- Trader Joe’s is a popular grocery store chain.
- Recently, a TikTok went viral suggesting the channel is quite expensive.
- Trader Joe’s may have great deals, but it’s not the most convenient place to save money.
A video posted to TikTok sparked a wider conversation about Trader Joe’s, a popular grocery store chain with a loyal following.
User @katarinakitt posted a video on TikTok on April 5, referencing his discussions with colleagues about Trader Joe’s. She said her co-workers regularly shop at Trader Joe’s, while she never did because she had always considered the chain too expensive.
“Where I’m from, me and my family, we don’t shop at Trader Joe’s because it’s expensive for us,” she said.
The post sparked discussions around Trader Joe’s, a chain with around 530 stores and 10,000 workers, mostly catering to the wealthy. It’s also not the first time the grocery chain’s perceived price debate has gone viral on TikTok.
Insider previously discovered that the grocery chain draws a rising crowd, with the typical customer being a married, college-educated person, 25-44 years old, earning more than $80,000 and living in an urban area.
In a 2007 report published in Pepperdine University’s Graziadio Business Review, researchers found that Trader Joe’s eschewed national brands and instead focused on selling an ever-changing mix of merchandise that “are distinct from those sold in traditional supermarkets”. The result is a multitude of “high quality” products “offered at low prices” in a relatively small store, compared to large grocers or big box competitors.
Whole Foods Market, another grocery chain that emphasizes high-quality offerings, tends to have similar prices for many products. In 2017, Insider found that most Whole Foods products were at least slightly more expensive than their Trader Joe counterparts.
Although Trader Joe’s may offer great deals on unique items, that doesn’t mean it’s a convenient option for every shopper. Consumers on a budget — who benefit from buying generic options in bulk — could chafe at the chain’s emphasis on new snacks and seasonal offerings. Earlier this year, Insider discovered that Aldi and Walmart consistently beat the chain on price.
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