How have we been shopping at TJ's all these years and never knew about this?

By Perri Ormont Blumberg
April 06, 2018
Trader Joe's Storefront
Credit: BackyardProduction/Getty Images

While we could never tire of Trader Joe's wondrous aisles, our kids sure can. But what's a mama or papa to do when the kids start getting antsy for the checkout line and we still have 18 more after-school snacks to select?

The answer, friends, is simple: Keep them entertained with looking for the hidden stuffed animal inside the store.

As The Kitchn recently reported thanks to a Reddit thread, "A lot of customers don't realize it, even if they shop at Trader Joe's regularly, but somewhere in the store, the employees have hidden a stuffed animal. Any kid who finds the stuffed animal is given a special treat, like a lollipop, as a prize."

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To make sure the Reddit news was real, the article's author Elizabeth Licata got in touch with Trader Joe's public relations team. "Now, I cannot say that there is one in every single store, but in general, stores typically have one. It's a way to engage with kids in our store. If they locate the hidden stuffed toy, they just let a Crew Member know and they'll receive a treat," Kendra Friend-Daniel, the grocer's public relations director, told The Kitchn. "The type of stuffed toy and treat may vary store to store, but for example, in my local Trader Joe's there's a hidden penguin and when my daughters locate it, they receive a lollipop."

Well, there you have it. Yet another excuse to plan a TJ run. Can adults play too?