Meet the typical Trader Joe's shopper: a younger, married, college-educated person earning over $80,000

Trader Joes outside
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  • Trader Joe's has 530 stores in the US and employs more than 10,000 people.

  • Owned by Aldi, the store's sales are estimated at $13.7 billion per year.

  • Trader Joe's average customer is a married person in an urban area who is 25 to 44 years old and earning $80,000.

  • See more stories on Insider's business page.

Trader Joe's is among the largest grocery chains in the US, with annual sales estimated to be nearly $14 billion. The company is privately held and does not disclose its financials.

Founded in 1967 by Joe Coulombe in Pasadena, California, there now are over 500 Trader Joe's locations in the US employing roughly 10,000 workers that the company refers to as "captains" and "crew members."

Analytics firm Numerator found that the typical Trader Joe's shopper is white or Asian and between 25 and 44 years old, according to its data. She typically has a bachelor's degree or above and an annual income of more than $80,000.

In a recently published memoir, Coulombe said his target customer was over-educated and underpaid, with a taste for whole-bean coffee and fresh brie, rather than "the masses who willingly consumed Folger's coffee, Best Foods Mayonnaise, Wonder Bread, Coca-Cola, etc."

The typical customer visits Trader Joe's 13 times per year — and picks up 15 products for a total cost of about $47 per trip, Numerator found.

Trader Joe's has relatively high customer turnover among the major brands surveyed – second only to Whole Foods – with just over half of its 2020 shoppers returning in 2021.

At the same time, the brand added more new customers than it lost last year, with a ratio of about three new shoppers for every two that quit visiting the brand.

Coulombe famously applied a concept known as the Four Tests to the products he chose to stock: "high value per cubic inch; high rate of consumption; easily handled; and something in which we could be outstanding in terms of price or assortment."

At Trader Joe's, shoppers tend to choose pre-made foods like frozen dinners and salad kits, as well as brands like GT's Living Foods and Volpi cured meats. About 2.4% of their spending takes place at Trader Joe's, compared to the 8% they spend on Amazon.

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