Trader Joe’s new food Hall of Fame: Can you guess the first 5 inductees?

Year in, year out, Trader Joe’s fans know which product will win top honors in its Customer Choice Awards.

All together now: Mandarin Orange Chicken!

Yes, these sweet-and-savory, bake-and-serve nuggets have been a go-to for families in need of quick dinner options since they came on the market in 2004.

So for the 14th annual awards, the company has decided to retire Mandarin Orange Chicken and four other favorites from the competition “due to their revered status and consecutive wins over the years.”

The idea is to give other foods and products a chance to shine and perhaps find a new audience.

“At the same time,” Trader Joe’s says, “we wanted to make sure these overachievers were given their due recognition — something permanent. And so now, at the start of 2023, we’ve created the Trader Joe’s Product Hall of Fame and inducted its first class of honorees, each at least a five-time winner of their respective categories.”

To participate in the voting, go to and click on the homepage ballot. There are nine categories: Overall, Beverage, Cheese, Sweets/Dessert, Entree, Produce, Snack, Vegan/Vegetarian and Home, Bath and Beauty. Voting ends at midnight PST, Monday, Jan. 9, and the winners will be announced Jan. 23.

Here are the five Hall of Famers, along with the company’s comments on each:

Trader Joe’s Mandarin Orange Chicken: “This fun and flavorful phenom made a clean sweep of Favorite Overall and Best Entrée multiple years in a row.” Introduced in 2004; Favorite Overall, Best Entree winner.

Trader Joe’s Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups: “By placing a rich, dark chocolate twist on a classic candy combo, these sweet treats elevate both elements of its familiar formula to entirely new dimensions.” TJ’s says they were an instant hit. Introduced in 2010; Best Desserts/Sweets winner.

Trader Joe’s Unexpected Cheddar: “A smooth, creamy Cheddar that shares some saporous similarities with aged Parmesan.” TJ’s says this versatile cheese works well in everything from a charcuterie plate to a grilled cheese sandwich. Introduced in 2011; Best Cheese winner. (We’ll save you from googling. Saporous means full of flavor.)

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Trader Joe’s Soy Chorizo: “In an increasingly competitive field of plant-based options, we’re glad to see this Chorizo secure its status as MVP — Magnificent Vegan Protein.” TJ’s suggests using this chorizo in quesadillas, omelettes and breakfast hash. Introduced in 2011; Best Vegan/Vegetarian winner.

Trader Joe’s Peanut Butter Filled Pretzel Nuggets: “These veterans of the snack section have been a long time coming into the Hall of Fame, and we’re delighted to see them get their due.” TJ’s says they were introduced way back in 1992; Best Snack winner.


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