Tuesday, October 03, 2006

The Cult of Trader Joe's

Trader Joe's annoys me. It's not the food they have, some of which is good. I like the little pretzel things that are filled with peanut butter. It's the bizarre, cultish devotion it seems to create in its patrons. You know the people I am talking about. You're sitting at a work lunch or at a party, and they offer you a weirdly spiced cashew or some ginger snaps. Then, inevitably, they feel the need to tell you, "They're from Trader Joe's." When they tell you what they had for dinner last night, it wasn't just stir fry, it was "stir fry from Trader Joe's." They read Trader Joe's newsletters. Everything is Trader Joe's this, Trader Joe's that. It is unnatural.

I bring this up today because I happened upon this newspaper article today in my local paper that recognizes the Trader Joe's cult phenomenon. Among the many articles and sites devoted to Trader Joe's, I found blog devoted to tracking Trader Joe's-related news and an account of one person's recovery from the obsession.

You can't even buy an individual piece of fruit there!


warm fuzzy said...

it strikes me as funny - all those people ohhhing and aweing about organic food like it's some new thing when there is a Whole Foods ACROSS THE STREET! I am not on the Trader Joe's bandwagon. They have some good stuff, but it all seems so pre-packaged, even the fruit. I don't like it.

Matt said...

Yeah, but have you tried the wasabi peas?

Anonymous said...

Once a grocery store gets featured on Unwrapped, it's all down hill. Marc Sommers is pretty much the death knell of normalcy in a shopping experience.

They're apples, people! Seriously!

Sweet Cactus said...

have you tried the mandarin orange chicken in the freezen section? you'll join the cult once you taste it. :)

Anonymous said...

How's it unnatural to share something you found appealing with another person? I guess this unnatural feeling would apply to Facebook Likes & anything sold by Apple. I'm a fan of neither but composing this comment now make me crave TJ's Bay Blend coffee. Ever have it?

Anonymous said...

You need to chill out, seriously. You're griping about people who are enthusiastic about Trader Joe's, and, by extension, food? What's the big deal? People have their passions; to each their own.

Why not smile and be amused by it, instead of getting annoyed?

And, by the way, Trader Joe's is awesome. Their price, relative to the quality of goods offered, can't be beat. They are the best place to go to for pantry staples, and, their prices on cheese, wine and beer are the best. And, their prepared/frozen foods are pretty damn good. If one lives in an area devoid of quality grocery stores, Trader Joe's is your Mecca.