Trader Joe’s sources many of their private label brand items from third-party manufacturers. Anything that comes marked as “Trader Joe’s” is not their own product.
They don’t have a factory, just a distribution center. This is true for snacks, condiments, beverages, dips, and all the rest.
So, who makes Trader Joe’s mayonnaise? The truth is, no, we don’t. Trader Joe’s takes their “Private Label” contracts seriously and they never divulge who manufactures these products. However, through some investigation, it’s likely that it comes from Q&B Foods, Inc.
Many people have tried to inquire about other products. Either they didn’t get a response from Trader Joe’s or they reached out to suspected suppliers who refused to disclose that information.
After doing a search, there are a few brands which are very similar to Trader Joe’s in regards to ingredients and nutrition labels.
Table of Contents
Why Doesn’t Trader Joe’s Divulge Their Suppliers?
We don’t know exactly why Trader Joe’s doesn’t name their suppliers. However, we can surmise a few things.
First, there’s probably some sort of NDA (nondisclosure agreement) to prevent Trader Joe’s and their suppliers from speaking about the business they conduct with one another.
The other likely reason is that the secrecy allows Trader Joe’s to sell products, like mayonnaise, at a discounted price.
It’s probable that they want to build brand loyalty. If they tell us where it comes from, it would defeat that purpose.
What Does Trader Joe’s State about Their Private Label Products?
The only thing Trader Joe’s indicates about their private label products is they “promise great quality fare for exceptional, everyday prices.”
They claim to sample all their products before putting their name on it and only sell what they think is quality.
How Do You Know that Trader Joe’s Mayonnaise Comes from Q&B Foods, Inc.?
We don’t know that Q&B Foods, Inc. supplies Trader Joe’s mayonnaise for sure. However, by doing a little searching online, comparing the ingredients, and using deductive reasoning, it’s very likely that it is.
Plus, if you search Trader Joe’s website for mayonnaise, nothing comes up for it. They list products containing mayo or the letters m-a-y-o, but nothing in regards to the actual product itself. You can, however, find it at other places like Wal-Mart and Amazon.
So, after doing a general search of the ingredients from Trader Joe’s mayo, two brands popped up: Spectrum Organic Mayonnaise with Cage Free Eggs and Ojai Cook Mayonnaise with Cage Free Eggs. Both brands you can find on Amazon.
The following is a side-by-side ingredient comparison. The only difference is the addition of organic honey in Spectrum’s mayonnaise, which would make it more “proprietary.”
|Trader Joe’s Organic Mayonnaise||Spectrum Organic Mayonnaise with Cage Free Eggs||Ojai Cook Mayonnaise with Cage Free Eggs|
|Water||Organic expeller pressed soy and/or canola oil||Organic expeller pressed soybean oil|
|Organic expeller pressed soybean oil||Filtered water||Water|
|Organic white vinegar||Organic egg yolks||Organic egg yolks|
|Organic whole eggs||Organic whole eggs||Organic whole eggs|
|Organic pasteurized egg yolks||Organic distilled white vinegar||Organic distilled white vinegar|
|Organic white mustard (salt, organic mustard seed, distilled organic vinegar, organic spices, water)||Organic mustard (distilled organic vinegar, organic mustard seed, water, organic spices, salt)||Organic white mustard (distilled organic vinegar, organic mustard seed, water, organic spices, salt)|
|Organic lemon juice concentrate||Organic lemon juice concentrate||Organic lemon juice concentrate|
Digging into the Information
While Trader Joe’s and Spectrum Organics do not list their private label manufacturer, Ojai Cook does. It’s Q&B Foods, Inc., which is a division of Kewpie.
They are notorious for creating retail market brands, specifically advertising mayonnaise.
There’s further evidence in the nutrition facts label. All have 100 calories per serving and 11 mg Cholesterol along with most of the same numbers.
The main difference is that Trader Joe’s; Spectrum have 85 mg of sodium while Ojai has 80.
Comparing & Contrasting
For comparison, Kraft Avocado Oil Mayonnaise has 90 calories, different nutritional values, and comprises ingredient variations:
- Egg Yolks
- 2% Sugar or less
- Soybean Oil
- Natural Flavor (Contains Mustard)
- Dried Onion
- Dried Garlic
- Calcium Disodium Edta
- Lemon Juice Concentrate
What’s interesting is Hellman’s Organic Mayonnaise has 100 calories and similar ingredients as Trader Joe’s, Spectrum, and Ojai Cook.
Just to illustrate things further, the organic mayo by Chosen Foods has 100 calories per serving with significant variations in the ingredients:
- Organic Blend Oil (Organic Avocado Oil, Organic High Oleic Safflower Oil, Organic Coconut Oil)
- Organic Egg Yolks and whole eggs
- Filtered Water
- Organic Mustard (Organic Water, Mustard Seed, Organic Spices, Salt, Distilled Organic Vinegar)
- Organic Distilled White Vinegar
- Organic Rosemary Extract
The fact that TJ’s, Spectrum, Ojai Cook, and Hellman’s have essentially the same ingredients with the exact same number of calories is highly suspect.
While you could make arguments for the difference in the sodium count or honey, certainly it wouldn’t take much for Kewpie to adjust things for the preferences of the retailer.
Even though we don’t know who makes Trader Joe’s mayonnaise for sure, we can surmise it comes from Q&B Food, Inc., a division of Kewpie. Kewpie has nationwide fame specifically producing things like mayonnaise for various private brands. But, when you compare labels of similar mayonnaise, you begin to see a different picture.
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