The Real Reason Trader Joe's Hides Stuffed Animals In Stores

People go to Trader Joe's for a lot of different reasons — trying to score limited-time products, stocking up on frozen foods, or hunting for healthy new snacks. If you spend as much time in TJ's as we do, then maybe you've spotted a stuffed toy tucked in one of the aisles and wondered to yourself — what's the reason Trader Joe's hides stuffed animals in their stores? 

Actually, this isn't a new thing — Trader Joe's has been hiding stuffed animals among its merchandise for years now. "Each store has a stuffed animal of some sort hiding somewhere," said a former TJ's employee (via Reddit). But it wasn't until recently that we found out the reason why. 

The reason why the toys are hidden around the shop is surprisingly adorable, and if there's one thing other than free samples that can put a smile on our faces after braving the Trader Joe's parking lot, it's a cute corporate gesture that's intended to make kids happy. 

Why does Trader Joe's hide stuffed animals in its stores?

If your kid spots a stuffed lobster, penguin, teddy bear, cow, or another furry friend among the merch at your local Trader Joe's, they're in luck. That's because when kids find the hidden stuffed animal, they'll get a special surprise. 

According to Kendra Friend-Daniel, the PR director for Trader Joe's (via The Kitchn), "It's a way to engage with kids in our store. If they locate the hidden stuffed toy, they just let a Crew Member know and they'll receive a treat."

Not every store has a stuffed animal, and the stuffed animal and the treat that kids receive for finding it varies by location. But still, what better way to distract a kid who's bored by grocery shopping than by tasking them with searching for the hidden stuffed toy? It's like an exciting scavenger hunt every time you go to the store.