One Exciting Thing You Need to Look for at Trader Joe’s

If you never thought grocery shopping was fun, think again: Trader Joe's has a fun surprise waiting for kids in their stores.

Grocery shopping with Mom or Dad might not seem super fun. But what if there was one grocery store that made food shopping a little more exciting? Well, Trader Joe’s, a popular grocery store chain, tries to get kids involved in grocery shopping by secretly hiding something in their store—and you can win a sweet treat if you find it. Want to know more secrets about Trader Joe’s? Here are some things their employees want you to know.

At almost every store, the employees hide a stuffed animal somewhere among the shelves and stacks of the store, and it’s your job to find it. If you find the stuffed animal, all you have to do is bring it to one of the employees to be rewarded with a special treat. The stores usually offer lollipops or some other piece of candy. You don’t have to wait until your next grocery store visit for some candy, though. Check out these copycat candy recipes you can make right at home.

Most Trader Joe’s stores participate in this fun game to make the grocery shopping experience a little lighter for kids and the stuffed animal is different at every store. Some stores hide penguins, whales or bears with the hopes that someone will come across it and bring it to an employee.

Plus, the stuffed animal isn’t the only animal hiding on the Trader Joe’s shelves. Each store also hides a plastic lobster for kids to find. However, the lobster doesn’t come with a prize—to earn that, you’d have to find the stuffed animal.

There are nearly 500 Trader Joe’s stores around the country, but not all of them participate in this fun game. Next time you go to Trader Joe’s, ask one of the employees if there is a stuffed animal for you to find. And if there is no Trader Joe’s near you, you can go online and request to have a location opened near your home. The company reads every submission, and they just might decide to open up a store near you.

Turns out Trader Joe’s isn’t the only store to do this. Next time you’re at Fresh Thyme Farmers Market, look for the hidden tractor and win (you guessed it) candy!

In the meantime, how about one of these awesome after-school snacks?
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Julia Mullaney
Julia Mullaney is a writer, blogger and self-proclaimed macaroni and cheese connoisseur based in New Jersey. She is currently a health & fitness writer for Cheat Sheet and previously worked as the editorial manager of Edible Jersey Magazine. Her work has been published in Rachael Ray Every Day, Art Quench, RMagazine and Edible Jersey. She is the author of Man, you can Cook!, a cookbook full of simple recipes for men who consider the kitchen to be uncharted land. In her spare time, she also runs a food blog full of original, easy recipes. Chow down at or on Instagram at @simplydeliciousblogger.