(NEXSTAR) – Looking for a new special treat to toss into your cart? You can give into your impulses in the grocery aisle, or you can turn to the experts.
The experts in this case are Trader Joe’s store managers – or captains, as the company calls them. When the 537 or so store leaders gathered for the Annual Captains’ Meeting in late 2022, they were asked about their favorite items from the iconic grocery chain by the company’s podcast, Inside Trader Joe’s.
Their picks run the gamut, from crunchy snacks to classic candies, unusual condiments and frozen section hidden gems.
Brown Sugar Oat Creamer was a popular choice. Rachel, a manager of a North Carolina Trader Joe’s store, suggested frothing the non-dairy coffee creamer before adding it to your cup of joe.
Two frozen aisle items came up a few times: Orange Chicken and the Fettuccine Alfredo. Another favorite from the frozen section was the Chocolate Croissants, which you can thaw overnight before baking fresh the next morning.
Alicia Montoya, who leads a Trader Joe’s location in Oakland, California, had a clear favorite, found in the snack section of stores: “I can eat the whole bag of the Cheese Crunchies, always. That is just forever my staple.”
Liz Libbrecht, who manages a Seattle store, didn’t even choose a favorite item – she’s taking practically the whole dairy aisle. “Truffle Cheese, Saint Andre, Caramelized Onion Cheddar. Just all of the whole cheese section.”
An Arizona Trader Joe’s manager named Michelle added the Le Délice de Bourgogne Cheese to that list. It’s a triple cream soft cheese imported from France.
Other managers’ favorites include:
- Rolled Chili Lime Tortilla Chips
- Taiwanese Pancakes
- Red Licorice
- Mediterranean Hummus
- Vegan Garlic Sauce
- Dark Chocolate Laceys
- Sesame Seed Oil
- Saucy Scallops
- Sparkling White Tea with Pomegranate
Want a few more recommendations? The grocery chain also recently announced a list of customers’ favorite items, too.