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Trader Joe’s Does Not Carry Vanilla Bean Paste

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Many of you commented on my post on vanilla bean paste about being able to get cheap vanilla bean paste at Trader Joe’s. Since I hadn’t seen it at my local Trader Joe’s, I decided to try to find out what the story was by emailing Trader Joe’s directly. Here is their response:

Hello Stefani,

Thank you for taking the time to contact us. The Vanilla Paste was discontinued due to slow sales.

Trader Joe’s approach to the grocery industry has always been quite different from the mega-chains. Because our stores have such limited shelf space, if our customers aren’t buying a product, we take that as a majority vote against it and we will bring in something else in its place.
Again, we appreciate your feedback and it will be shared in the next marketing meeting.

Trader Joe’s
Customer Relations

Maybe if more of you email them and mention that you want vanilla bean paste, they will bring it back. You can contact Trader Joe’s here.

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9 comments on “Trader Joe’s Does Not Carry Vanilla Bean Paste”

  1. Oh no! I do need to stock up.

  2. I like that they actually responded. Trader Joe’s rocks! But they’d rock even harder if they brought back their vanilla bean paste :)

  3. Bethanysays:

    Here is what I wrote… I am a little cranky about TJ’s…this happens to me all the time and i am just so disappointed. I mean, I understand their reasoning, but I just can’t handle the disappointment!!!

    Hi there,

    I heard you got rid of the vanilla bean paste and I am so sad. I have to say, that this is the third time one of my favorite products as been discontinued (the VB paste, the black lentils and the orange cardamom cookies) and it is forcing me to reconsider shopping at TJ’s because every time I go to pick up something I love, it is discontinued and I am faced with disappointment.

    Please consider bringing back the VB paste it is such a lazy baker staple!!!


  4. Although in my book, Trader Joe’s can hardly do wrong, this is a bit disappointing. I’ll write in, too.

  5. Stefsays:

    Noisy – Hope it’s still there!

    Marriage – Yeah, it was good customer service.

    Bethany -You tell em!

    Kathleen – I think they are happy to help out. I guess not enough people know how great this product is!

  6. Anonymoussays:

    Vanilla bean paste can be bought at Sur la Table for $11. That is where I buy mine.

  7. Anonymoussays:

    Everyone (especially Bethany),

    I worked at TJ’s for a couple of years a while back. The only way they’ll bring this back is if they either have an overwhelming outcry nationally (because things sell differently in different areas of the country) or if they find extra backstock somewhere.

    There IS also a chance that they’ve only discontinued in specific local stores and it can be reversed (as in, they just stopped ordering it from the warehouse), and they’ll order some for you when you ask for it if that’s the case. If they say “discontinued” though, it usually means they have no control over it at your local store.

    If it’s something you can deal with, you get used to your favorite things being discontinued. It happened to me all the time. It’s just the difference between a huge store where you can stock thousands of products simultaneously and the limited shelf space in your local store. My store only had room for 1,600 items (vs. upwards of 3600 in a regular supermarket), so things were discontinued all the time to make room for the new stuff (they got new, interesting stuff ALL the time though, that’s the awesome part, there’s always a reason to go back).

    We had to explain this to irritated customers a handful of times a day. I can’t say it’s the best business model, but some people really embrace it, and they’re not about to change it anytime soon, though it really does seem to lose customers. I always told people “Don’t get too attached to new items, and don’t plan recipes before you get here because we probably won’t have everything on your list.” TJ’s is kind of a supplementary to your regular grocery store, and it’s great for that. But it can be really frustrating to be looking for something specific because the stock is always different.

    Anyway, I loved working there, and everyone really does try their best to get people the things they want, so I wanted to throw in an explanation.


  8. Aliciasays:

    I never liked Trader Joe’s , have always thought it was kind of like Wal-mart.

  9. Bethanysays:

    Hey, thanks for the thorough reply, Meg! I just saw this…3.5 years later! Haha! I’ll give em another try, but first I need a closer one!

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