What Happened To Trader Joe's Arrabiata Sauce?

While grocery chains discontinue products because they fall out of favor with fans, one could be forgiven for believing that this wasn't Trader Joe's motivation when it came to its Arrabiata Sauce, given the fervor surrounding it. When the sauce was about to be taken off shelves in January 2022, many of those fans were shocked — or should we say, arrabbiata, which means "angry" in Italian. Reactions in the comments on the Instagram fan page @traderjoestobediscontinued ranged from "Opened one of my last jars last night. It's my favorite. Crushed to see it go," to "This makes me so mad!!!! This is the best quick sauce with NO sugar. What am I supposed to use now!"

A typical arrabbiata sauce contains tomato, garlic, onion, salt, and basil, with a dose of red pepper flakes to bring its signature heat (aka the "anger" in its name). The Trader Joe's version differs only in its inclusion of a secret spice blend and red bell peppers, which made it on the mild side for arrabbiata. So what happened with this sauce, and will we ever see it again?

Trader Joe's took its Arrabiata Sauce off shelves in early 2022

Trader Joe's is known for being tight-lipped about its suppliers, so it's possible we'll never know for sure. But that has not stopped many from speculating about this once-fan favorite. One commenter on Reddit guessed the loss was due to supply chain issues, while another heard from store cashiers that it might be too spicy for most of the chain's customers. A third user thought that the company producing the sauce simply stopped making it. 

If you'd like to air your grievances to TJ's personally, you can fill out an online Discontinued Product Feedback form. The chain explains there (and this seems like the best official explanation we're going to get) that it takes an item off the shelves if it's not "earning its spot" so it can make way for new products. 

In the meantime, you can try whipping up an arrabiata sauce at home; just remember to add in roasted red bell peppers to make yours taste closer to the Trader Joe's version, and feel free to amp up the heat with some extra red pepper flakes if that's your thing.