Trader Joe’s Was the Second-Most Popular Grocery Store in 2022. These Changes Could Make It No. 1

A few tweaks could propel Trader Joe’s into that top spot.

Key points

  • In a recent survey, Aldi edged out Trader Joe’s as the top U.S. grocery store.
  • Trader Joe’s might beat Aldi in the future if it offers up fan favorites for longer, brings samples back to all of its stores, and begins offering grocery delivery.

If you shop at Trader Joe’s often, you may be aware that doing so will often result in a lower credit card tab than you’ll rack up at other stores. That’s because Trader Joe’s prides itself on its consistently low prices.

And that’s not the only positive thing Trader Joe’s is known for. The supermarket chain has a reputation for offering outstanding customer service. And not only are its products affordable, they’re also delicious.

But surprisingly, in a recent YouGov survey of the most popular supermarkets in America, Trader Joe’s only managed to come in second. It was actually edged out by Aldi, a haven for shoppers on a budget looking to stretch their paychecks.

Now to be clear, snagging the No. 2 slot on a survey like this is more than respectable. But if Trader Joe’s were to make these key changes, it could be enough to help it reach No. 1 during the next go-round.

1. Keeping fan favorites on the shelves longer

Some of Trader Joe’s most beloved products, like its pumpkin-flavored snacks and holiday offerings, are only available in stores for a few weeks before they disappear for a good 12 months. It might work to Trader Joe’s benefit to keep some of these products around for a longer period of time. The company itself would likely see its revenue increase, as consumers might very willingly dip into their bank accounts to load up on their favorite buys.

2. Bringing samples back to all stores

Trader Joe’s has begun to offer up in-store samples at select locations. But samples have yet to return to many stores. Bringing them back universally might really please customers — especially those who miss those tiny cups of delicious Trader Joe’s coffee. 

That said, one lesser-known perk of shopping at Trader Joe’s is that you can actually ask to try any product before buying it. All you need to do is find a store associate, and they’ll open up the item in question, let you try it, and pull it from the shelves — at no cost to you whatsoever. But that’s not the same thing as being able to walk over to a counter, grab a sample, and continue on your way.

3. Offering delivery

You may have noticed that Trader Joe’s does not offer grocery delivery, and there’s a reason for that. The supermarket chain wants consumers to benefit from the great customer service in-store shoppers get to experience. And it feels that customers who purchase groceries for delivery may not get the full benefit of shopping at Trader Joe’s.

Still, for some people, ordering groceries is far more convenient than hitting the store. And for those without transportation, grocery delivery could be a lifeline. So if Trader Joe’s were to change its stance, it might gain some new fans.

All told, there are plenty of good reasons to love Trader Joe’s. But it would be nice to see certain products hang around longer, as well as more in-store samples and the option to order groceries for home delivery.

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