(KTLA) – Trader Joe’s announced its 13th annual list Customer Choice Awards on Monday and — probably to the surprise of no one who regularly shops there — Mandarin Orange Chicken once again came out on top.
The delicious frozen dish, which annually rates among the fan-favorites for the California-headquartered market chain, nabbed the title of favorite overall item for the second year in a row.
Each year, Trader Joe’s polls its customers to see which products from its eponymous label are their favorites in a variety of categories, including frozen entrees, beverages, cheese, bath and body, and more.
Some items always seem to pop up on the list — in addition to Mandarin Orange Chicken, Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups, Unexpected Cheddar, Peanut Butter Filled Pretzel Nuggets and Soy Chorizo are among the perennial favorites — but the introduction of new and seasonal items ensures at least some variety each year.
This year’s awards, however, were compromised of mostly holdovers from the 12th Customer Choice Awards.
Here’s the full list:
In addition to Mandarin Orange Chicken, customers also really love the Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups, Unexpected Cheddar and Everything but the Bagel Seasonal Blend, as evidenced by the fact that all are repeats from last year’s list of overall favorites. Butternut Squash Mac & Cheese – a seasonal item also made the favorites list.
Last year’s favorite — Sparkling Black Tea with Peach Juice Beverage — didn’t make the cut this year, with Non Dairy Oat Beverage jumping from runner-up to take the category. Although seasonal items, Spiced Apple Cider and Sparking Honeycrisp Apple Juice Beverage really make an impression, as both appeared on the 2021 list as well. Ginger beer and Tangerine Juice also made the cut.
Unexpected Cheddar tops the cheese category yet again, while English Cheddar with Caramelized Onions and Syrah Soaked Toscano also ranked among the top 5 once more.
- Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups
- O & H Danish Kringle (flavors vary by season)
- Sublime Ice Cream Sandwiches
Last year’s favorite — Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups — dropped into the runner-up category, as Hold the Cone! Mini Ice Cream Cones was elevated to the top. But Trader Joe’s customers seem to agree that these products are the best desserts the market has to offer, as all five are repeats.
Runners-up: Trader Joe’s shoppers really can’t get enough of the Mandarin Orange Chicken, as this frozen chicken item also — for however many times in a row, now — topped the entree list. Chicken Tikka Masala and Joe’s Diner Mac ‘n Cheese are returning favorites.
Home, Bath and Body
Scented Candle Tins
Scented Candle Tins, which come in a variety of scents that vary by season, are also another returning winner, while Hand Sanitizers and Ultra Moisturizing Hand Cream were previous runners-up.
- Persian Cucumbers
- Carrots of Many Colors
Teeny Tiny Avocados is tops once more when it comes to favorite produce items at Trader Joe’s, but only Arugula is a holdover from 2021.
- Organic Corn Chip Dippers
- Organic Eloté Corn Chip Dippers
- Chili & Lime Rolled Corn Tortilla Chips
Not surprisingly, Salted Peanut Butter Filled Pretzel Nuggets topped the snack section. And this was the only category aside from dessert that featured the same products from last year’s awards. (The only difference being that both Corn Chip Dippers were lumped together as one entry in 2021, making way for Plantain Chips to be in the fold on that list.)
Runners-up: Soy Chorizo — last year’s favorite in this category — Vegan Kale, Cashew & Basil Pesto, Cauliflower Gnocchi and Vegetable Fried Rice all continue to be popular items for meat-eaters and vegetarians alike, and are holdovers from 2021. But, perhaps again proving the love for Trader Joe’s Mandarin Orange Chicken, the meatless version of the dish also entered the fold this year.
You can find out more about this year’s awards by going to Trader Joe’s website.