Asian-Inspired Cuisine Dominated Trader Joe's Frozen Fan Favorites

Trader Joe's just released the results from its 15th Annual Customer Choice Awards. Marking over a decade that devoted Trader Joe's fans have taken the time to weigh in on their favorite T.J. purchases, the list contains winners from ten categories: overall, beverage, snack, appetizer, lunch/dinner, cheese, produce, breakfast/brunch, sweet treat, and bath/body/home. The brand also named the four runner-ups in each category.

This year's winner for the best lunch and dinner product is a frozen entree favorite: Butter Chicken with Basmati Rice. The 12.5-ounce meal serves one and typically retails for $4.49. The Indian tandoori-style chicken is marinated in yogurt and served with a creamy curry sauce made with tomatoes, heavy cream, onions, garlic, ginger, and butter. To balance the sauce's subtle spice, the dish is served on a bed of basmati rice.

Last year, the winner in this entree category was Trader Joe's Mandarin Orange Chicken, which debuted for the brand 20 years ago in January of 2004 and has been popular ever since. Breaded dark meat chicken is coated in a sweet and tangy orange sauce that can be baked or microwaved in minutes. Unlike the butter chicken with basmati rice, this 22-ounce package serves five as an entree or more for an easy appetizer. Trader Joe's Mandarin orange chicken typically retails for $4.99.

Additional Trader Joe's fan favorites

According to the analytics firm Numerator, the target demographic for Trader Joe's is primarily high-income white and Asian shoppers. It's likely safe to assume that this demographic is representative of the people who cast votes each year for the Customer Choice Awards.

The top five products in Trader Joe's frozen entree category are all Asian-inspired dishes. This includes another Indian favorite, chicken tikka masala, as well as steamed pork and ginger soup dumplings, vegetable fried rice, and steamed chicken soup dumplings. Both dumpling products were also runners-up in the overall category this year, ensuring it will be difficult to score a package in the next month.

If you're wondering which products won in the other categories, here are a few highlights: Creamy spinach & artichoke dip was voted best appetizer, hashbrowns somehow bested the delicious frozen croissants (chocolate, almond, and double chocolate varieties) in the breakfast/brunch category, and the bite-sized Sublime ice cream sandwiches were the favored sweet treat. Trader Joe's chili & lime flavored rolled corn tortilla chips took the top prize in two categories, overall and snack.