(NEXSTAR) – For Trader Joe’s customers, the Mandarin Orange Chicken has long been a hot item, ranking as a fan-favorite in the retailer’s Customer Choice Awards time and time again. The frozen dish held the title for the favorite product overall for two consecutive years, but this year the beloved chicken dish, and four other top items, have been unseated.
Trader Joe’s released its 14th annual Customer Choice Awards list Monday, showcasing the products its customers have ranked as top-notch across multiple categories, including beverages, cheese, bath and body, and produce.
If you’re a frequent Trader Joe’s shopper, you likely aren’t surprised by some of the items that regularly appear on the list.
This year, Trader Joe’s retired five repeat winners, “making room for some other products to shine.” Those items have instead been placed in the Product Hall of Fame: Mandarin Orange Chicken, Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups, Peanut Butter Filled Pretzel Nuggets, Unexpected Cheddar, and Soy Chorizo.
With those fan-favorite items out of the running for this year, Trader Joe’s fans crowned a new overall top item: Chili & Lime Flavored Corn Tortilla Chips, an improvement from runner-up status last year. Customers listed TJ’s Hashbrowns and Steamed Chicken Soup Dumplings behind the “spicy little scrolls.” As it did last year, Everything but the Bagel Sesame Seasoning Blend also landed among the runner-ups for the top overall item.
Other beloved snacks – Organic Elote Corn Chip Dippers and Organic Corn Chip Dippers – retained their runner-up status, with new runner-up snacks joining the list: World’s Puffiest White Cheddar Corn Puffs and Crunchy Curls.
Considered a runner-up last year, the seasonal Sparkling Honeycrisp Apple Juice Beverage was declared the best beverage. Non-Dairy Oat Beverage, though ranked the best on 2022’s list, wasn’t even a runner-up this year. Sparkling Peach Black Tea with Peach Juice returned to the list after missing out last year, with Non-Dairy Brown Sugar Oat Creamer and seasonal drinks Triple Ginger Brew and Sparkling Cranberry & Ginger Beverage rounding out the category.
Without Unexpected Cheddar in the cheese category, Trader Joe’s customers ranked Cheddar with Caramelized Onions as the top choice. Syrah Soaked Toscano was a runner-up, yet again. And without Mandarin Orange Chicken, Butter Chicken with Basmati Rice was ranked as the best entree. Chicken Tikka Masala also landed among fan favorites in this category.
Maintaining their title as the best home, bath and body item were the Scented Candle Tins, which vary by season. Previous runner-up Ultra-Moisturizing Hand Cream was again, a runner-up. In the sweet/dessert category, Hold the Cone! Mini Ice Cream Cones stayed at the top, followed by other favorites – Danish Kringle, Sublime Ice Cream Sandwiches, and Brookie – with Chocolate Lava Cakes replacing Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups.
When it comes to produce, Trader Joe’s customers remain certain about one thing – bananas and avocados are among the best. While Teeny Tiny Avocados won best produce last year, customers put bananas on top this year. Organic Carrots of Many Colors are a carry-over as well, with two other produce products landing as runner-ups: Honeycrisp Apples and Brussels sprouts.
Without previous favorite Soy Chorizo available, customers ranked Began Kale, Cashew & Basil Pesto as their favorite in the vegan/vegetarian category. Beefless Bulgogi, Palak Paneer, and Cauliflower Gnocchi rounded out the category.
You can find out more about this year’s awards here on Trader Joe’s website.
KTLA contributed to this report.
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