The 13 Types Of People Who Shop At Trader Joe's: Which One Are You?

Trader Joe's, popular among both grandmas and hipsters alike, truly has something for everyone. From the humble college student, living on ramen and dreams, to the sparkling socialite, living on organic edamame and not much else, this beloved grocery store chain appeals to all. Business Insider reports that the typical Trader Joe's shopper is a "younger, married, college-educated person earning over $80,000." And while there's no denying that key demographic, the reach Trader Joe's has is expansive.

The Tiki-themed, budget-friendly grocery store now has over 500 locations nationwide, and that number is steadily growing. It seems the multi-city trek to get your hands on some Everything But the Bagel Seasoning will soon be a thing of the past.

We've all recognized, and perhaps had a chuckle or two, at the expense of one or more of the following types of Trader Joe's shoppers. It turns out, no matter your phase of life, age, or social status, Trader Joe's attracts nearly every type of shopper. Which one are you?

1. The Frazzled Parent

Ah, a very popular type, The Frazzled Parent. You've seen them, frantically running the aisles chasing after kids who've gone rogue with their tiny matching carts. They can be seen shopping between the hours of 3 p.m. and 7pm. After the chaos of the school pickup line, soccer practice and cello lessons, this parent is armed and ready with a cartful of organic chicken tenders and a bottle or two of crisp Trader Joe's Reserve Chardonnay.

Trader Joe's also lends a helping hand to the Frazzled Parent by providing an adorably fun task for the kids while shopping. Trader Joe's told The Kitchn (via Delish), that in most store locations, a stuffed animal will be hiding discretely somewhere in the store — atop a seasonal holiday display, nestled between the granola packages, or mischievously guarding the caramel popcorn and chocolate bars. Once found, your child can tell a crew member of their discovery and they'll be awarded with a surprise.

2. The Savvy Saver

At any other grocery store, this shopper is easy to spot by their trusty pocketbook bursting with coupons and clippings. When shopping at Trader Joe's however, this Savvy Saver can leave that pocketbook at home with their PennySaver subscription — making them much harder to spot. Trader Joe's doesn't run sales or specials. There isn't a slashed price or lightning deal in sight. Why? Because their prices are already the lowest the popular grocery store can take them. By doing this, Trader Joe's is saving major bucks on would-be advertising and marketing. Which means the customer ultimately saves that extra cash as well.

Trader Joe's also boasts generous "try before you buy" and return policies. A new product pique your interest while you're shopping? Not sure you'll love it? No problem. Just ask any crew member and they'll open the package and let you try it out first, no questions asked. Decided to live on the edge and buy that exotic ingredient you'd never heard of? Didn't go well? Not to worry! Just take it back for a full refund!

3. The Charmingly Broke College Student

The tousled hair, the fraternity hoodie, the whole-life-ahead-of-him twinkle in his eye. Much like the Savvy Saver, this young shopper appreciates the low prices Trader Joe's is known for. According to Consumers' Checkbook, Trader Joe's prices are, on average, 16 percent lower than other popular grocery stores such as Safeway, Target, Wal-Mart, and Winco. After stocking the dorm kitchen with any number of inexpensive items, such as $1.99 potato chips and 19 cent bananas, there may just be enough leftover for those textbooks.

And we mustn't forget the undeniable call of the late night munchies to the Charmingly Broke College Student. Trader Joe's has this department covered. Just their popcorn flavors alone include: movie theater, heirloom, white cheddar and birthday cake — all for less than $2. And then there's the candy. With an enormous selection ranging from peanut butter cups to licorice twists to gummy bears, it's probably safe to say ol' Joe must have had quite a sweet tooth, himself.

4. The Picky Eater

You'll easily spot these shoppers as they are the label readers. The fact checkers. Glasses on, eyes focused, he or she will likely be thoroughly examining every nutritional fact and ingredient marked on the package. Unlike the Frazzled Parent, this shopper is used to paying close attention, ready to reject any product containing gluten, dairy, or sugar.

In recent years, the demand for specialized dietary products and meals has increased rapidly as people are becoming both more health and environmentally conscious. Special diets are the new normal, and knowing what goes into each product and ingredient is now information everyone has come to expect. Knowing this, Trader Joe's takes pride in their private label, which indicates the product labeled contains no artificial flavors or preservatives, no MSG, no genetically modified ingredients, and no artificial trans-fats.

Trader Joe's has also made inclusivity delicious. Whether your diet is vegan, paleo, keto, dairy-free, or gluten-free, Trader Joe's has got you covered. With hundreds of delicious products made for those with specific dietary restrictions, sticking to a specialized diet is a piece of (flourless) cake. It's a Pick Eater's paradise.

5. The Doggy Devotee (and the pup whose sweater cost more than yours)

Perhaps the easiest to identify, this shopper is often carrying a small dog in some sort of bedazzled tote a la Elle Woods. The dog will be pristinely groomed and probably wearing something from this season's Burberry line. This shopper will be either chatty and endearing, raving all about precious little "Lola" and how she just simply will not touch anything but Trader Joe's grain free chicken recipe dog food; Or they'll turn up their nose, eyebrow raised and judgement spewing as you're overheard saying you're "just not a dog person."

Trader Joe's supplies a generous amount of healthy, budget-friendly products for your furry friends as well. From both dry and wet foods, to special treats such as grain-free dog treats with peanut butter and banana, your pet will have a reason to wag. And with no by-products, artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives, you can feed those cute little furballs with a healthy conscience.

6. The Activist

Sometimes rocking an organic cotton boho dress and a pair of well-loved Tevas, this shopper has more on her mind than just this week's grocery list. Highly conscious of not only the food itself, but the process by which that food is packaged, this shopper can appreciate the dedication Trader Joe's has to sustainability and earth-friendly products.

Trader Joe's takes pride in their resource management, revealing on their website that they composted and recycled over 670 million pounds of materials (organic material, cardboard, plastic wrap, plastic buckets, and damaged pallets) in 2020 alone.

The popular grocery store also says no to plastic and Styrofoam packaging, opting for recycled and sustainably sourced materials instead. They first to marketed reusable shopping bags way back in the 70s, before it was the cool thing to do. Unlike the rest of us, this shopper will most certainly never forget to bring her reusable shopping bags.

7. The Power Couple

Often donning matching LuluLemon yoga pants, this couple seems to just have it all together. Gliding effortlessly through the store, somehow beautifully glistening from the spin class they obviously just finished, these shoppers fill their baskets with organic vegetables, international cheeses, and wines from the upper shelves. They take calls on their matching Apple Watches and never forget to return the shopping cart after loading their groceries into their shiny Benz.

These shoppers are the annoying gleaming example of that key demographic revealed earlier. Polished and pristine, they take pride in their healthy choices and savvy shopping skills.

Founder of Trader Joe's, Joe Coulombe, writes in his memoir (via The Wall Street Journal) that his target customer was overeducated and underpaid, with a taste for whole-bean coffee and fresh brie, rather than "the masses who willingly consumed Folger's coffee, Best Foods Mayonnaise, Wonder Bread, Coca-Cola, etc." It appears that when aiming for his target customer, Mr. Coulombe hit a bullseye.

8. The Chatty Chum

Introverts, beware! This amiable shopper (or crew member!) will catch one glimpse of your consideration of a product and offer his or her opinion before you can say "cookie butter". They'll also likely compliment your sunglasses and ask where your kids go to school. There's something about the friendly atmosphere of the store that's catching, and before you know it, you'll have made a lifelong friend when all you were after were some marinated artichoke hearts.

Trader Joe's specifically makes it a priority to hire people who are "outwardly nice" and it shows, Bryan Palbaum, the company's President, said on the store's podcast (via The Kitchn). Not ready for a gab session with The Chatty Chum? Keep your head down and avoid making eye contact — we can't guarantee you'll be able to avoid conversation, but it's your best chance at survival. 

9. The Tired Bachelor

This shopper can be easily identified by his handsomely disheveled look. Perhaps he's loosened his tie and rolled up his dress shirt sleeves. His suit jacket nonchalantly tossed over his shoulder, held in place by a single finger. The hint of a five-o-clock shadow has begun to pepper his jawline. He's spent a long day at the office and is looking for a tempting meal from the frozen foods section he can take home to his microwave.

The convenience of Trader Joe's' many delicious frozen foods is something every shopper can appreciate. With options that include gnocchi, falafel, pastries, soups and stir-frys, (to name only a few) you can stock your freezer with easy, different meals for every night of the week. And as most of these frozen foods can be easily and quickly prepared in the microwave, no amount of fatigue or lack of culinary training will stand between The Tired Bachelor and a delicious meal.

10. The Wine Lover

Tricky to identify by anything other than their location in the store, this shopper is usually in a bit of a daze, wandering the wine section, transfixed by the options at their disposal- and at such affordable prices!

The wine section of Trader Joe's is truly something to behold. The variety itself is startling, but the price points can be remarkable. Whether you're craving a Chianti or a basic Cotes du Rhone, a bold Barolo, or a Napa Valley Cabernet, you'll be swimming in affordably delicious options. Even their famously inexpensive "two buck chuck" is a crowd pleaser, with shockingly positive reviews for such an affordable wine.

Their beer section is nothing to sneer at, either. As with the wine selection, the variety of beers is immense. Be it a crisp Hefeweizen, a strong IPA, or a dark and creamy lager, there's something for every palette.

11. The Single and Ready to Mingle

It was quite interesting to learn that Trader Joe's is often used as something of a hot spot for romance. Some Seattle singles going so far as wanting to spice up their typical, otherwise mundane shopping trips with a social "mixer," suggested by someone calling herself "Trader Cupid."

Maybe it's the charming smiles and crew members' eagerness to please and satisfy. It could be the romantic scent of fresh peonies and lush roses in the air. Maybe it's the Tired Bachelor in the frozen foods section delicately fondling the potstickers. Whatever the reason, Trader Joe's seems to have made a steamy name for itself amongst singles, and The Single and Ready to Mingle shopped can be identified by their wandering eyes and quick glances at ring fingers. And with all those beautiful flowers and delicious chocolates lying around, it makes sense. One Redditor even claims, "there is immense sexual energy at Trader Joe's." And you know what? Who are we to argue that? Sure adds a certain something to picking out a good melon.

12. The Influencer

This peppy shopper has a big Instagram following and is not afraid to tell you about it. The Influencer likes her recipes simple and her TikToks viral. She styles her picture perfect charcuterie boards using any number of the exquisite cheeses Trader Joe's has to offer. Her board is planned to perfection. She's ready to get busy styling the exotic cheeses, thinly sliced prosciutto and Calabrese Salami, paired beautifully with fresh fruit, a gorgeously crusted baguette, and the deservedly popular fig butter. Perhaps she'll add a bit of chiffonade basil for a touch of color. Her board will be abundant, undoubtedly bringing in thousands of followers with one simple post.

Her cart is also filled with several bouquets of the magnificently beautiful flowers Trader Joe's also offers for a fabulously low price (for the background, of course!), as well as all the most popular seasonal items. With just one quick trip to Trader Joe's, The Influencer can create a magazine-worthy piece of culinary art for all of her adoring fans.

13. The Confused Newbie

The Confused Newbie has stumbled cluelessly into the nearest grocery store hoping to pick up some strawberry Pop-Tarts and Diet Coke. He'll search aimlessly, confused by the foreign brands and labels. He may find himself frustrated at the lack of familiar packages. Irritated, he'll turn to go. But then, gently wrapping its way around him like a warm summer breeze, he might just catch a whiff of the organic fair trade coffee samples floating from the back table. Perhaps he'll receive a jovial smile or hear a neighborly laugh from the friendly, Hawaiian-shirt clad crew member. 

He'll pause, charmed by the store, despite himself. And suddenly, the staticky confusion will morph into a sweet curiosity. The frustration to excitement. He'll grab a signature reusable tote and, awestruck, reach for a box of Joe-Joe's, so cheerfully displayed. He once was lost but now is found. Welcome to the family, friend.