Trader Joe’s fans have spoken — and they want more of its Mandarin Orange Chicken.
The California-based grocer has released its 12th Annual Customer Choice Awards, dishing on top picks from customers across the country. Categories included Favorite Entree, Favorite Vegan/Vegetarian item, Favorite Sweet Treat, Favorite Cheese, Favorite Beverage, Favorite Snack and Favorite Produce, among others.
But the product that took the top spot in the Favorite Overall category was Mandarin Orange Chicken, one of the chain’s ready-made frozen meals. Trader Joe’s describes the frozen fan favorite as “tender chunks of juicy chicken in a crispy breading with a sweet and spicy orange sauce.” The item costs around $4.99 for a 22-ounce bag.
(Trader Joe’s Mandarin Orange Chicken ranked as the No. 1 customer favorite of 2020. (Trader Joe’s). )
Food fans chose its Soy Chorizo as their favorite vegan and vegetarian item; the Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups for their top dessert; the Unexpected Cheddar for best cheese; the Salted Peanut Butter Filled Pretzel Nuggets for best snack; Sparkling Black Tea with Peach Juice as the best beverage; and the Teeny Tiny Avocados for their favorite produce item.
While the grocery store is beloved for its easy-to-prepare frozen meals and pantry staples, the supermarket chain took some heat last year. Thousands of customers signed a petition over the summer demanding the grocery store change the names of some of its products, suggesting that the use of labels including “Trader Jose’s” and “Trader Ming’s” was racially offensive.
Trader Joe’s responded to the allegations, disagreeing that “any of these labels are racist.” The grocery chain further alleged that the majority of its customers viewed the labels “in exactly the way they were intended — as an attempt to have fun with our product marketing.”