Trader Joe's reveals its customers' favorite items in 13th annual awards

The 13th annual Trader Joe's Customer Choice Awards were announced Monday and, if you hate change, you'll be pleased to hear that Trader Joe's customers once again remain steadfast in their love for the "Mandarin Orange Chicken."

That's right — for the bazillionth year in a row, the frozen chicken dish took the crown for favorite overall item, as well as favorite entree. I cannot be surprised by this because, as a child raised by a Trader Joe's Mom, "Mandarin Orange Chicken" was the first thing I learned to "cook" myself, and I still find bags of it in my parents' freezer decades later. Now that's staying power.

Favorite cheese ("Unexpected Cheddar"), favorite snack ("Peanut Butter Filled Pretzel Nuggets"), favorite produce ("Teeny Tiny Avocados"), favorite home, bath and body product ("Scented Candle Tins") and favorite vegan/vegetarian item ("Soy Chorizo") also remain unchanged from last year's awards. There was one upset, though — "Hold the Cone! Mini Ice Cream Cones" managed to dethrone "Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups" for the title of favorite sweets/dessert. I have to disagree on that one, but I'll live.

"Non Dairy Oat Beverage" was also a newcomer to the favorite beverage award. Not altogether surprising, considering how everyone has been proselytizing about oat milk lately.

I'm sure these products are tasty and all, but next year I hope Trader Joe's customers can come out of their shells a little bit. Maybe we can all agree to give "Mandarin Orange Chicken" a rest and let runners-up like "Everything but the Bagel Seasoning Blend" or "Butternut Squash Mac & Cheese" have a chance to shine? Just a thought.

See all the winners at

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