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

Walmart and Trader Joe’s are two very well known stores throughout the United States and the world. Both operate more than 11,000 stores in total, they each sell hundreds of thousands of products annually. But between the two of them, which one should you choose to shop at?


To help you come to the decision, I decided to look at 3 major factors when it comes to choosing a store to shop at.


  1. Price
  2. Product Quality
  3. Product Variety


Depending on what type of shopper you are, you may prioritize different things. Some shoppers prefer quality, others may prefer price, and some shoppers may even prefer product variety. 


Regardless of what you look for in a store, this article should help you come to a conclusion of what is the best option for you.


Which is Better: Trader Joe’s or Walmart? Walmart offers much lower prices than Trader Joe’s. More specifically, Walmart is 33% to 73% cheaper for store brand items compared to Trader Joe’s. Additionally, Walmart has much more product variety. However, Trader Joe’s does have better product quality.


Is Trader Joe’s More Expensive Than Walmart?

Price is one of the biggest factors for most shoppers. Typically, shoppers will go to the store which has the best prices or the ‘best bang for your buck’. 


So, if you are one of those types of customers then the price table below will be very helpful.


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


When it comes down to price, Walmart is consistently cheaper than Trader Joes across all common shopping categories.


More specifically, Walmart was anywhere from 33% to 73% cheaper than Trader Joe’s on the items that were compared.


This shouldn’t really come as a surprise, as Walmart has their ‘Everyday Low Price’ policy which means that they try to provide the lowest price available for any and all of their items. Needless to say, if you are a shopper that prioritizes saving money when at the store, then Walmart is the better option.


Product Quality: Trader Joe’s vs Walmart

Product quality is another factor that many shoppers look at when deciding on which store to buy from. So, to see which store has better quality products, I took a look at the FDA’s recall database. Essentially, the store that has more recalled products likely has lower quality products.


Category Trader Joe’s Recalls Walmart Recalls
Animal & Veterinary 0 2
Biologics 0 0
Cosmetics 0 0
Dietary Supplements 0 0
Drugs 0 6
Food and Beverages 17 21
Medical Devices 0 0
Radiation Emitting Products 0 0
Tobacco 0 0


Trader Joe’s: 17 Total Recalls

Walmart: 29 Total Recalls


According to the FDA, Walmart has had more product recalls in recent years, which indicates lower quality products. More specifically, Trader Joe’s has 17 product recalls (all within the ‘Food and Beverages’ category)  and Walmart has 29 product recalls (spread out between the Animal & Veterinary, Drugs,  and Food & Beverages categories).


Based on these numbers, you are likely to find lower quality items if you shop at Walmart in comparison to shopping at Trader Joe’s. So, if you are a shopper that prioritizes product quality, then Trader Joe’s is the better option for you.


Product Variety: Trader Joe’s vs Walmart

Although it may not be as important of a factor as the previous two, product variety is still a big consideration for shoppers. So between Trader Joe’s and Walmart, which one has the most products available? In other words, which store will give you the most options to pick from?


Something to note is that Walmart is considered a hypermarket and Trader Joe’s is considered a grocery store. The main difference between the two is that a grocery store only carries consumable items and produce, while a hypermarket carries consumables, produce, and department store items. Walmart should have more items in its stores by nature.


Total Trader Joe’s Products Total Walmart Products
4,000 products 120,000 products


It’s no surprise that Walmart has more items to pick from than Trader Joe’s. If you are a shopper that prefers having more items to pick from, you may want to consider Walmart instead of Trader Joe’s.


Product Type

Something to note is that Trader Joe’s carries private label organic goods. This means that they have their own label of organic brands. So, you will not be able to find common store brands at Trader Joe’s. 


On the other hand, Walmart carries big brand names. They do not have as much of a focus on organic foods compared to Trader Joe’s, but they do have options available.


Which One Should You Shop At: Trader Joe’s or Walmart?


When to shop at Trader Joe’s: Despite the fact that Trader Joe’s does not have the lowest prices, nor the most product variety, they do have better product quality. They also seem to have more organic products than Walmart. So, if these are two aspects you prefer, then you should shop at Trader Joe’s


When to shop at Walmart: Although they do not have the best product quality, Walmart does provide exceptionally low prices as well as a vast amount of products to choose from. If these two things appeal to you, then Walmart is the better choice for you.