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Does Trader Joe’s Sell Star Anise? (Answered)

Does Trader Joe's Sell Star Anise

When you are in the mood for something delicious and unique, you head to Trader Joe’s. This company has managed to gain a reputation for offering great deals on some very tasty products. While they don’t keep many food staples in their stores, they do have some. But, what about spices? More specifically, does Trader Joe’s sell star anise?

Trader Joe’s does not sell star anise. Their spice selection is minimal. The company prefers offering unique spice blends instead of standard spices. If you want something like star anise, you would need to head to one of the large grocery stores e.g. Walmart.

It’s a shame that Trader Joe’s doesn’t stock star anise, really. It is very common in Chinese dishes, and you can even make Chai tea from it. Throughout the rest of this page, you will start to get a feel as to why Trader Joe’s doesn’t stock star anise and is unlikely to ever stock it. 

Overview of Trader Joe’s

Trader Joe’s is that weird grocery store that you want to go to, but you would never find everything that you need there. Trader Joe’s is missing a lot of incredibly basic stuff. This includes many spices (more on that soon).

However, Trader Joe’s isn’t attempting to be a ‘one-stop shop’ for everything under the sun. Their stores are too small for that. Instead, the company focuses on being unique.

If you have ever wandered through the aisles of Trader Joe’s, you will notice that the flavors that they have on the shelves are unique.

You may spot foods that you would never see in any other store. You may spot foods from all over the world. In fact, Trader Joe’s is experienced at diving into international cuisine and trying to create products for their stores that match it.

Trader Joe’s works with suppliers all over the world. They buy in all sorts of amazing products (often in very limited quantities), put their own Trader Joe’s brand on it, and put it in their stores.

Trader Joe’s is looking for high-turnover products that would disappear from the shelves in a couple of days.

This is why you will often see Trader Joe’s ditch product lines as soon as they introduce them. If a product isn’t selling, Trader Joe’s isn’t stocking it anymore. 

Trader Joe’s also opts for a much more personalized customer experience too. While their stores are run on a minimum amount of staff, those staff are always attentive of people.

They are always there to answer questions about products. They can even take feedback and product suggestions and pass it on to Trader Joe’s. This is because Trader Joe’s wants to stock what the people want at the prices the people want to pay. 

Trader Joe’s Spice Selection

If you head to any major grocery store, then you will see shelves laden with every spice under the sun. Whatever dish you are cooking up, you can probably find the spices in one of the big grocery stores. Not Trader Joe’s, though. In their quest to be unique, their spice selection is incredibly limited

While Trader Joe’s does offer a couple of incredibly basic spices (salt, pepper, paprika, etc.), the bulk of their range is formed of spice blends.

These spice blends are incredibly popular. If you carry out a Google search for some of the spice blends at Trader Joe’s, you will see that they get a ton of praise. Popular blends include:

  • Pizza Flavor Sprinkle
  • Ketchup Flavor Sprinkle
  • Fermented Black Garlic
  • Everything But The Leftovers
  • Cheesy Seasoning
  • Green Goddess Blend

Check out a couple of these the next time that you are in Trader Joe’s. They will be some of the most delicious things you have ever tasted.

Star anise is not one of the spices that Trader Joe’s stocks. As mentioned, Trader Joe’s wants their products to sell quickly. As great as star anise is as a spice, it just doesn’t sell well enough for Trader Joe’s to justify keeping it on the shelves. 

Star Anise and Its Culinary Significance

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Star anise is a tree grown in Vietnam and parts of China. While it is an ingredient in many medicines, it is more commonly known as a spice. 

The taste of star anise is often compared to that of anise which, oddly enough, is not related to the star anise tree at all. This means that you will often see star anise used as a substitute flavor in dishes where anise is called for. Mostly because star anise is considerably cheaper than actual anise.

Star anise is used heavily as an ingredient in India, with it often being added to Chai tea and masala. You can also find it in other Asian cuisines, particularly in China and Singapore.

Star anise has even made its way into a variety of Western dishes. The French even use star anise to make their wine.

While it is not an especially versatile ingredient, it is needed to put together a variety of different dishes. It can also be used to add a bit of sweetness to certain curries. 

To check the current price and availability of Spice Train Star Anise, click here to view the listing on Amazon.

Researching Trader Joe’s Star Anise Availability

The best way to find out whether Trader Joe’s stocks star anise is to check out the website at www.traderjoes.com. As long as a product is not limited in quantity or to a certain store, it will be listed here.

You can also reach out to customer support, or ask the customer service team in-store. They can give you more advice on the products that they stock.

Results: Does Trader Joe’s Sell Star Anise?

We have looked into it and, unfortunately, Trader Joe’s does not stock star anise. In fact, they do not stock that many spices at all. As mentioned previously, Trader Joe’s is mostly about spice blends.

Because star anise isn’t a massively popular spice, it is unlikely that Trader Joe’s will ever stock it. Although, this can always change. This is why it is important to check their website regularly. 

Alternatives to Trader Joe’s for Star Anise Purchase

Thankfully, while Trader Joe’s doesn’t stock star anise, it isn’t a particularly elusive spice. Stores like Walmart will have it in stock. However, if you want the best quality star anise, we suggest that you head to your local Asian supermarket.

Star anise shouldn’t be too expensive. It will cost a couple of dollars, at the most. 

Final Thoughts

Trader Joe’s only stocks a limited number of spices. Unfortunately, star anise is not one of them. It is a product they are likely never to have in stock.

If you want star anise, you will need to head to one of the other major grocery stores. Walmart and Asian supermarkets are guaranteed to have it. 


Shane is a fitness enthusiast who also has a passion for trying and cooking new foods. His favorite stores to shop at include Trader Joe's, Wholefoods Market, Sprouts, Stater Brothers, and Target.

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