When To Shop At Trader Joe's

Over the past 4 years I've been tracking wait times and stock levels using CoronaWait, a Java-based single-page app implemented using Flavour. Let's look at one store in particular, Trader Joe's. Ever wanted to know what day of the week to visit for the best chance to get frozen waffles? Or which month of the year they run out of toilet paper? OK, sure, but now you're curious, right?

Day of the Week

If you like frozen waffles, it's best to go on the weekend, the waffle supply is highest on Saturday and Sunday.

On the other end of the spectrum, peak toilet paper occurs midweek, shop for it then since it disappears on the weekend — strange.

Month of the Year

Baking mix and frozen waffles run low in December — a holiday rush?

Toilet paper is lowest in January. I won't speculate.

Hour of the Day

This is probably one of the least interesting charts. There is no serious change in stock levels throughout the day, at least for these items surveyed. A big thanks to the crew members who keep the shelves well-stocked throughout the day.

Now Kimbap (not tracked) is another matter, get there first thing in the morning if you want a chance at that delicacy.

Date, 2020-Present

This last chart shows stock levels over the lifetime of CoronaWait. Starting in 2020, several items started low (when shelves were often bare).

As 2020 wound to a close, stock rebounded and, in some cases, seemed to over-correct, with peak waffles toward the end of 2021 followed by peak tissues in mid-2022.

Now in 2024 almost all levels are on a downward trend, with only paper towels staying flat.

Last modified on 2 Mar 2024 by AO

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