Does Trader Joe’s still have gluten free chicken nuggets?

Gluten-free diets have become increasingly popular in recent years, with more and more people cutting out gluten for health, dietary, or lifestyle reasons. For those avoiding gluten, finding tasty, affordable gluten-free options can be a challenge – especially for convenient frozen foods like chicken nuggets. Trader Joe’s has long been a go-to destination for quality gluten-free items at reasonable prices. Their gluten-free chicken nuggets have been a popular product that many shoppers rely on. However, some reports indicate that certain locations may have stopped carrying these nuggets, leaving gluten-free customers disappointed. This article will examine if Trader Joe’s still offers these coveted nuggets, and if not, what alternate gluten-free nugget options shoppers can find.

The Popularity of Trader Joe’s Gluten-Free Nuggets

Trader Joe’s gluten-free chicken nuggets have earned high praise among those avoiding gluten or simply seeking a better quality nugget. Here are some of the factors that have made them so popular over the years:

– Affordable price – Trader Joe’s nuggets offer quality and convenience at a budget-friendly price point that’s lower than many competing products. This makes them accessible for shoppers on a tight grocery budget.

– Taste and texture – Customers report Trader Joe’s gluten-free nuggets have a light breading with a tender, juicy chicken interior. The taste and texture is closer to “real” chicken than some other frozen nugget alternatives.

– Reliable availability – Shoppers could count on finding these nuggets regularly stocked in the frozen section at their local Trader Joe’s store. This made it easy to add to the grocery list for fast family meals.

– Dietary friendly – In addition to being gluten-free, Trader Joe’s nuggets contain no artificial flavors or colors. They meet the dietary needs of many shoppers looking for “better-for-you” frozen foods.

– Kid-approved – Parents often remark how even picky eaters enjoy Trader Joe’s nuggets. This can make feeding the family much easier.

With all these factors, it’s easy to see why Trader Joe’s gluten-free nuggets have been such a valued product for those who rely on them. Any discontinuation of the item would disappoint many shoppers.

Shortages Reported at Some Stores

In 2022 and early 2023, some concerning reports have circulated about Trader Joe’s gluten-free chicken nuggets. On social media and forum sites like Reddit, shoppers have noted the nuggets being out of stock or no longer available at their local stores.

For example, on the Trader Joe’s subreddit, user @GFNuggetsLover commented “My store in Ohio hasn’t had the gluten free nuggets in weeks. An employee said they are discontinued. Please tell me this isn’t true!”

On Instagram, user @GlutenFreeMomLife posted “No more gluten free nuggets at my Trader Joe’s in Portland. This makes me so sad, they were a staple!”

Reviews on the Trader Joe’s app have also reported shortages. @NuggetEnthusiast wrote “Trader Joe’s in Seattle has been out of gluten free nuggets for over a month. I hope they aren’t gone for good. These were life-changing for my gluten-free family!”

While not universal, these complaints from across different regions indicate the product has been recently unavailable from at least some locations. For regular shoppers, this signals a worrisome trend.

No Official Word from Trader Joe’s

With no formal announcement from the retailer, it’s unclear why the gluten-free chicken nuggets seem to be disappearing from shelves.

Trader Joe’s is notoriously quiet about product changes, rarely confirming removals or answering customer questions about why popular items go away. Their customer service tends to provide ambiguous, noncommittal responses.

When asked directly about the gluten-free nuggets by media and customers, Trader Joe’s has given no statement on whether the item has been discontinued nationwide. Their refusal to provide clarification leaves shoppers confused and concerned.

This evasiveness is standard practice for the secretive retailer. Trader Joe’s doesn’t tend to announce product discontinuations ahead of time, preferring to let inventory simply sell out without notice. They typically won’t confirm if something is gone for good once it vanishes from stores.

Without transparency from Trader Joe’s, gluten-free customers are left hanging. All they know is the coveted nuggets now seem unavailable in an increasing number of locations with no explanation.

Possible Explanations

In the absence of concrete information from Trader Joe’s, shoppers are left to speculate why the popular gluten-free nuggets may be disappearing from shelves. Here are some possible explanations:

– Supply chain issues – Like all retailers, Trader Joe’s has been impacted by pandemic-related supply chain problems. Production and distribution difficulties could be resulting in shortages of the gluten-free nuggets.

– Manufacturing changes – The supplier could have altered its manufacturing process or ingredients, meaning Trader Joe’s has to find a new nugget supplier that meets their standards.

– Low customer demand – Although popular among some shoppers, it’s possible sales of the nuggets overall were too low to merit continued production.

– Quiet discontinuation – Trader Joe’s may have decided for financial or other internal reasons to stop offering the item permanently without announcement.

Unless Trader Joe’s provides more context, customers can only guess at the reasons why the product seems to be vanishing. The lack of transparency from the company fuels speculation and uncertainty.

Alternate Gluten-Free Nugget Options

If Trader Joe’s gluten-free nuggets end up discontinued, here are some possible replacement brands and products to look for:

Tyson Naturals

– Gluten-free with non-GMO chicken
– Available at major grocery retailers like Walmart and Safeway
– Similar cost to Trader Joe’s nuggets at approximately $6 for 22oz bag

Perdue Gluten Free Chicken Nuggets

– Also gluten and grain-free
– Sold at Target, Walmart, and some grocery chains
– Around $7 for a 24oz bag

Applegate Naturals Gluten Free Nuggets

– Made with organic chicken
– Can be found at stores like Publix and Whole Foods
– Higher price point at roughly $9 per 22oz bag

Bell & Evans Gluten-Free Breaded Chicken Nuggets

– Antibiotic-free chicken
– Carried at specialty grocers like Sprouts and Fresh Market
– Premium price around $11 for 24oz

Brand Price Where to Buy
Tyson Naturals $6 per 22oz Walmart, Safeway
Perdue Gluten Free $7 per 24oz Target, Walmart
Applegate Naturals $9 per 22oz Publix, Whole Foods
Bell & Evans $11 per 24oz Sprouts, Fresh Market

While more expensive than Trader Joe’s, these gluten-free nugget alternatives offer similar nutrition and taste. Those dependent on the discontinued Trader Joe’s nuggets may want to test out a few brands to find a new favorite.

Petitioning Trader Joe’s

One way customers could attempt to get answers – or make their demands known – is petitioning Trader Joe’s directly.

A petition or social media campaign asking Trader Joe’s to bring back the gluten-free nuggets could show the retailer how much demand exists. Enough complaints on their Facebook or Twitter may compel a response.

Writing physical letters to Trader Joe’s headquarters explaining your personal reliance on gluten-free nuggets could also impact the company. A flood of mail from disappointed shoppers may convince them to reconsider the item.

However, Trader Joe’s is notoriously immune to public pressure regarding products. With rare exceptions, petitions and vocal outcries asking Trader Joe’s to continue offerings they dropped have produced little response. The private company tends to act in its own interest regardless of customer popularity or sentiment.

But for those passionate about the gluten-free nuggets, direct outreach to Trader Joe’s expressing disappointment and seeking answers is likely worth trying. Just keep expectations realistic based on their past indifference to public product pleas.

Is This “Shrinkflation”?

Another potential explanation is that Trader Joe’s isn’t discontinuing the nuggets entirely but instead engaging in “shrinkflation.”

Shrinkflation refers to companies slightly reducing package sizes of existing products as a covert way to increase effective price. This tricks customers into paying more since the price technically remains the same.

Trader Joe’s may be subtly shrinking the package of gluten-free chicken nuggets, keeping the price at say $6.49 while reducing the number of nuggets inside. This would create the illusion of shortages as customers find less product in each bag.

Shrinkflation has accelerated across industries as inflation drives up business costs. Companies hope customers won’t notice gradual small tweaks to size or quantity.

If Trader Joe’s has opted for this underhanded tactic, shoppers may be paying the same price for less food. Only close inspection of net weight on the gluten-free nugget packages could confirm shrinkflation.

Are Other Retailers Affected?

The issue may not be limited just to Trader Joe’s. Complaints online indicate some other retailers also facing shortages of gluten-free nuggets:


Reddit posts report trouble finding Kirkland Signature brand gluten-free chicken nuggets at some Costco warehouses. This budget priced item seems to be temporarily unavailable at certain locations.


Reviewers note challenges locating Aldi’s popular Earth Grown gluten-free chicken nuggets during recent trips. This item is priced even lower than Trader Joe’s equivalent.


Walmart carries multiple gluten-free nugget brands that some shoppers say are sold out locally. Offerings from Tyson, Perdue, and house Great Value brand are impacted.

Since major chains like Costco, Aldi, and Walmart also appear affected, the issue likely goes beyond just Trader Joe’s. Widespread supply challenges across retailers signal broader factors at play.

Outlook Moving Forward

Until Trader Joe’s provides more clarity, the fate of their gluten-free nuggets remains uncertain. However, the item seems clearly unavailable or inconsistently stocked at increasing locations.

For shoppers dependent on Trader Joe’s specific offering, securing an alternate brand is the safest option. Fortunately several quality frozen nuggets exist, even if priced somewhat higher.

On the positive side, this may just be a temporary shortage. Trying another grocery chain could reveal wider availability of gluten-free nuggets.

Hopefully Trader Joe’s will resume normal stocking soon, or at least officially confirm if the nuggets are permanently discontinued. Their continued silence and evasiveness only frustrates and confuses customers.

In the meantime, those pursuing a gluten-free diet have plenty of chicken nugget options allowing enjoyment of this favorite comfort food. Although Trader Joe’s version may be missed by its fans, other retailers continue offering similar products that satisfy cravings and dietary needs.

The Bottom Line

Trader Joe’s popular gluten-free chicken nuggets appear to be disappearing from stores with no official explanation. The vague shortage has concerned and confused loyal buyers who rely on this item. While exact reasons remain unknown, supply chain challenges, low sales, or intentional quiet discontinuation could be to blame.

Hope still exists the nuggets may return to full stock eventually. But other quality gluten-free nugget alternatives do exist across major retailers. Shoppers have options to find a replacement brand that meets their budget and dietary needs, even if Trader Joe’s preferred version stays away.

Persuading the notoriously opaque Trader Joe’s to provide answers on the status of their gluten-free nuggets seems unlikely. For disappointed customers, switching purchases to a new brand seems the most realistic recourse. But Trader Joe’s could earn back goodwill by being transparent about inventory changes that impact loyal shoppers.

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