It’s hard to overstate the glories of the Trader Joe’s frozen food aisle. It’s a single person’s dream, all cauliflower gnocchi and naan and French onion soup and something called “non-dairy frozen dessert” that I eat directly out of the carton. Of course, you can enjoy Trader Joe’s frozen options even if you’re not single—but you’ll have to share, which is a bummer. Either way, if you’re looking for insider info on the TJ’s frozen food aisle, look no further than TJ’s monthly podcast, Inside Trader Joe’s.
The folks at Real Simple reported on the latest podcast episode during which Tara Miller, the marketing director for Trader Joe’s, and Matt Sloan, the vice president of product marketing, explore the vast and glorious frozen food aisle. The episode digs into frozen product sales trends (“huge growth” in appetizers and a boom on air fryer-friendly products like samosas), but the episode also polls several Trader Joe’s staffers about their favorite Trader Joe’s frozen food product. The results were conclusive: four out of six respondents chose the chain’s Mandarin Orange Chicken.
“I’m going to sound like everybody else. I love our Mandarin Orange Chicken,” one crew member said. “We’ll go out to restaurants, or we used to go out to restaurants, or get takeout, you get orange chicken and say, ‘This isn’t as good as Trader Joe’s.’ And so we probably have one emergency bag in our freezer at all times.”
I’ve actually never tried the Mandarin Orange Chicken, but I’ll be scooping some up on my monthly TJ’s pilgrimage this weekend. Are you a Mandarin Orange Chicken devotee? Tell me all about it in the comments. And if you’re curious about other frozen food trends (who wouldn’t be?), you can listen to the latest episode of Inside Trader Joe’s here.