Trader Joe's is your favorite neighborhood grocery store! With over 500 stores nationwide (and growing), we are the place to be. Looking for something delicious and a friendly conversation? At Trader Joe's, you can find both. We love being your first and favorite place to shop.
What do we do?
Like shopping at Trader Joe's? Then, maybe you'll love working with us. We are looking for an experienced Product Developer who is searching to do what they'll love - developing new products for Trader Joe's! Do you have experience in negotiating with food manufacturers? Do you love food? If so, read on! We may the role of a lifetime for you!
Trader Joe's is unlike any place you've ever worked. Trust us on that. The qualified professional has at least 5 years of product development experience and is a raving fan of the Trader Joe's concept. A Bachelor's Degree is strongly preferred and strong knowledge of retail math is required. This role is based in our office in Boston, MA.
Product Developers are charged with hunting for items on our "Shopping Lists". Working with Category Managers and others in the Buying Department, Product Developers research potential solutions and travel to find great products that will round out our selection and bring the Category Visions to life.
The Product Developer:
Has a laser sharp focus on delivering Value (Quality and Price) to stores.
Works with Category Managers to achieve sales, margin, and new product goals.
Develops successful products that fill Shopping List needs as assigned by the Category Manager.
Works on quality issues and product reformulations.
Develops branded local products that demonstrate our neighborhood store Value.
Travels as needed to bring the Category Visions to life.
Is an expert in Category trends and seasonality. Offers a WOW! selection of everyday and seasonal products.
Actively diversifies vendor base and develops broker-free relationships.
Works collaboratively with other departments.
We want to hear from you!
We get a lot of resumes; so to help us get to know you better, please submit your resume and cover letter. When creating your cover letter, please answer these questions:
What is your favorite Trader Joe's product and why?
What makes you uniquely qualified for this position?
Trader Joe's is an equal opportunity employer and is committed to hiring a diverse Crew.
The Product Developer is:
An excellent communicator.
A strong negotiator.
Organized and manages their time well.
A team player.
5 or more years of experience in buying and sourcing new food products.
Internal Number: 7164
About Trader Joe's
In 1958, Joe Coulombe took over a small chain of convenience stores around the LA area. These were called Pronto Markets. The whole idea was fast. Pronto – quick, right? And they were convenience stores, before we really even know what convenience stores were. The kind of place where you could get anything from, say, a pack of gum to some pantyhose.
After 10 years of running Pronto Markets, the convenience store formula just didn’t continue to make sense. So, Joe, the classic entrepreneur, took note that the demographics were changing in the United States because of the G.I. Bill of Rights, a large experiment in mass higher education, and identified an opportunity to deliver… something different.
The first Trader Joe’s store opened in 1967 in Pasadena, California. (That store is still there. It's still operating. It still has the same parking lot.) The store had a nautical theme and it was run by people who were described as “traders on the high seas.” At the time, Joe had been reading a book called "White Shadows in the South Seas," and he’d been to the Disneyland Jungle Trip ride, and it all just…coalesced. To this day, Trader Joe’s Crew Members consider themselves “traders... on the culinary seas” and are known for their bright, tropical-patterned shirts and for generally being nice, helpful, and well informed.
And then in 1972, Joe introduced a total game changer for Trader Joe's... Granola. Not just any granola, though. This was the first private label Trader Joe's product. After granola, we never looked back.
Focusing on private label (products with “Trader Joe’s” name on them) simplified a lot of things, and removed a lot of costs – no more slotting fees, marketing fees, middlemen fees… We passed along those savings to our customers (still do), because the value of Value is invaluable. And to us, “Value” means offering the best quality products for the best, everyday prices.
We understood then, as we do today, that maintaining our everyday focus on Value is vital, which is why we don’t have sales, loyalty programs, membership fees, or any other gimmicks. Instead, here is what we do:
We buy direct from suppliers whenever possible, we bargain hard to get the best price, and then pass the savings on to you.
If an item doesn’t pull its weight in our stores, it goes away to gangway for something else.
We buy in volume and contract early to get the best prices.
Most grocers charge their suppliers fees for putting an item on the shelf. This results in higher prices... so we don’t do it.
We keep our costs low—because every penny we save is a penny you save.
So, where were we…?
In 1988, when Joe retired, Trader Joe's had 19 stores. John Shields took over as CEO, and saw the opportunity to transfer this grocery store concept across geographical boundaries, starting with entry into Northern California. Then came Arizona, followed by the Pacific Northwest, and… by 1996 we had opened our doors on the East Coast. John understood that de-centralized and aligned decision-making would help to facilitate our growth. Nearly a decade later, there were 150 Trader Joe’s stores across the country.
In 2001, Dan Bane assumed the role of Chairman and CEO and focused on making us a national chain of neighborhood grocery stores.