Brookie.
Among its many vegan and vegetarian options, the Vegan Kale, Cashew & Basil Pesto came out on top. Vegetable Fried Rice, Beefless Bulgogi, Palak Paneer, Cauliflower Gnocchi followed.