- Trader Joe's is a grocery chain with a popular following.
- Recently, a TikTok went viral suggesting that the chain is quite expensive.
- Trader Joe's may offer some strong deals, but it's not the most practical place to save money.
A video posted on TikTok sparked a wider conversation about Trader Joe's, a popular grocery store chain with a loyal following.
User @katarinakitt posted a video on TikTok on April 5, referencing her discussions with coworkers about Trader Joe's. She said that her colleagues routinely shopped at Trader Joe's, while she never did because she had always considered the chain to be too costly.
"Where I'm from, me and my family, we don't shop at Trader Joe's because it's expensive to us," she said.
The post spurred discussion around Trader Joe's, a chain with around 530 stores and 10,000 workers, predominantly being for rich people. It's not the first time that debate over the grocery chain's perceived priciness has gone viral on TikTok, either.
Insider previously found that the grocery chain draws in an up-and-coming crowd, with the typical shopper being a married, college-educated individual between 25 and 44 years of age earning over $80,000 and living in an urban area.
In a 2007 report published in Pepperdine University's Graziadio Business Review, researchers found that Trader Joe's eschews national brands and instead focuses on selling a constantly changing mix of merchandise that "are distinct from those sold in traditional supermarkets." The result is a slew of "high quality" products "offered at low prices" within a relatively small store, compared with larger grocers or big-box competitors.
Whole Foods Market, another grocery chain that emphasizes high-quality offerings, tends to have similar prices for numerous products. In 2017, Insider found that most Whole Foods products were at least slightly more expensive than their Trader Joe's counterparts.
While Trader Joe's may offer strong deals on unique items, that doesn't mean that it's a practical option for every shopper. Consumers on a budget — who benefit from buying generic options in bulk — could chafe against the chain's emphasis on novel snack items and seasonal offerings. Earlier this year, Insider found that Aldi and Walmart consistently beat the chain out on pricing.
Are you a Trader Joe's employee with a story to share? Email firstname.lastname@example.org.