The Trader Joe's Product That Was Accused Of Being A Sausage Roll Rip-Off

Trader Joe's only boasts a little over 500 stores — a small number compared to Walmart's 3,573 locations per Statista –  but the grocer is undoubtedly one of the U.S.'s most beloved supermarkets (via CNBC). And for many, the store's unique line of products is what makes it such an appealing place to stop for a grocery run.

As Forbes notes, 86% of the items lining Trader Joe's shelves are exclusively sold by the company. And, every single product the store carries is marketed with a lot of flair. The supermarket chain even hires its own artists to whip up one-of-a-kind price tags to make its merchandise look more appealing. But, despite its colorful approach to business, even a well-loved brand like Trader Joe's has had its share of controversies. And, while the company has upset plenty of its fans by discontinuing some of its most well-loved items, perhaps Trader Joe's most heated controversy to date involves one of its signature private label products.

The great puff dog and sausage roll saga of 2017

In 2017, Trader Joe's announced the release of a pastry-wrapped sausage treat called the puff dog (via The Guardian). However, while the U.S. was munching on the allegedly American hotdog-inspired snack for the first time, the U.K. was in an uproar over how closely the puff dog resembled a long-time British foodie favorite — the sausage roll. According to, the words "sausage roll" were first spotted in an 1863 British newspaper. That's 154 years before the U.K. awoke one morning to find that the American-based Trader Joe's revealed they were selling a "new" savory snack.

Trader Joe's never explicitly announced it invented the sausage treat, but that didn't stop defenders of the U.K. delicacy from critiquing the brand on social media. Per Thrillist, one Twitter user wrote, "The sausage roll is older than the country itself. They should have paid more attention at orientation." The Guardian stated another Tweeter posted, "Sorry Trader Joe's, your 'puff dog' been made by my local baker for 15 years." Trader Joe's did not officially comment on the resemblance between two treats and, like many of the chain's products, puff dogs quietly disappeared from its stores.