DISCONTINUED: Trader Joe’s Rice Sticks (Boo Hiss!)


TJ’s Rice Sticks. I tried them once, and wrote a Rave post about them including a recipe. What happens next? Not a week later do I notice I don’t see them on the shelf anymore. At TJ’s, you know that feeling, uh-oh is this item going bye-bye? Sure enough I inquired at the front desk a week after that and the TJ’s manager looks them up on the computer. He tells me, “Sorry but the Rice Sticks have been discontinued’. Damn, damn, damn. Another fave gone bye-bye. Had I known, I would have purchased a dozen packs and squirreled them away for the future.

Discontinued and Trader Joe’s. Two words that seem to go hand and hand, huh?


5. Why does TJ’s frequently discontinue products?

Our mission is to bring you the best quality products at the best prices. To do this, we have to manage our store space well. Each of our products must “stand on its own,” meaning it must pay its own way. Each product passes certain criteria in order to earn its way onto our shelves – including a rigorous tasting panel.

There may be several factors that determine why we discontinue products:

  • It may be a seasonal product – for example, strawberries, which are in season only specific times of the year.
  • The gang way factor – because we introduce 10-15 new products a week, we have to eliminate 10-15 items in order to give our newest items a fair chance.
  • The cost of producing the item may increase, which would in turn increase the cost to you – if the item is not a strong seller, we may choose to discontinue it.
(Whatever TJ’s. If I want THAI RICE STICKS in future, I will go back to getting them at Asian markets like I used to before I met you.)
POSTSCRIPT: Lots of comments on this item. Especially from Gluten-free diet folks…

3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Paul DeLucchi
    Oct 16, 2011 @ 23:22:39

    I too am crushed that TJ discontinued the rice sticks. They didn’t take up much shelf space, and they were by far the best of their kind available anywhere. There’s a difference between frivolous food and staples — surely pasta is a staple food. Meanwhile you’re very well stocked with junk like chocolate covered potato chips (no lie!). Bad call, TJ’s — bring back the rice sticks.



    • promacnyc
      Oct 17, 2011 @ 09:34:55

      I’m finding TJ’s is stocking fewer and fewer staples all the time on their shelves. They had a good “16-bean soup” mix. I tried and liked it and always kept a bag around. Now its gone from their shelves. Everything in my TJ’s is geared towards the “pre-made” packaged and/or frozen convenience foods and less “staples”. Which all higher profit stuff too, of course!



    • Lois Harford
      Oct 17, 2011 @ 19:28:36

      I agree – I’ve had to go gluten-free in the last year, and most gluten free “pastas” don’t stand up to more gourmet or adventurous types of cooking. TJ’s rice sticks can actually be cooked al dente, and can be used for everything from alfredos and marinaras, to wonderful pad thai and stir fries… so far, I haven’t found any others which equal the quality. I’m pretty disgruntled. TJ’s has a predisposition towards their own pre-made meals – and frankly, most are real disappointments… under-seasoned, incorrectly nuanced… wish they’d let us make up our own minds…



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