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ShopRite vs. Trader Joe’s – Which Is Better?

Trader Joe’s is one of America’s most popular grocery stores. They are known for some of the lowest prices in the grocery industry. ShopRite, although more regional, is one of Trader Joe’s biggest competitors. So let’s compare ShopRite vs. Trader Joe’s.

Shoprite vs. Trader Joe’s? Trader Joe’s is one of the least expensive grocery stores; up to six percent lower prices than ShopRite. Trader Joe also has a better selection of organic produce. However, Shoprite has butchers who can custom cut your meat and an overall better meat selection.

But then we have to look at produce, customer service, and organic products across the store!

And can you order online at these two grocery stores? Besides, I will also share the best items that you can buy at Trader Joe’s. 

Keep reading to get the scoop!

Trader Joe’s vs. Shoprite prices

In comparison with ShopRite, Trader Joe’s prices are almost six percent lower across the board. Trader Joe’s is one of the least expensive stores and keeps prices low by selling a lot of their own private label products instead of national brand items.

That way, TJ’s purchases goods directly from suppliers and offer products that shoppers can’t buy anywhere else.

Overall, Trader Joe’s prices were about 16% lower than the average prices found at surveyed area stores. And for produce, they were even better! Produce pricing comes in at a whopping 24% better than the competition! (source)

For produce at ShopRite, Trader Joe’s prices are about 5% lower.

For meat, Trader Joe’s prices were about six percent higher though. This is because ShopRite stores have in-house butchers. This not only means better meat quality and selection for you. But it also enables them to use their trim for ground meats or stew meat.

If a bargain is what you’re looking for, there’s no better place to get it than Walmart. In a recent article, I get into all the differences between ShopRite and Walmart, including the 1 thing that Walmart just can’t compete on.

Just click on the link to read it on my website. 

Who has more organic produce – Trader Joe’s or ShopRite?

Trader Joe’s has more organic produce than ShopRite. Trader Joe’s sells approximately four times more organic products than a typical grocery store, including ShopRite. Shoprite does, however, have it’s Wholesome Food Pantry, which, among other things features a line of organic salad blends.

Trader Joe’s introduced their first organic Trader Joe’s product back in the 1970s (it was Organic Unfiltered Apple Juice).

Specifically for organic produce, Trader Joes is known for:

  • Bananas
  • Apples
  • Salad mixes
  • Apples
  • Avocados

In short, both in produce and elsewhere, Trader Joe’s made organic products accessible.

Just be aware that TJs doesn’t sell anything by the pound. That enables then to not have to buy expensive scales, or slow down the cash registers with scales and cashiers having to look up codes.

So all produce TJs sells is packaged. Want to buy just 1 lemon? You’re out of luck!

ShopRite introduced hundreds of Wholesome Pantry products in 2016, extending to nearly every aisle, and not just produce. This includes frozen, produce, dairy, and meat, along with more than 35 wholesome snack varieties.

That being said, not all Wholesome Pantry products are Organic. It is worth mentioning that the products are free from 110 preservatives and artificial flavors.

Though these grocers are both big on providing organic selections, there’s another grocer that is the clean eating mecca.

Whatever you need, you’ll find it at Whole Foods. But you should also know that shopping there isn’t exactly cheap.

Here’s my recent article on Whole Foods versus ShopRite. I get into the details of which is cheaper and who has the best produce. But that’s not all!

You’ll want to click that link to read the full article.

Can I order online from Trader Joe’s or ShopRite?

You can order online with ShopRite at select stores for both delivery or pickup through Instacart, but Trader Joe’s does not offer online ordering, grocery delivery, or curbside pickup whatsoever. 

Believe it or not, but Trader Joes actually has a podcast.

In a recent episode of that podcast, Marketing Director Tara Miller and the Vice President of Marketing Matt Sloan talked directly about why Trader Joes doesn’t offer online ordering AND why it’s not likely to in the future. 

And this, despite the overwhelming demand for it.

Specifically, they said “Creating an online shopping system for curbside pickup or the infrastructure for delivery . . . (is) something that takes months or years to plan, build and implement, and it requires tremendous resources.”

They go on to say they’d rather spend their money on hiring and training the best people to deliver the best customer service. instead of trying to implement systems that keep customers out of the store.

Granted, I do think that if you aren’t giving your customers what they want, you aren’t truly delivering good customer service.

So it’s true they don’t currently offer direct delivery or online ordering.

However, there are a handful of ways in which you may be able to have your favorite Trader Joe’s food products delivered to your front door but keep in mind they are being sold by third parties and do not have the retailer’s blessing to do so. You can find their products at Amazon and eBay.

Online grocery delivery is, however, available with ShopRite at select stores.

What are the best things to buy at Trader Joe’s?

Trader Joes is great for frozen foods, especially appetizers. Additionally, while not a true 1-stop shop, they do offer great prices on olive oil, cereals, pasta, and sauces, and snacks. But they are also great for good-quality inexpensive wine and liquor in the states that allow it.

Trader Joe’s is one of the most popular places to shop in the US.

Between rock-bottom prices, higher quality products, and friendly employees, they are hard to beat. However, as with any bargain shop, some deals are better than others.

Aside from the categories I mentioned above, they also have an outstanding selection of cheeses too, including occasionally having chocolate cheddar which my family loves!

Trader Joe’s also offers a great selection of cereal at great prices. You can get a big box of “Joe’s O’s” for just $1.99.

As I mentioned, they are well-known for their awesome frozen options. From the simple and delicious (mac and cheese bites, my daughter Jolie’s favorite) to the full-on gourmet-to-go (burrata, prosciutto, and arugula flatbread),

There’s stuff you definitely want to eat in the Trader Joe’s freezer — and it’s all well-priced. Plus, as with the rest of its prepared foods, TJ’s has lots of organic and vegetarian options.

Dried fruits and nuts are a staple at Trader Joe’s. The stores also offer fairly good olive oil, tortillas, coffee, and ice-cream.

If brightening your space with some flowers is on your agenda, Trader Joe’s is a great place to get them. Lastly, the quality and price of Trader Joe’s wine selection, if you’re willing to spend $10 instead of $2, you can find a prime example of almost any varietal or region you’re looking for.

Does Trader Joe’s have better meat than ShopRite?

No. While Trader Joe’s does sell some organic and grass-fed beef, they do not have much of a selection. Also, everything is prepacked. With ShopRite, you’ll get a much larger selection and in-house butchers.

Trader Joe’s sell a lot of marinated meat.

But if you are making steak, you will want to make your own marinade, if you marinate it at all. Sometimes meats that are lower quality get packaged in a marinade to mask the quality, so I would not recommend it.

ShopRite has stores throughout the northeast, from Connecticut to Maryland, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York.

They offer a wide selection of branded beef, which is cut in-house by trained meat butchers. ShopRite butchers butterfly pork chops, then slice the chicken breasts, split steaks, and custom grind cuts of meat, all to a customer’s taste.

ShopRite also has Certified Angus Prime Beef  too. This gives customers a restaurant-quality beef option. Only the top 3% of beef achieves this level of quality.

Are you a beef lover, but you’re not sure which grocery stores have the best steaks? ‘

Here’s my recent article on where to find the best steaks. I talk about beef quality, grades, and so much more. I cover everything you need to know to make your next steak purchase the best one.

Just click that link to read it on my site.

Final Thoughts

In this article, we compared ShopRite vs. Trader Joe’s.

They are both great places for a bargain, but it clear that Trader Joe’s has the best prices. This is primarily because they sell more private brands than national brands.

I talked about ShopRite’s online ordering and which of the grocers has the most produce. Trader Joe’s does not offer online ordering.

You also learned the best items to buy a ShopRite and who has the best meat.

Photos which require attribution:

Trader Joe’s Miami by Phillip Pessar and Shop Rite by Mike Mozart are licensed under CC2.0

Jeff Campbell