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Wednesday, June 12, 2013
Trader Joe's Almond Butter Crisis
For those of you following me on Twitter, you know I have a serious addiction to two things: sweet potato chips and Trader Joe's Unsweetened Almond Butter. Both of these foods have gotten me through this annoying elimination diet since they are both considered "ok" to eat. Probably not the best food choices in the world, but they aren't banned from my diet.

Much to my dismay, it has proven very difficult to find the Trader Joe's Unsweetened Almond Butter. I've been two a Trader Joe's in Manhattan, NY and one in West Hartford, CT. Both had empty shelves. My mom went to two Trader Joe's on Long Island (NY) and she also found a hole where the unsweetened almond butter once lived. I finally spoke to an employee at Trader Joe's and he said there was an almond butter shortage and they rarely got deliveries any more. This sounded slightly unbelievable but I took his word and went on the hunt for more.

I finally did find some almond butter at Trader Joe's Chelsea and bought three jars. At $5.99 a jar, this is by far the cheapest unsweetened almond butter on the market and if I knew how hard it would be to find it I would have bought more. Yes, there are other almond butters on the market but I refuse to pay more than $10 for only 6-10oz at most. That is just craziness.

Fast forward about 3 weeks since I finished my last jar and I am in a severe drought and having withdrawal symtoms. I tried sunflower butter but it just doesn't cut it. Insert sad face here. I rarely write to companies but I was missing my treat and my elimination diet has led me to do some weird things (don't ask!). Yesterday, I got this response from Trader Joe's:

Hi Erin,
Thank you so much for contacting us. We sincerely apologize for the stock issues we have had with our almond butter. Each store is able to order only one case (12 jars) at a time, and delivery is not always guaranteed. 

There is a delay in sourcing the raw materials, so production of the almond butter will be slowed until at least the end of June. Please know that, going forward, we are working hard to be able to keep this product on the shelves at all times - we love it, too! 

Regards,KerryCustomer Relations

One case at a time?! 12 jars for a city of 8 million people?! Almond sourcing issues?! Trader Joe's get it together. Ship some more of that almond butter to Manhattan, PRONTO. Gluten-Free Fun needs her fix!


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18 Comments:

Blogger ackdavis said...

You recognize a good product! Have you tried making your own from bulk almonds? Easy to do with bulk purchase of almonds (maybe a nut house or that big mail order place) + a food processor. Grind about 10 minutes, scraping down as you grind. Or you can add 2 tsp to 1 Tbls of oil if you like. The pure, raw is delicious and worth the effort. Good luck, Erin!

Anonymous Renee said...

FYI - It will probably only get worse too. The almond crop in California had troubles because we lost so many honeybees over the winter. They need them for pollination of the almond groves.

Blogger Chris Jurak said...

Fairway makes their own almond butter on site, so the TJ shortage hasn't been an issue, fortunately...

Anonymous Kim said...

We are still having the same issues in Ohio. I haven't had AB in a long time. What I don't get is that I see other brands of AB at Earth Fare and Whole Foods, but I refuse to pay the price (usually over $8/jar) for those brands.

Kim

Anonymous Diane said...

We have no almond butter at Trader Joes's in California either. My husband is also addicted to it. We were still able to by Trader Joe's, roasted, unsalted almonds. I found a nice blog on line about how to make almond butter, and we did. It was better than the stuff in jars and the same cost. Put the bag of almonds in a food processor and process. Scrape side often. When it forms a hard lump keep breaking it up and processing. It takes about 15 minutes of procesing time before the almonds give up their oil and make a creamy butter, but it will happen. Don't stop and the dry lump stage. Good luck

Anonymous Anonymous said...

All due to TJ's original supplier Sunland Inc being involved in the Valencia Peanut butter salmonella scare last October. TJ's are now looking for a new supplier as the only one that they have left is producing at max capacity - which means only one case per store per week.
http://sunsethills-crestwood.patch.com/groups/business-news/p/trader-joes-recalls-peanut-butter-almond-butter

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have been having the same problem, found a couple of jars in Chelsea about a month ago but none since, and I go there every week. It's not as good as the TJ's stuff, but for price alone the best almond butter deal is at Costco, they have very large jars for about $10.

Blogger Mary Ann Williams said...

Question - do you know for sure that TJ's almond butter is gluten free? I'm just starting on this journey (starting an elimination diet in 2 days) and didn't see it listed on the TJ's company gluten-free list. I also noticed some at Sprout's stores is tagged GF and some isn't. Not sure why... maybe in how it's processed/packaged???

Blogger Jonathan Ramos said...

Here in the northwest its the same thing. I went to Costco to see if their big jars of the stuff were available. What i found was the same elsewhere else...nothing.

Blogger TripleB said...

We have the same issue here in the Sacramento, CA area. After reading Erin's comment, I was checking elsewhere online and saw that TJ's almond butter is for sale on Amazon, but for $10 (or more) per jar!!! Looks like TJ's is the seller, too. Either way, store supplies appear to be shorted in order to offer the product at a much higher price online. This isn't the sort of thing I'd expect from TJ's - hope there's a good explanation.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Shortage in VA also. I was told by a TJ employee it was due to the loss of bees for pollinating. Prices up everywhere on the almond butter I have found other places :(

Blogger Christine Moratz said...

Have you tried Cashew butter? It actually tastes pretty good -- haven't seen it at TJ's they only have 10 kinds of peanut butter on the shelves here in Boston :(

Anonymous April said...

Erin, I'm really missing my TJ's almond butter (raw, creamy, unsalted), too! I was eating it for many years - probably at least 10 and first I switched over to sunflower butter, and it's not the same! Then I've been eating peanut butter again, but it's not as good as the raw, creamy unsalted PB they sold like 10 years ago...only have roasted creamy now. At either rate, I'm not sure what I'll do, but I hope we can get the TJ's almond butter again soon. (:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Got the sad news last night after driving the 30 miles to my closest TJ's in Roswell, GA. The almond butter was my main reason for making the drive. I am going to try making it at home, doesn't sound too hard. Thanks for the tip.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is still a problem in NYC. I've been to 3 TJ's in Manhattan and they all have roasted almond butter but they hardly ever have the raw almond butter which is what my husband and I like. I did find it in abundance in CT, so I bought 6 jars which last us 6 months, I hope.

Blogger Remy said...

It sounds like the Raw Almond Butter from Trader's Joe is not Raw after all, there is a law in California where it is mandated to pasteurize all almonds but can still by law be called 'Raw'!

Anonymous Anonymous said...

That's actually a new nation-wide law passed by the USDA.
I started making my own almond butter (buy the 1lb bags from TJ's for only $5.99), because I can soak the nuts (makes the enzymes much more digestible). This makes for a much healthier and creamier almond butter that doesn't separate right away!

Blogger Andrew Frezza said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

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