Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > San Francisco Bay Area >
Mar 24, 2009 06:11 PM

Cream-top milk at Trader Joe's

How do I find out if the cream-top milk sold at Trader Joe's ( Coleman Ave, San Jose) is supplied by Straus ?


  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. It's long been reported that this is so, but Trader Joe's will not divulge the identities of its suppliers, and I doubt the supplier would, either, since it undercuts the price of their branded product. If you know someone who is savvy about packaging codes, they might be able to figure out if they come from the same plant, but even that doesn't guarantee they come from the same source.

    Why do you need to know?

    1 Reply
    1. re: Ruth Lafler

      Thanks Ruth. I asked the Rep at Trader Joe's. They would not reveal their suppliers. The Straus MIlk is really tasty, and I would like to buy from Trader Joe's, if it is the same supplier, as it is closer to my house

    2. I'm certain it is. The plastic jug, cap, and code stamps and are the same as on the Straus-brand half gallons I've seen at other supermarkets, they have the same kosher and organic certification, and Straus is the only organic dairy on "California's North Coast" (provenance specified on the label) that sells milk that's non-homogenized (i.e. cream-top) and pasteurized.

      Plus they taste the same, and not like other brands. And the cream congeals exactly the same way, damn it.

      10 Replies
      1. re: Robert Lauriston

        Robert, Thanks for responding. I will try it next time, and let you know if it tastes the same.

        1. re: vimal_babu

          Vimal - it tastes the same because it is Strauss non-homogenized milk. The only issue is that you can't get it in gallon containers like you could at Rainbow grocery in SF.

          1. re: osho

            I also found out that they don't carry 2% milk. Bummer

            1. re: vimal_babu

              My TJ's always has 2% cream top (as well as whole milk).

              1. re: lexdevil

                Same here, the TJs I shop at all stock whole and 2%.

                They run out occasionally.

          2. re: vimal_babu

            I'm pretty sure that TJ's plain European Style yogurt is also Straus.

            1. re: srr

              Yeah, it's suspiciously similar, especially since they used to carry Straus European Style yogurt.

              1. re: Ruth Lafler

                We had a tub of each at the table last night and I noticed no taste or texture difference from one to the next -- wasn't even thinking they were different tubs. I hadn't really thought about this until now, although I too had heard about the Straus/TJs sourcing.

                1. re: flourless

                  TJs plain goat milk yogurt (blue quart container) is Redwood Hill.

          3. The original comment has been removed
            1. you can check here, you just need the code from a milk carton.

              according to this posting, it is from straus.

              2 Replies
              1. re: esoteric0

                According to this the homogenized (not cream top) organic milk at TJ's is from Clover.

                1. re: lexdevil

                  Yeah, someone posted on a TJ's thread a while ago that when she called Clover to ask where she could buy their organic milk (she wasn't in the Bay Area), they told her TJ's.

              2. I toured the Straus creamery about two years ago and watched TJs cream-top milk go through the line. Of course, that could have changed since then.

                13 Replies
                1. re: Junie D

                  Taste hasn't changed. I don't think anybody else around here makes unhomogenized organic milk.

                  1. re: Junie D

                    I brought Straus Creamtop last week at Rainbow. It was from plant 06-93 (Straus Creamery). TJ's Creamtop is also from plant 06-93. So Straus still makes them for TJ's. BTW, the plastic half-gal jugs look exactly the same. If the word goes out, I'll won't be able to get my Creamtop that cheap anymore. I already have a hard time finding it at my local TJ's. They used to run out.
                    If you need proof, I took pics of both jugs with the labels.

                    1. re: wildbottom

                      What's the plus for non-homogenized milk?

                      1. re: Bryan Gros

                        Read this quickly before it disappears. You pays your money and you takes your chances.

                        1. re: Bryan Gros

                          I just prefer the flavor of Straus milk. I mostly couldn't care less that it's not homogenized. It's occasionally annoying when the cream gets clotted and is hard to stir back in (which, oddly, I've only ever seen at TJ's) or when we have house guests who forget to shake it up.

                          1. re: Robert Lauriston

                            I second that. I shake it hard for like 10 minute(good workout) and it usually does the job. That's what I use for my Kefir grains.
                            When I use Regular 2% Milk for my Kefir grains, the Kefir milk has a slight medicine odor. (Maybe from the artificial vitamins).

                            1. re: wildbottom

                              I don't taste any off flavors in regular milk, it's just bland compared with Straus.

                              1. re: Robert Lauriston

                                My Kefir grains grow much faster in Creamtop. Maybe cuz' of the fat. And I figure children would drink more milk if they taste the Creamtop version. Makes your stomach feel full as well.

                                1. re: wildbottom

                                  Homogenized or not, the fat content should the same.

                          2. re: Bryan Gros

                            The only thing done to the Non-homogenized milk is pasteurization. Most Homogenized Milk must be enriched with artificial vitamin A and D to replace the lost natural Vitamin A and D during Homogenization process. On the Ingredients of the Homogenized Milk will always say Vitamin A and D(not from the Milk but is added.
                            If you already buying Organic Milk, why not go the extra distance and use the less processed and more natural variety.

                            1. re: wildbottom

                              Interesting. thanks for the replies.
                              I like the less-processed argument. Will have to give it a try.

                              1. re: wildbottom

                                Homogenization and pasteurization are two completely different things.
                                Pasteurization means "disinfecting" the milk by heating it to a certain temperature. This is where vitamins can be destroyed as well.
                                Homogenization means breaking up the fat in the milk so the cream won't separate from the whey.

                                1. re: Marconie

                                  No one said they were the same. Almost all dairy in US retail is pasteurized unless it's raw dairy. Homogenization is more intensive than pasteurization.

                                  Milk in natural form(non-homogenized) will have milkfat(cream) which rises to the surface, hence "creamtop." That happens naturally because fat is lighter than water or whey. And refrigeration or coldness make fat separation more evident. Plus we all know that fat and water(milk which is little more acidic that water) don't mix unless heated.
                                  Modern milk processing includes homogenization because it's way more pleasing to the eye of the modern consumers and they don't need to stir about with the milkfat in milk when they want to eat their cold breakfast cereal.

                                  BTW: Trader Joe's stop carrying the Organic Creamtop Milk. What a shame!