Trader Joe’s vs Kroger | Which One Is Cheaper & Better For You?

If you are deciding between Trader Joe’s and Kroger, there are a lot of factors to consider. While both of them sell groceries and other basic household items, they do have a lot of differences. To help you out with this decision I took a look at three major decision making factors that most customers consider before they go shopping.


3 Major Decision Making Factors:


  • Price
  • Quality
  • Variety


By the end of this article you should have a very good idea as to which one of these stores is right for you based on your purchasing needs. 


Which is Better: Trader Joe’s or Kroger? Kroger is cheaper than Trader Joe’s by a range of 11% to 70%. Kroger does also offer more items to shop from compared to Trader Joe’s. However, Trader Joe’s does have higher quality products compared to Kroger, according to the FDA.


Is Trader Joe’s Cheaper Than Kroger?

Most customers would consider price as the biggest decision-making factor when deciding which store to shop at. So it’s important to know, between Trader Joe’s and Kroger, which one is cheaper?


To see what store offers better prices on their products, I collected the average prices for various common store brand items. I then grouped the average price for those products into comment shopping categories. Below is a table showing which store has a lower average price in each shopping category.


Category Kroger Brand Trader Joe’s Brand
Baking Goods
Canned Goods
Dry Goods
Frozen Foods
Personal Care

Kroger is cheaper than Trader Joe’s by a range of anywhere from 11% to 70% depending on the product.


Unsurprisingly, Kroger has cheaper items than Trader Joes. The reason this is so unsurprising is because Trader Joe’s traditionally carries more health-conscious options. products like organic, non-GMO Goods, etc. typically cost more to produce than traditional items.

kroger vs trader joes which one is cheaper price comparison

To give you a better idea of what this price disparity looks like, I created a bar chart. As you can see, Trader Joe’s has higher average prices for all of the common shopping categories. Especially in the dairy, dry goods, frozen goods, and personal care sections.


So, if you are a price-conscious shopper, then Kroger is clearly a better choice for you to shop at when compared to Trader Joe’s.

Product Quality: Trader Joe’s vs Kroger

The quality of products that a customer purchases is just as important as the price of the products. Customers like to know that what they’re buying is safe to use or consume. So if we are comparing Trader Joe’s and Kroger, which one has better quality products for sale?


To figure this out, I took a look at the FDA’s product recall database. This database records any and all product recalls that a store has. The more product recalls a store has, the lower quality products that store sells. 


Category Trader Joe’s Recalls Kroger Recalls
Animal & Veterinary 0 2
Biologics 0 0
Cosmetics 0 1
Dietary Supplements 0 0
Drugs 0 2
Food and Beverages 17 46
Medical Devices 0 0
Radiation Emitting Products 0 0
Tobacco 0 0


Trader Joe’s has significantly less product recalls than Kroger. This suggests that Trader Joe’s products are higher quality. In other words, Trader Joe’s has higher quality products than Kroger. More specifically, Trader Joe’s has had a total of 17 product recalls in recent years whereas Kroger has had a total of 51 product recalls.


This is a substantial difference. The industry average for product recalls ranges anywhere from 10 recalls to about 22 recalls. Trader Joe’s falls directly in the middle whereas Kroger is way beyond the average. 

Product Variety: Trader Joe’s vs Kroger

Product variety is essentially the amount of products that a customer has to pick from at the store. The more options that a customer has to choose from means that they are more likely to find everything that they need.


Total Trader Joe’s Products Total Kroger Products
4,000 70,000


Kroger has significantly more items in their stores than Trader Joe’s. Kroger has more than 17 times the amount of products in their stores as Trader Joe’s


What this means is that you are likely to find everything you need at Kroger due to their wide variety of options. While Trader Joe’s does have the essentials, you are not going to find any obscure items that you may need.


For reference, the average grocery store carries around 31,000 items. So Kroger totally blows this average out of the water while Trader Joe’s is way below it. If you consider yourself someone who enjoys having many products to pick from, then Kroger is a better store for you.


What Does Each Store Sell?

While both of the stores sell general supermarket items, Trader Joe’s strictly sells their own private label products. Additionally, Trader Joe’s has a very wide assortment of organic and health-conscious options.


Kroger on the other hand has no shortage of big brand names. While their assortment of health-conscious options is a bit more limited, they still do have some of those options.

Which One Should You Shop At: Trader Joe’s vs Kroger?


When to shop at Trader Joe’s: While Trader Joe’s does cost more than Kroger, they do offer a significantly higher product quality. Not only that, but they also have a very wide variety of health-conscious options. So if you are someone who doesn’t mind paying more for a variety of health conscious and high-quality goods, Trader Joe’s is the right option for you.


When to shop at Kroger: Kroger offers better deals than Trader Joe’s. Overall their costs are significantly less. So if you are somewhat of a price conscious shopper, then Kroger is the right one for you. Not to mention you have a lot more product variety to pick from.


Final Thoughts: Trader Joe’s vs Kroger

All in all, both of these grocery stores are absolutely outstanding establishments. In terms of the industry standards, both of them are very high up on the list. While both of them do have their advantages and disadvantages, you will be given great value regardless of which one you shop at.