Trader Joe's Product Origins
January 14, 2007 11:03 PM   Subscribe

I love Trader Joe's products - everything from Joe's O's, liquid soap, to the Triple Ginger Snaps. How can I find who actually manufactures their food & non-food products? All labels just read "Sold & Dist. by Trader Joe's..." That's it!
posted by thebarron to Shopping (5 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
There is an article from the March 8, 2006 New York Times that gives some insight into how Trader Joe's finds its products. My computer is fighting links right now, but if you search "trader joe" on the Times website, the piece I'm talking about will come up as the second hit (tagline: Most Emailed List). According to the article, TJs guards this info closely, so I don't know if you can get a complete answer, but this should be a good start.
posted by taliaferro at 11:46 PM on January 14, 2007

You can get private brand anything (even Tequila!) Most food companies are willing to produce under store brands because it is a simple process. They usually have to sign a non-disclosure agreement that says they will not reveal they are the producers.

There is a difference between private brands and custom manufacturing. Trader Joes does both. They may have twenty different kinds of tortilla chips, but they also have frozen cakes that are not produced for the mass market by other companies. That is called custom manufacture. There are plenty of companies (this is an old list...). But if you're just looking for one thing, because you like the taste, odds are that Trader Joes will not reveal who the manufacturer is.
posted by parmanparman at 5:26 AM on January 15, 2007

A California Armenian bakery, Sevan Bakery started selling "Armenian pizza" (lahmejune) at Trader Joe's and now has closed its doors to the public. It is too busy making stuff for TJ's.

The Armenian community was ticked though because they were labeled "Arabian Joe" rather than Armenian Joe, or more accurately, Armenian Hovsep... which is Armenian for Joseph AND is the name of the man who started Sevan Bakery.
posted by k8t at 9:40 AM on January 15, 2007

sorry, nothing to add, but I'm curious who makes TJ's blueberry ice cream...
posted by carsonb at 12:27 PM on January 15, 2007

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