Trader Joe's and Cheetos?
Today I opened up a bag of Trader Joe's Original Won Ton Chips. For anyone who's never had them, they are basically a manufactured version of what is often a complimentary item at chinese restaurants. Anyway, I love these things despite the fact that I'm sure many would find them gross. But, when I reached into the bag today I pulled out something that resembled a Flaming Hot Cheeto (and the only reason I know what one of these looks like and tastes like is because I accidentally bought a single serving bag of the Cheetos yesterday). Thinking I must have been hallucinating, I looked into the bag and saw several more Cheeto-like objects. Does Trader Joe's make some sort of product that resembles Flaming Hot Cheetos? Is it possible that they just share manufacturing facilities with Frito Lay? The back of the bag doesn't say anything about where they are made--it just states the these chips are distributed and sold exclusively by Trader Joe's and that they are made on equipment shared with milk, egg, and soy products. It is an interesting mystery. I bought two other bags of these chips (I LOVE them) so I'll have to see if they have any mysterious objects in them too.
Probably not a real "Cheeto" as Frito-Lay owns and operates the vast majority of their production and they don't do contract manufacturing, most of which is done with very high QC.
TJ's relys on several major contract manufacturer's, and those folks probably make A LOT of other private label snacks and some regional stuff too. Typically these places just don't invest as much in the latest quality control technology. Mistakes hapen. No harm...
TJ's does make a Cheeto-type product under their own label; it's lower fat and yummy, but definitely not in the flaming line... Just standard orange and cheesy, not spicy at all.. Very good and I prefer to real Cheetos actually.
The TJ Chinese Mustard Won Ton chips are highly addictive! Just enough spice to keep you interested. They are gone in literally 5 minutes at a party, if they make it out of my personal stash!