Here's the deal with spices: there are only a handful of truly high quality spice manufacturers in the world, and we happen to do business directly with a number of them. By doing this, we are able to get rid of all the "hidden" costs usually spent on advertising, display fixtures, brand-building, promotions and slotting fees -- the money manufacturers pay grocers to put products on their shelves. Instead, Trader Joe's puts the spices in our own label and we don't mark up our prices to sky-high proportions just to recover all those "hidden" costs.
The way we do things works out well for everyone -- except our competitors. Our suppliers get a fair price for the spices (again, we pay them; they don't have to pay us to put their products on our shelves -- this does happen in other stores), we make enough profit to continue to run our business, and our customers get outstanding prices on very high quality products. We love it when all the pieces come together like that!
We thought a little side by side price comparison would be the best way to show you just how big a difference this simple variation in business practices makes on your day to day grocery shopping.
Spice Prices Unmasked
We shopped around* to see what other grocers were charging for the same quality spices you'll find at Trader Joe's. We found a wide range of prices in the markets visited.
We also offer a number of blended spices you can use for grilling, to add to pasta dishes or to season all kinds of foods. Among our current favorites are those that come with their own grinders – from Himalayan Pink Salt and Rainbow Peppercorns ($1.99 each) to more exotic choices like South African Smoke Seasoning ($2.29). What could possibly be more convenient than that? And they’re priced as attractively as the rest of the spices at Trader Joes. Every day.
Something to Consider...
Spices, like everything else, get old and can go stale. A good rule of thumb is to replace your spices every year. This will guarantee fresh, full flavor profiles when you cook and bake. At Trader Joe’s, we sell so many jars of spices throughout the year that what’s on our shelves is always fresh. And our low spice prices mean that you can actually afford to replace the ones on your shelves. Heading into the holidays, October really does seem like the perfect month to rotate out some of your old spices and rotate in some spices from Trader Joe’s, where you’ll find spices of top drawer quality at bottom of the cupboard prices.
*Regular prices from supermarkets & natural food stores September 9, 2013.