TJ’s Chocolate Minis

Notice anything different?



TJ’s Mini Chocolate Bars: 99 cents. Yeah TJ’s!

HOWEVER there is a little fishy story here. The original version of this product (left) recently ‘vanished’ from my Trader Joes’s (NYC/72nd St). I basically got hooked on these little mini chocolate bars. I used to pick up a bag of them every time I went shopping there (hey, they’re strategically placed right near the end of the checkout line to encourage this behavior, so why fight it?) Even my Checkout Guy bagging me tells me he buys a bag of these daily.  Says he goes through a bag a day. Me, I tried to control myself so the bag of 28 chocolates lasts almost a week. Well guess what? They simply vanished. Out of Stock. No. Even the sign vanished…which I’ve now learned from experience generally means bye-bye to a product.

So a week or two later I see there are once again bags of mini chocolate bars on the shelf. BUT they look different. They don’t look like they are for little kids anymore (OK by me) But the“old version” (left) seems to have been replaced by the new version (right). Notice the difference in quantity? Now yes before, they only came as milk chocolate; now you have a choice of milk or semi-sweet chocolate (which I greatly prefer). BUT other than that, the new version of this product seems exactly the same. Both say “Made In Columbia” on the package. The bars are the same size as they were in the yellow package. So WTF, Trader Joes ?! You used to give us 28 bars for 99 cents, but now you give us 12 for the same price?!

Do the math, and you will see TJ’s has more than doubled the price of these chocolate bars. Look, for the price its still pretty good. Never the less I find this a bit fishy on Trader Joe’s part. Does TJ’s think we’re not going to notice this kind of STEEP price increase – or downsizng in product quantity? Don’t they have a motto about how they only raise prices as their costs go up? So did the wholesale price of chocolate in Columbia go up 70 per cent? I’d find that hard to believe.

This is akin to the old “Hersheys effect” going way back in Marketing. How Hershey’s kept the price of their chocolate bar 5 cents for years and years but kept decreasing the size of the bar. The customer is not supposed to notice.


They 12 bar chocolates appeared erratically on the shelves. Gone, then I’d seen them again. Went on for weeks. Finally, I see them in a tub with a sign “99 cents” literally at the head of the Checkout Line at my local TJ’s. I bought some but had a feeling that tub was the last of them. I was right. I inquired about the “12 pack 99 cents chocolates” status and the Captain told me “They’ve been discontinued”

BUMMER TRADER JOE! What is it with this product? Its fantastic.Don’t tell me they weren’t selling.  I bought one or two bags every time I shopped at Trader Joe’s. So why DISCONTINUED??!!



3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. SJ
    Apr 21, 2011 @ 02:03:56

    I know this chocolate bar. It is hard to accept decrease by half. Please come back 28 bars!!!



  2. Anonymous
    Jul 23, 2011 @ 15:38:40

    I’m a little late to comment on this post, but I just had to point something out based on my personal observations. I, too, was a huge fan of the milk chocolate bars in the circus bag. So addicting, so cheap. But they didn’t show up in my TJ’s until fall 2010, while the 12-pack of mini chocolate bars was already being sold much earlier. I had bought the 12-pack before, but when they started carrying the circus design, I immediately switched over (much better value). Of course, right after I finished a bag, I couldn’t find them on my next trip. I had a feeling these wouldn’t last long. It’s too bad. But, my point in all this was, to be fair, they were selling the 12-pack before, so they didn’t strategically change the circus design.



    • promacnyc
      Jul 23, 2011 @ 20:37:42

      And guess what? I haven’t seen the 12-pack of the chocolate mini bars (dark or milk) for weeks now, so I think they too have bit the dust. I think TJ’s has dropped these great value 99 cents bags of chocolate bars for more expensive chocolate bars with a better profit margin. Actually the mini dark chocolate were very good chocolate. I bought a bag every time I went to the store.



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