A fan-favorite seasoning took the top spot!

By Nashia Baker
January 28, 2020

While some look forward to the annual celebrity award season, many people overlook another crucial award announcement that happens this time of year: The Trader Joe's Annual Customer Choice Awards. According to The Kitchn, this year marks the 11th choice awards for the grocery store giant, and they've once again asked customers to pick their overall favorite product from the previous year. Which item won the prized honor in 2019? The "Everything But the Bagel Sesame Seasoning Blend."

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Trader Joe's revealed customers' raving reviews of the seasoning, and one customer even said, "This stuff is, quite literally, my everything." The runners-up in the overall favorite category included the cauliflower gnocchi, mandarin orange chicken, dark chocolate peanut butter cups, and the Unexpected Cheddar. Those same items came out on top in other categories. Mandarin orange chicken was dubbed favorite entrée, cauliflower gnocchi was rated the best vegan/vegetarian item, dark chocolate peanut butter cups won for sweet treat, plantain chips took home the top spot for snack, non-dairy oat beverage was the favorite beverage, avocados were the top pick in produce, Unexpected Cheddar won for cheese, and seasonal scented candles were the favorite in home, bath, and beauty.

Related: These Are the Most Popular Trader Joe's Items in Every State

Even though the grocery store keeps up with the choice awards each year for customers, it is not the only way it connects with shoppers. A Trader Joe's employee previously revealed on Reddit that kids who spot purposely-hidden toys in the store can get a treat. "Each store has a stuffed animal of some sort hiding somewhere," the employee wrote. "It's really just for kids to run around and find the missing animal, and they get a treat. Kids seem to LOVE it and parents go along with it, too."

Kendra Friend-Daniel, the Public Relations Director for Trader Joe's, confirmed this in a statement to The Kitchn. "Now, I cannot say that there is one in every single store, but in general, stores typically have one," she said. "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. The type of stuffed toy and treat may vary store to store, but for example, in my local Trader Joe's there's a hidden penguin and when my daughters locate it, they receive a lollipop."

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