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Trader Joe's Reintroduces Free Samples After Pandemic Hiatus

Trader Joe's store in North Brunswick Township, New Jersey.
Trader Joe's store in North Brunswick Township, New Jersey.

Michael Brochstein/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty

It's good news for Trader Joe's shoppers!

The grocery store chain is reintroducing a pre-pandemic perk: free in-store samples.

"Demo is back in our stores," a Trader Joe's spokesperson confirms with PEOPLE.

And the fan favorite initiative is returning with a reimagined edge.

"We are bringing it back with a new approach. We want to focus a little more on new products. Things not necessarily on your shopping list but things we're excited to share," the statement continued. "Customers can stop by their neighborhood store and talk to the crew to find out what's new."

Loyal customers have expressed their excitement on social media. TikTok user @hannah_ford posted a video of herself walking up to a granola station at her local store. "Free samples are back in my #traderjoes store after 2 years and 7 months 🤩🤩🤩," she captioned the video, which has already garnered over 33,000 views.

RELATED: All the Seasonal Trader Joe's Items Returning This Fall — Plus a New Family-Friendly Treat

"The greatest hole in my life has been refilled," one user commented.

Amid the first two years of the COVID-19 pandemic, the sampling stations at Trader Joe's were shut down.

In 2020, Trader Joe's former PR director Kenya Friend-Daniel spoke with the Today Show digital about the safety precaution. "In accordance with current health and safety guidelines, in general we are not providing food and beverage samples in our stores. We still encourage our customers to discover products by trying them, and we do this by reminding them that if they buy a product and don't like it, they can return it for a full refund," she told the outlet.

RELATED: Some Grocery Stores Are Transitioning to Online Orders Only amid Coronavirus

trader joes
trader joes

Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire via Getty Trader Joe's

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While the grocer is ushering in pre-pandemic freebies, the chain is still not offering a dedicated food delivery service. While many grocery store giants shifted their attention to online orders and food delivery during the pandemic, Trader Joe's did not.

The company does not offer delivery or pick-up, with their reason being the high costs and "tremendous resources" required to build an entire infrastructure dedicated to online grocery shopping. Additionally, the company feels that adding these services and outsourcing delivery options "eliminates the need for people."

"Customers are asking if given current circumstances, we're planning on offering delivery or curbside pickup," Tara Miller, Trader Joe's marketing director, said during the company's podcast in 2020. "We understand the impulse, and we know that some other retailers are offering these services. We also know those offerings don't always translate into positive results."