Trader Joe’s samples are back sans free coffee and food demos

By Ghuman


Good news for Trader Joe’s fans! The beloved grocery store is bringing back its popular samples, but with a few changes. Due to the pandemic, the store has decided to forgo the free coffee and food demos that were once a staple of the sample experience. Instead, customers will be able to sample pre-packaged items that have been safely prepared and sealed. This will ensure that customers can still enjoy the samples without having to worry about potential health risks. So, if you’re looking for a way to try out some of Trader Joe’s delicious products, you can now do so without having to worry about your safety.

Trader Joe’s Samples are Back, But Without Free Coffee and Food Demos

Trader Joe’s shoppers rejoice! The beloved samples are back in stores, but with a few changes. The free coffee and food demos that were once a staple of the shopping experience are no longer available.

The popular grocery chain announced the return of samples in a statement on their website. “We are excited to announce that samples are back in our stores! We know how much our customers love them, and we are thrilled to be able to offer them again,” the statement read.

The samples are being offered in a different way than before. Instead of the free coffee and food demos, customers can now sample pre-packaged items. The samples are available in the store, and customers can take them home with them.

The samples are also being offered in a more limited capacity. Customers can only sample one item per visit, and the samples are only available during certain hours. The samples are also only available in select stores.

Trader Joe’s is also taking extra precautions to ensure the safety of their customers. All samples are being handled with gloves, and customers are asked to practice social distancing while sampling.

Trader Joe’s samples are back, but without the free coffee and food demos. Customers can still enjoy the samples, but in a different way. The samples are a great way to try out new products, and customers can take them home with them.

Freebies are often the best part of grocery shopping, but COVID-19 forced grocers far and wide to stop handing out free samples in stores. Luckily, those terrible pandemic days are behind us and many of the dearly missed perks are making a comeback.

Trader Joe’s made waves on social media this summer as shoppers reported seeing food samples at locations across the country. A store in Coral Springs, Fla. announced their return for October 1, while a shopper from Virginia said their location was already handing out free apple cider donuts. While the company hasn’t yet confirmed this development, CNN piled onto the excitement with a report about granola and Halloween cookies being handed out at some locations this past weekend.

RELATED: 6 Popular Trader Joe’s Foods With the Lowest Quality Ingredients

Unfortunately, the outlet also reported that some of the best in-store freebies are still missing, and may not be returning after all—at least not on a nationwide scale. While single-serve snacks and treats will be available for customers to try, hot coffee won’t be returning as a free in-store perk, according to employees at New York and California locations.

A Reddit user claiming to work at Trader Joe’s accurately predicted that we had seen the last of free coffee samples, writing: “Crew here. I’ve been told coffee won’t be returning which I totally get. Way too many customers abused it.”

Additionally, live food demos will return to select Trader Joe’s locations, but will not be making a nationwide comeback. Trader Joe’s did not respond to requests for more information on these changes.

Known for affordable prices and creative in-house offerings, Trader Joe’s has always marketed itself as more of an experience than just a grocery store. Free samples and live cooking demonstrations had always been a big part of that identity, which could now be in jeopardy.

Besides Trader Joe’s, free in-store samples and live food demos were a common sight at warehouse savings clubs like Costco and Sam’s Club prior to COVID-19. Since 2020, each brand has brought back in-store samples at its own pace. Freebies returned to Costco in 2021, but they are now handed out by employees from behind plexiglass barriers.

Whole Foods, meanwhile, offers only prepackaged free samples in cities or states with a mask mandate currently in place. If there is no local mask mandate, open samples are offered.

John Anderer

John Anderer is a writer who specializes in science, health, and lifestyle topics. Read more about John