This Is Why Trader Joe’s Hides Stuffed Animals on Its Shelves

Turns out, there's a fun reason you may see stuffed animals on the shelves of your local Trader Joe's

It’s true, shopping for oatmeal and bananas with Mom and Dad might not seem super fun. But one store makes grocery shopping an adventure for the under-10 crowd. It’s Trader Joe’s, of course. The employees at TJ’s try to get kids involved in grocery shopping by hiding a stuffed animal in each store—and you can win a sweet treat if you find it.

It’s just one of the many employee secrets that makes shopping at Trader Joe’s an adventure!

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What do kids get if they find the stuffed animal?

@_mariaroberts What animals do you have at your Trader Joe’s!? We have a duck and a turtle, Frank and Steve haha. #traderjoes #traderjoesfoodreviews #traderjoesfinds #traderjoeslist #momsoftiktok ♬ original sound – mariaroberts

As TikTok creator @_mariaroberts confirms, the Trader Joe’s stuffed animals aren’t a rumor. At most stores, the employees hide a stuffed animal somewhere among the shelves and stacks in the store. It’s the perfect way to distract kids during a shopping trip.

If your kiddo finds the stuffed animal, bring it to one of the employees for a special reward. The stores usually offer a piece of candy!

There are hundreds of Trader Joe’s stores around the country, but not all of them participate in this fun game. Next time you go to Trader Joe’s, ask one of the employees if there’s a stuffed animal to find.

When did the Trader Joe’s stuffed animal scavenger hunt begin?

Trader Joes Mascots Qtr 1200x800Courtesy @traderjoesmascotsandmore/Instagram

This scavenger hunt is making the rounds on TikTok now, but it’s long been a staple at Trader Joe’s. In fact, the Trader Joe’s stuffed animal has been a thing for more than 10 years! And clearly, kids (and parents) can’t get enough.

Are the stuffed animals the same at every Trader Joe’s?

Take note, the stuffed animal is different at every store. Some stores hide eagles, whales or bears with the hopes that a young shopper will come across them. At the Hoboken, New Jersey, TJ’s from the TikTok video above, shoppers should be on the lookout for a duck and a turtle. Other stores hide dogs, lobsters and more.

As it turns out, Trader Joe’s isn’t the only store to do this. Next time you’re at Fresh Thyme Farmers Market, look for the hidden tractor and win (you guessed it) candy!

Taste of Home
Originally Published on Taste of Home

Jessica Kaplan
Jessica Kaplan is an assistant editor who has written lifestyle content for Reader’s Digest, Family Handyman and The Healthy. Her expertise includes travel and restaurant news. These days, she creates timely trend content for Taste of Home. When she’s not writing, Jessica is bound to be planning out her next trip, trying out a new coffee spot or listening to a podcast.