One Key Trader Joe's Secret From a Former Employee

Many or all of the products here are from our partners that compensate us. It’s how we make money. But our editorial integrity ensures our experts’ opinions aren’t influenced by compensation. Terms may apply to offers listed on this page.


  • Trader Joe's sells many exclusive products people love.
  • Sometimes, products are discontinued for various reasons, including cost.
  • A former Trader Joe's employee shares how you can know if an item is discontinued -- if it's been gone for 90 days or more, it's not coming back. 

If you love shopping at Trader Joe's, you should read this.

Trader Joe's is one of the most popular grocery stores out there thanks to its affordable prices and exciting range of exclusive products, including holiday-themed and seasonal items. But, if you want to be a smart Trader Joe's shopper, there's a lot you need to know about the retailer's business practices.

Specifically, one former Trader Joe's employee shared an important secret that could help you determine if you'll be able to find your favorite products from the store or if you'll end up having to put your credit cards away and leave disappointed.

This Trader Joe's secret can help you determine if a product is discontinued 

According to one former Trader Joe's employee who spoke to food website Kitchn, Trader Joe's products can end up being discontinued even if people like them. That's because customer popularity is only one factor in determining whether an item will stay on the shelves. 

The former employee of the grocery chain indicated that other common reasons for products to stop being sold include suppliers becoming unable to keep up with high levels of demand or products simply becoming too expensive for Trader Joe's to keep on the shelves and sell at a reasonable price. Labor issues among suppliers could also result in a beloved Trader Joe's product no longer being sold.

Ironically, since an inability to meet high demand could be one reason for products to be taken off the shelf, this could mean that some favored items with tons of customer support end up not being sold any longer in certain situations.

So, the big question you're probably wondering is how you can tell whether a Trader Joe's item is discontinued for good or when it will end up back on the shelf. And there's one key Trader Joe's secret the former employee shared that can help you to determine that.

The former worker indicated that if an item cannot get back onto the store shelves within 90 days of the time it is first delayed, it will be considered officially discontinued. Although there's a small chance a new supplier could begin making it and a variation of it could return, the sad fact is the item is gone for good in its current form.

So if you have a product (other than seasonal items) you love at Trader Joe's and it's been 90 or more days since the store was able to stock it, you are most likely not going to see that again and you'll need to start looking for a replacement. 

The more information you have the better the shopper you can be

Knowing this Trader Joe's secret about when products are discontinued can help you avoid disappointment if you've been hoping that your favorite products will be back but aren't sure of the chances.

And this is just one of many inside secrets that can help you become a better shopper. You can also take other steps such as tracking prices among stores and monitoring sales cycles by looking at store flyers to determine the best times to buy certain items. Ultimately, the more of an informed consumer you are, the better you can be at grocery shopping affordably and effectively. And since we all need to eat, it's worth making the effort.  

Alert: our top-rated cash back card now has 0% intro APR until 2025

This credit card is not just good – it’s so exceptional that our experts use it personally. It features a lengthy 0% intro APR period, a cash back rate of up to 5%, and all somehow for no annual fee!

Click here to read our full review for free and apply in just 2 minutes.

Our Research Expert

Related Articles

View All Articles Learn More Link Arrow