5 Things You Won’t Find in Trader Joe’s Products

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We all love shopping at Trader Joe’s for so many reasons…the small, neighborhood grocery store feel, good prices, nice workers, incredible seasonal items…the list goes on! TJ’s products have A LOT going for them! But what do their products NOT have?? Read on – I think you’ll be pleased!

Pinterest Pin with caption "What you'll never find in Trader Joe's products."

Note that everything on the list is for Trader Joe’s “branded” products. TJ’s does carry some national brand items which **may** contain some of these things (but not many).


Trader Joe’s uses the term “synthetic” to refer to what most of us think of as “artificial” colors. Technically speaking, colors from fruits or vegetables can be considered “artificial” colors. And TJ’s DOES use natural colors like this!

For example, their sour jelly beans are colored with orange juice, apple juice, and even vegetable juice!! (Shhh…don’t tell the kiddos!)

What you won’t find in TJ’s branded products are those yucky artificial colors and dyes like Red 40, Orange B, Blue 1, etc.


While Trader Joe’s does need to preserve the shelf life of some products, they don’t do this with artificial preservatives such as sulfites, high fructose corn syrup, or sorbates.

Instead, they use natural preservatives such as salt, citric acid, rosemary extract, and other natural ingredients.

3. MSG

There are fierce debates about whether MSG is harmful, but I think most people agree it’s not one of the healthiest ingredients! Although MSG occurs naturally, it may also be produced synthetically in laboratories and factories. 

Some people have mild reactions to MSG such as headaches, dizziness, and fatigue. It’s nice to know TJ’s branded products are absent of this chemical.


GMO stands for Genetically Modified Organism. What does that mean? With regard to food, it’s a plant or animal whose genetic makeup has been modified in a laboratory using genetic engineering technology.

Soy, corn, milk, and sugar are all items that typically contain GMOs. Like with MSG, there is conflicting research on the effects of GMOs on the body. I’d rather not have the fake stuff if at all possible–but that’s just me.

Read the pros and cons of GMO’s here.


Ok, this really isn’t a thing *in* Trader Joe’s products but follow me here! While the likes of Justin Timberlake (McDonalds), Taylor Swift (Diet Coke), Lionel Messi (Michelob), are paid millions to endorse food products and store chains, we have yet to see any celeb endorse anything TJ’s -related.

This is another reason why Trader Joe’s can keep their prices fair and competitive! And judging by how many Trader Joe’s products go VIRAL (like this pasta made from TJ’s Spinach and Artichoke Dip!), do they even need to pay celebs??

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