Why You Need To Look Up In Trader Joe's Frozen Food Aisle

Trader Joe's is always looking for ways to make the consumer experience better, which is how the chain has become known for supremely affordable prices that don't need discounts, and has developed a reputation as royalty in the frozen food market. In addition to constantly innovating with new products and expanding offerings of affordable specialty items, TJ's also innovates with the way it organizes its stores.

In fact, one thing you may not have noticed is the fact that Trader Joe's stocks its frozen food aisles with condiments that correspond to the food items nearby. Most Trader Joe's stores have large frozen food sections stocked with everything from microwaveable paneer tikka masala to bags of frozen edamame and spinach, to ice cream sandwiches and green tea-flavored mochi. So, next time you may want to look at the rack just above the freezers, which is where things really start to get interesting.

Condiments that complement

Trader Joe's product grouping in the freezer section is pretty genius. For example, located near several varieties of dumplings at Trader Joe's, you can find a Lao Gan Ma chili crisp dupe or some Thai Sweet Ginger Sauce. Above bags of frozen shrimp are squeeze bottles of tartar sauce. And, by the waffles? Well, maple syrup, of course.

Many of these condiments offer suggestions, too, in case you'd like a new way to pair TJ's staples. Jars of tahini are often located beside a sign that reads, "Enjoy with falafel mixed in a sauce!" And it's all conveniently above bags of frozen falafel. Or, a sign near cans of refried beans might suggest, "Use for taco night spread or in a burrito!" And it's often just above various frozen burritos, quesadillas, and tamales.

Not every one of these condiments corresponds to the items they're grouped near. Jars of olives with signs recommending them on charcuterie boards, for example, don't necessarily match with bags of chicken thigh meat. And maybe Peri Peri sauce would taste great on a salmon burger, but it might not be your first impulse to pair the two. Placement of foods also varies from store to store, depending on inventory, but it's worth looking up next time to see if these condiments give you any ideas for your next dinner.

Desserts are within reach, too

The other interesting freezer aisle quirk at Trader Joe's is that, above the freezer section, you can also find the entirety of the store's dessert offerings. Everything from teeny tiny gummy bears to boxes of triple ginger cookies can be found hiding above the frozen cacio e pepe.

This particular organizing choice is still something of a mystery, but probably has to do with the high traffic found in the frozen food section, one of the most popular parts of Trader Joe's. In the same way that it's common for grocery stores to stock sweet treats like candy by the checkout aisle, where shoppers are more likely to impulse shop while waiting in line, TJ's does the same with the busy freezer area. 

Maybe the chain is counting on impulse shoppers in the most unexpected of places, but one thing's for sure: You can do all of your shopping, from veggies to seafood to dessert, without ever leaving the frozen aisle.