The Favorite Apple Cider That Just Won Trader Joe's Customer Awards

Trader Joe's products have a tendency to inspire cult-like devotion. The grocery chain's affordable, high-quality private-label products have sparked viral trends and inspired fan accounts on Instagram and TikTok. For its part, the chain tends to lean in, leveraging customers' support for marketing. Case in point: the Annual Customer Choice Awards.

For the past 15 years, Trader Joe's has asked fans to vote on their favorite products in 10 categories. This year, Trader Joe's Chili & Lime Flavored Rolled Corn Tortilla Chips won customers' favorite overall. A perennial favorite, the tangy chili chips took top prize last year, too. Other winners include Butter Chicken, Creamy Spinach & Artichoke dip, and the brand's affordable Goat Cheese. But while most of the winners can be found on the shelves of your local store, you'll have to wait to try fans' favorite beverage, Trader Joe's Spiced Cider.

While the flavorful apple cider didn't take top prize overall, it did have a unique distinction: It was the only seasonal product to win first place in any of the nine categories. While Trader Joe's has sold the product for over 20 years, it's only available in the fall. Considering that the Spiced Cider is only around for a few months out of the year, you can bet that it's on the list for a good reason.

What makes Trader Joe's Spiced Cider special?

In contrast to another seasonal favorite, Trader Joe's 100% Honeycrisp Apple Cider, which contains nothing but apples, the Spiced Cider packs some pizzaz. The store's website states that it's made with autumnal spices like cinnamon, cloves, and allspice, plus "a subtle hint of citrus." While exact ingredients and allergen information vary by region, the cider is also free of added sugar, preservatives, or artificial flavors. 

While you're waiting to get your hands on the Spiced Cider, it might be worthwhile to check out Trader Joe's other apple drinks — and the store stocks plenty. Tara Miller, Trader Joe's Vice President of Marketing, told Inside Trader Joe's Podcast "You know, we have Apple Cider in shelf-stable bottles. We have Apple Cider in refrigerated bottles. We have Apple Cider in cans ... there's a lot." If you're not an apple fan, you might want to try this year's second-place beverage, French Market Sparkling Lemonade, instead. Miller revealed that fans like the lemonade almost as much, noting, "It was kind of a close call between apple cider and the sparkling lemonade when it came to winners." Other top-ranked drinks included Triple Ginger Brew and 100% Tangerine Juice. 

If you don't have a Trader Joe's near you (or just like to make things from scratch), check out our tips for making apple cider at home