Trader Joe’s Readies New Store in Lakewood Ranch, Fla.

Grocer’s marketing pros also talk about how some ingredients are on the 'no' list
Lynn Petrak
Senior Editor
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Trader Joe's Lakewood Ranch
Trader Joe's latest store in Florida is located in a master-planned communty in Manatee County, Fla.

Trader Joe’s is putting the finishing touches on a new store in Lakewood Ranch, Fla., a master-planned community in the state’s Manatee County. Located at 8111 Copper Creek Boulevard in the University Town Center Mall, the 12,000-square-foot store officially opens on Oct. 26 at 8 a.m.

The grand opening will kick off with a ribbon-cutting ceremony. After that, shoppers filing in will be welcomed by the store captain and associates and then go on their way to browse the new aisles. Early customers can take home product samples and bags that are being given away to mark the occasion.

[Read more: “GALLERY: Wegmans’ New Store Opens in NYC”]

As with other Trader Joe’s locations, this store features artwork that highlights local scenes and attractions. Also in line with the grocer’s practices, the Lakewood Ranch Trader Joe’s will donate 100% of unsold but still edible products to local nonprofit groups.

The store will be open daily from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Other Trader Joe’s stores are in the works. A location in Forest Hills, N.Y., in the New York City borough of Queens, is set to open by the end of 2023, and a site in Middletown N.J., will be unveiled in 2024.

As Trader Joe’s expands its footprint, it makes decisions to limit things – namely, certain ingredients. In the latest episode of the “Inside Trader Joe’s” podcast,VPs of Marketing Matt Sloan and Tara Miller said that the retailer maintains a list of ingredients that will not be used in its private label products, including synthetic colors, artificial flavors and MSG.

“These are commonly used ingredients in commercial food and beverage production that we have chosen, often related to customer feedback, to not use. So, for us, being deliberate about what we do is really important and deliberately avoiding certain things, that’s also important,” explained Sloan.

Added Miller: “The list is really long, and it's actually kind of shocking to see how long the list is, and it's not even an exhaustive list. It’s really just guidance for us internally. Like, 'Hey, red flag.' So, we don’t use synthetic colors in our private label products. We used to say we don’t use artificial colors, but because there isn’t really a defined understanding of what artificial might mean to various people, like somebody might say, 'Well, you put cherry juice in that yogurt, and it made it red, and yogurt doesn’t naturally have red. So, that's an artificial color because you've artificially enhanced the color of yogurt, which is creamy colored.'”

The co-hosts noted that such lists evolve and change over time, with emerging food science and technologies. “So, who’s to say what we might add to the list?” Sloan pointed out.

With more than 500 stores in 40-plus states, Monrovia, Calif.-based Trader Joe’s is No. 27 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2023 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America. PG also named the company one of its Retailers of the Century.

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