Why Trader Joe's Never Charges by the Pound For Produce

Published 07-25-2019

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At most grocery stores, customers pay for produce by the pound. That's not the case at Trader Joe's. Take a stroll down the aisle past apples, oranges and 19 cent bananas, and you won't find a single scale in sight. The California-based chain sells their fruit and vegetables by the item. But why?

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It's only so people know how much they're spending up front before they make it to the register, according to the company's podcast.

People who pay by weight might think they're getting their groceries at a better value because a pound sounds like a lot, but one Trader Joe's employee says this often tricks consumers into spending more money. Is it because no one uses the scales? Do stores even have those anymore? We certainly have no clue what a pound feels like.

On the latest episode of Trader Joe's podcast, "Inside Trader Joe's," Jack, the category manager for company's produce department, recalls a customer who thought the store was charging too much for Honeycrisp apples. A competitor sold the fruit by the pound and for that, their deal sounded cheaper. In reality, Trader Joe's was the better buy.

"[Trader Joe's apples] were much more reasonable than our competitors, but a competitor sold by the pound and it sounded cheap," Jack said. "[That store] was going to charge them almost $8 for a bag of four apples, where ours would cost much less than that. That's something we're very proud of."

The Daily Meal called a Trader Joe's location in New York City to confirm the price of Honeycrisp. The cost is $1.49 per apple, which means four apples cost $5.96 before tax. We're not math geniuses here, but we can confidentally assert that that's less than $8. By the way, Honeycrisp is one of the pricier types of apples because they are difficult to grow. Most apples are sold for much less. A Fuji, for instance, is 49 cents per apple at TJ's. We love a gorgeous inexpensive moment, but produce isn't the only section of the grocery store to score a great deal. These 15 finds from Trader Joe's are all under $5.

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