A FORMER Trader Joe’s employee shared 11 items they never buy at the store from the breakfast burrito to a famous spread.

Jonathan Chandler worked at Trader Joe’s for almost three years and in that time learned that there were some items that customers would be better off going without.


The first item Jonathan recommends avoiding is the Oven Ready Breaded Cod Fillets.

“Though I love many of Trader Joe’s frozen items, this product, in particular, is a miss for me,” Jonathan wrote.

He adds that the breading is “a bit much” and calls the fish bland and not crispy enough.

“I feel you’re better off making your own cod fillet.”


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Jonathan also isn’t a fan of the Chicken Sausage Breakfast Burrito, calling the taste bland and “not as cohesive as a typical breakfast burrito.

“I wish the eggs were seasoned more and the sausage was a bit crispier,” he said.

However, Jonathan recommends other burritos at the store such as the frozen chicken chile-verde burrito or the  “delicious black-bean and cheese option.”


Another miss is the soft black licorice twists, which Jonathan says you shouldn’t get if you’re a fan of licorice.

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“The aftertaste is incredibly apparent but the signature black-licorice flavor isn’t all there for me.”

Instead, Jonathan says customers should get the soft red-licorice twists which can be found next to the black ones.


If you enjoy protein pancakes, you might want to skip the buttermilk mix Trader Joe’s has.

“I recently tried this mix and wasn't a fan. Not only did it lack flavor but I thought the combination of the protein and buttermilk tasted rather chalky,” said Jonathan.

“Instead, I would opt for a Trader Joe's protein bar or just add my own protein powder to the chain's buttermilk pancake mix.”


The well-known sunflower spread isn’t all that appetizing to Jonathan either, who thinks it doesn’t pair well with bread.

“Trader Joe's has incredible nut spreads and butter options, but this one falls flat,” he said.

“Instead, I use cookie butter. Or, if you want some saltiness, get the crunchy peanut butter instead.”


There are plenty of vegan options at Trader Joe’s giving customers several foods to choose from.

However, Jonathan thinks it would be best to avoid the retailer’s Turkey-Less stuffed roast with gravy. 

“Despite the stuffing, it doesn’t pack a lot of flavors and has an odd texture.”

He added that if the product was remade with the “correct seasonings and a better texture” it would be much tastier.


Next are the Scandinavian Swimmers, which Jonathan calls “too chewy.”

“This might be controversial but I, for one, don't like Trader Joe's cult-favorite Scandinavian Swimmers. I think they don't pack much flavor and they're way too tough for me to chew,” he said.

Instead, he wishes there was fruit juice inside of the gummy and that they were a bit softer.

He recommends the Gummy Tummies penguin gummies, despite a rumor that they’re possibly discontinued in some regions.


If you’re looking for meatloaf, Jonathan says you’re better off making it at home.

“I'm a fan of this American classic but this version doesn't live up to the hype,” he said of the brand's Traditional Meatloaf.

“I didn't like the breadiness of the meatloaf and thought the tomato sauce was too thick.”


There are plenty of good salads at Trader Joe’s but Jonathan says the Cobb salad is a total letdown.

“The Cobb salad comes rather overpacked, leaving no room for the ingredients to be separated,” said Jonathan, adding that he didn’t like the taste of the ranch dressing.


The Turkey-Sausage Stuffing Fried Rice also lacks seasoning, according to Jonathan saying that it wasn’t as good as he expected.

“I thought there was too much going on texture-wise and not enough happening flavor-wise. 

“I would've liked it if it was seasoned a bit more and made with chicken instead of turkey.’


The last item on Jonathan’s list is the mahi-mahi burgers, calling them a fan favorite but says he’d rather get something else instead.

“I think the patties taste a bit rubbery. Although I like that these don't have an overwhelming fish smell, I feel like the flavor is lacking overall.”

If you’re craving fish, Jonathan says to pick up the frozen salmon burgers.

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