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Mar 24, 2009 11:03 PM

Trader Joe's Private Label

While shopping at Trader Joe's I noticed several years ago, that a frozen pizza they started carrying and still carry looked a lot like Amy's Pizza that I would buy at Andronicos for several dollars more. I purchased it and compared it to the Amy's brand I had at home. Well sure enough it was the same pizza. Since then they added several more of Amy's pizzas under the Trader Joe's label which is referred to in the business world as "Private Labeling". I also discovered that one of their frozen vegetarian enchiladas is also Amy's. I know there are also questions on this board regarding the "cream on the top" milk at TJ's being Strauss' but bearing the TJ's label. I'm now curious as to other name brands out there that those of you suspect or are certain are being private labeled for Trader Joe's.

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    1. re: alkapal

      To be specific, it's TJ's Belgian chocolate that seems to be Callebaut (they carry other dark chocolates from other places, including Switzerland).

      1. re: Caitlin McGrath

        Someone posted in another thread that these were the Pound Plus bars, and that they once got some (in the regular TJ wrapper) that had the Callebaut name molded into the chocolate.

        1. re: Steve Green

          That was me. It was actually the three-packs of little bars that were stamped Callebaut (the thread alkapal links above has other posters who got that same run, too). It's long been rumored that the Pound Plus bars were Callebaut, so this is proof that their Belgian chocolate (not just dark) is, indeed, supplied by Callebaut.

      2. re: alkapal

        The semi-sweet chocolate chips are Callebaut, or at least last time I saw them being restocked, they were coming out of Callebaut boxes.

        The mini croissants, chocolate croissants, frozen key lime tarts, frozen pecan tarts, sticky buns, and Cannel├ęs, are all Galaxy Desserts.

      3. Anything marked "Made for Trader Joe's" that isn't manufactured in Monrovia, California or Needham, Ma. is obviously rebranded, but I do think the products are frequently made special for them to meet their requirements of less preservatives, quality, and who knows what else. Amy's would be an identical dupe, but if you pick up the similar name brand version of some of your favorite TJ foods, (mini crab cakes comes to mind) they're not exactly identical.

        1. I thought they sold Amy's burritos at TJs? Is that my imagination?

          1 Reply
          1. re: CoryKatherine

            I've never seen Amy's products at TJ's in NYC

          2. The tetra-pak soups (tomato-red pepper, butternut squash) are identical to Pacific's, which makes me wonder about TJ's tetra-pak chicken (etc.) broths - are they Pacific, too?

            Here are a few more comparisons:

            1. Around the holidays, they sell a TJ's Pure Butter Shortbread, made in Speyside, Scotland. That must be Walkers Shortbread, unless Walkers has another 100-year-old cookie manufacturer as a neighbor in Speyside. Tastes the same to me, but has minor physical imperfections. Way cheaper.

              5 Replies
              1. re: Steve Green

                i stocked up on the shortbread, and still have 5 boxes. it is delicious.
                i also stocked up on the "white chocolate christmas bark" BARS (by the checkout counter). they're like an old-days girls scout thin mint cookie on a very high quality head trip.

                1. re: alkapal

                  TJ has long carried King Arthur flour. Price has gone up quite a bit the last couple years.

                  Yesterday I noticed they now have "TJs Baker's Pantry" brand flour in a bag similar to King Arthur. Unbleached and white whole wheat. What are the odds it is the same King Arthur flour cheaper?

                    1. re: chez cherie

                      That's sad. I wouldn't have ever sprung for the King Arthur stuff if it wasn't for Trader Joe's prices, and now I'm hooked.

                      Maybe the new house brand is a repackaging of another great brand?

                2. re: Steve Green

                  Walker's does provide private label shortbread to Walgreen's, so it's definitely possible they do so for TJ's as well.

                  I don't have a TJ's in my area, but some of the private label product descriptions I've heard here sound similar to some of Target's Archer Farms private label offerings. Wouldn't be surprised if the same company made for both big chains.