Trader Joe’s: Cheap Gourmet & Price-Value Equation

Introduction and Problem Statement

Trader Joe’s is a United States chain of neighborhood grocery stores that is committed to giving customers unique and quality products at the best prices. They strive to make customers’ experience while shopping to be rewarding, eventful, and fun. Therefore, how does Trader Joe’s manages to keep costs low, sell their products cheap, and have unique brands which appeal to buyers, despite the stiff competition?

External Data Analysis

The world forms the external environment in which any business operates. Trader Joe’s is no exception, and it must adopt a strategy that will make it get profits taking into consideration the socio-cultural, political, economic, technological, environmental, and legal factors. They must adopt a strategy that will navigate the taxation, tariffs, trade agreements, labor regulations, and environmental regulations in every state it operates in. The company should also analyze economic indicators to make decisions about geographic markets, pricing, expansion, and how to rebrand its products to have a competitive edge.

Further, Trader Joe’s needs to explore factors like the income of clients, their education levels, age groups, and racial composition of the population in the states where it operates. This will present them with the opportunity to sell products customized to different clients’ preferences and interests (Okeson, 2015). Additionally, the store must use internet connectivity to scale up their sales online and reach even customers who are far from their outlets. Lastly, the store’s managers should analyze the trade laws, labor laws, and environmental regulations which may impact its business success and how to overcome them.

Internal Data Analysis

The internal business environment includes factors within Trader Joe’s stores that impact its success. These factors are, however, under the control of the store’s management and are key to business growth. Firstly, leadership is very important in streamlining the core values and organizational culture of the company; its leaders must inculcate leadership that values employees and clients, is friendlier to customers, and is effective and efficient in communication (Okeson, 2015). Secondly, it should evaluate its personnel and make a deliberate effort to capacity build, motivate and redirect their talents to be competitive and meet the tastes of the customers.

The company could also put a lot of emphasis on physical facilities like premises and equipment. Its stores should not be expensive in terms of cost incurred to set them up but elegantly designed to attract customers. In addition, Trader Joe’s supermarkets need to cut down on operation costs through creativity without spending too much money on advertisements. This will enable them to establish a brand image and produce many quality products at competitive prices (Okeson, 2015). Through research, the company will discover new trends in the market, remain original, and stock goods relevant to the ever-changing customers’ demands.

Key Decision Criteria for alternatives

The decision for alternative solutions should be guided by criteria like increase in customer satisfaction level, cost saving, increase in sales, ease of implementation, flexibility of the solution, and return on investment (Cox, 2015). The effectiveness of these criteria will be evaluated through interactions with the customers, conducting formal surveys, evaluating costs incurred against profit margins, and the ease with which the solutions can be replicated in different places.

Alternative Solutions

Trader Joe should use Buzz marketing as one of the alternatives – this solution puts emphasis on its products either being unique, new, or better than competitors. Secondly, its brand must stand out; advertising needs must be memorable and intriguing and get the consumers involved with its brand or products. This is demonstrated in the case study, which showed customers trooping in large numbers at new Trader Joe’s outlets; to experience bargain prices, value, adventure, and tasty treasures, which are unconventional.

Guerrilla marketing is also a very good solution for Joe managers to use; it lays importance on building a positive relationship with customers. In addition, by getting them to respond in an affirmative way, chances are that Trader Joe’s messaging will turn customers into loyal brand ambassadors (Okeson, 2015). Again the case study reveals that its most Potent promotional weapon is its army of faithful followers who flock to various fans’ websites to market the company, discuss new products and narrate successful stories.

Lifestyle marketing – is also a key alternative that Trader Joe’s should use by making contacts with customers in places like festivals and markets. Through this solution, it can learn about customers’ interests and provide potential customers with something of value which aligns with their enjoyment (Okeson, 2015). On this, one customer indicated their demeanor at Trader Joe is different from other shops, and the shop does something pleasing to their brains, which makes them keep going back.

Recommended Solution

Plausibly, I would recommend Buzz marketing because it puts customer satisfaction at the center of everything, and attract huge returns as many customers come in. It stresses the need for new and unique products beyond what competitors offer to please the client (Cox, 2015). It is also flexible, has the potential to increase sales of goods, saves the cost of operation, easy to implement through innovations, and research.

Implementation Plan over two years

Activity Time frame
Launching new products 4 times in one year (8 times over two years)
Social media influencers One every week (96 posts in two years)
Bloggers/Blogging Once every month (24 post for two years)

Evaluation Plan

  1. Percentage growth in sales (comparing before and after alternative solution): ——– %
  2. Increased sales are from: New customer; Old; customers both.
  3. Cost incurred after implementing alternative solution compared to before: ————-
  4. Profit made after implementing alternative solution compared to before: —————


Buzz’s marketing solution solved the problem in the sense that, it’s focused on creating new, and uniquely customized products better than Trader Joe’s competitors. It also ensures that Trader Joe’s brands stand out, are memorable and intriguing to the customers. Lastly, ensuring products pricing is pocket-friendly to purchasers, and that they can spend a little money but buy so many items from the stores.


  1. “Best Supermarket Chain” review – Trader Joe’s has occupied one of the top two spots every year for the past five years.
  2. A recent report from Deutsche Bank compared prices at Trader Joe’s with those at Whole Foods for a basket of 77 products—a mix of perishable items, private-label products, and non-food items. Trader Joe’s was 21 percent cheaper than Whole Foods and had the lowest price on 78 percent of the items. Even when comparing private-label brands, Trader Joe’s was 15 percent cheaper.


Ali Cox. 2015. Choose the Right Decision Criteria. Business Analysis. Web.

Clients marketing web, Marketing methods. (2019). Web.

Okeson, T. Awesome Ways to Boost Sales. B2B Marketing. Web.

Strategic Analysis: Understanding a Firm’s Competitive Environment. (2021). Web.

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BusinessEssay. "Trader Joe’s: Cheap Gourmet & Price-Value Equation." December 17, 2022.