This Is What Trader Joe’s Shoppers Can’t Stop Buying

Trader Joe's has hundreds of popular products, but nothing beats out this shopper favorite.

If you’ve ever shopped at Trader Joe’s, you have a favorite product you can only get at the popular value grocery chain. Shouts of, “Cookie Butter!”, “Everything But the Bagel Seasoning!” and “Just Mango Slices!” come from loyal customers when asked about their go-to items. One product on store shelves has won the top spot at the Customer Choice Awards two years running.

Customers’ chicken of choice

Mandarin Orange Chicken is beloved by Trader Joe’s shoppers. The award-winning dish can be found in the freezer section. One thing that makes the Mandarin Orange Chicken so special is its packaging: the chicken and sauce are packaged and prepared separately to be combined right before serving. Adding the sauce at the last second before chowing down ensures you never get a soggy nugget, unlike other frozen orange chicken options.

Trader Joe’s premiered this popular product all the way back in 2004. In a company blog post, a little of the chicken’s mystery was revealed, “The secret to Trader Joe’s Mandarin Orange Chicken’s success is in its simplicity, really.” Customer’s love it when dinner is kept simple and delicious!

Extra effort for extra delicious chicken

When customers proclaimed Mandarin Orange Chicken their favorite once again, the company decided to let shoppers on the secret to the best possible preparation.

A video posted to the corporate Instagram account shows that skipping the microwave preparation yields chicken that is even crispier and more enjoyable. Simply heat the frozen chicken in a 400-degree oven, warm the sauce on the stove top, and toss the two together before serving. If you’re feeling really fancy slice some green scallions to use as a garnish with a pop of color.

The Trader Joe’s Instagram account is also a source of inspiration for your grocery list! Don’t forget to pick up these affordable products on your next shopping trip.

Orange “chicken” is for vegetarians too

If you live a vegetarian or pescatarian lifestyle you may be sad to miss out on Trader Joe’s top product. But there is no need to worry a chicken-less, soy-based option is also available in the freezer aisle. The same tangy sauce and crispy breading with none of the chicken.

If you can’t make it to Trader Joe’s but all this chicken talk has you craving a bowl of orange chicken, try our recipe for dinner tonight!

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Mandy Naglich
Mandy is a food and beverage writer with bylines at WNYC, Munchies, Mic and October. She's a Certified Cicerone and award-winning homebrewer living, writing and cooking in New York City.