The Sneaky Way That Trader Joe’s Gets You to Buy More Frozen Food

Ever wonder how you ended up with that bag of frozen cauliflower gnocchi in your basket? Here's an explanation.

Trader Joe’s is known for its bargain buys, seriously loyal customers and employee perks. While the brand is a chain, it’s focused on selling quality food at an affordable price and elevating each location’s local community. For many, shopping at TJ’s is a feel-good event for both heart and wallet.

However, the supermarket does have some tricks up its sleeve that encourage customers to spend more money. One such tactic? The way the store sets up its legendary frozen food section.

Having Fewer Choices Makes Life Easier

According to a video published by Business Insider, too many choices can overwhelm a consumer. And according to the video’s star, Barry Schwartz, PhD, a psychologist who coined the term “the Paradox of choice,” Trader Joe’s pays special attention to the amount of choices they give their customers. In comparison to a larger chain store, for example, TJ’s offers a smaller selection of goods. This, Schwartz says, makes the consumer’s life easier.

But Frozen Food Goes Undiscovered

Americans love the convenience of frozen food. However, many customers make only quick visits to the frozen food aisles, and they often know what products they want. (Staples like frozen meatballs or a pint of ice cream, for example). Since no one wants to spend extra time in the coldest area of the store, this buying habit tends to limit product discovery—and impulse buys.

By the way, we found all the best frozen foods at Trader Joe’s.

Ease Meets Freeze at Trader Joe’s

In keeping with the Trader Joe’s tradition of making lives easier, the company chose to remove barriers in the frozen food section. The brand keeps its frozen food in open bins with no glass doors, bringing consumers closer to the goods. This encourages shoppers to read labels, check out packaging, discover new products—and ultimately add a few extra favorites to their cart!

Psst… Keep your eye out for these healthy frozen food items next time you’re at Trader Joe’s.

Still haven’t gotten enough of frozen food? Try the best frozen meatballs you can find in stores!

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