Nuts to Trader Joe’s

The first draft of this had an extremely impolite title but I cleaned it up. So why nuts to Trader Joe’s?

There are a bunch of people in the Capital Region crusading to get trendy supermarket Trader Joe’s to open a store in the area. They have a website to get Trader Joe’s. They took a field trip to Massachussetts to visit Trader Joe’s. They engage in grassroots action, such as applying bumper stickers to their cars and wearing t-shirts. And they go on the offensive when anyone points out that Trader Joe’s isn’t quite as pure and wonderful as they think it is.

That’s what happened when Freakonomics author Stephen Dubner mocked the Trader Joes’s fanatics — and connected the dots between Trader Joe’s and their owner, Aldi Foods.  Aldi is the un-chic discount grocery that drove WalMart out of Germany. Well, to paraphrase what  General Anthony McAuliffe famously told the Germans at Bastogne:  nuts to Trader Joe’s.

My advice to those obsessed with Trader Joe’s: go get a life. Me? I’m holding out for the We Want Wegmans club to start up.

9 thoughts on “Nuts to Trader Joe’s

  1. Nuts, indeed! Have these people not seen the wonder that is Honest Weight, or are they too lazy to scoop their own grains of rice into a bag and would rather have someone pre-package their overpriced processed trendy food for them? Wah wah.

    If I didn’t love Hannaford so much I’d second for Wegmans. 🙂

  2. I followed your link from the Times Union blog on Wegmans. I don’t quite get why this upsets you so much. Not everyone who would like a Trader Joe’s in the area is obsessed with getting it. I’d like a Trader Joe’s in the area. Do I have a bumper sticker on my car? Do I go on field trips? Um, no. I would just like one. The most I’ve done is email the company to let the know I would shop there is they brought one to the capital region.

    And I do like shopping at Honest Weight from time to time but as it’s an hour away from me, I don’t get there as often as I’d like. Not to mention that to get the discount price on items I would have to be a member and considering the distance, it’s just not practical. I can assure you I am not too lazy to scoop bulk items into a bag and I do so often in the Hannaford natural food section.

    And lastly, for you Mr. Madeo, you may want to check out my link as the Freakonomics guy (who I love, BTW) did not get it exactly right.

  3. Jennifer: Thank you for your spirited defense of casual Trader Joe’s fans.

    I’d say I’m more bemused than upset —and I’m glad no one took me to task on the WWII reference…

  4. Sorry, Katie, but as nice as Honest Weight is for some things, it is significantly more expensive than Trader Joe’s. However, I find it’s pretty common for people to make broad and inaccurate statements about Trader Joe’s when they don’t have one nearby. 🙂

    It’s hard to eat well and inexpensively in the Capital Region, which is why folks want a Trader Joe’s. If you’ve lived near one for any period of time, you know it’s possible to knock a significant amount off your grocery bill, and still be eating non-GMO, no-trans fats, healthy foods. There’s no need to carefully read each label, because HFCS isn’t allowed inside the front door. It’s nice to have that and be able to spend $15-$20/week on groceries (for one), and eat like I was shopping completely out of the organic section at Hannaford – for a fraction of the cost.

    A lot of the people involved in the Capital Region’s “we want Trader Joe’s” are crazy in an uncomfortable way, but an equal number are family’s with low incomes or students barely getting by, who know that on of the more important things to the health of a population is the ability to access healthy, good-for-you foods at low prices. Until something takes that place in the Capital Region, people will be calling for a Trader Joe’s.

    1. I recently made my first trip to Trader Joe’s poor country cousin, Aldi. It was interesting.

      I would probably not shop there all the time, though looking around I thought about what it would be like to feed my family on an extremely limited budget. I could certainly do it — even shopping only at Aldi — but that’s mostly because I can cook well and understand how to eat right. Unfortunately, a lot of lower income people gravitate to the packaged foods and other poor choices.

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