We reached out to a former Trader Joe's employee to ask him all the insider secrets of the business, and the best tidbit he shared is that you can return anything. This includes and is not limited to an opened box of cereal or a half-eaten frozen entree. He told POPSUGAR that it happens all the time. People return things for a host of reasons, including (here's the best part) because they simply did not like it.
Why would a company offer such an awesome policy that could so easily be abused? Here's my thought: it encourages Trader Joe's customers to buy more, since they don't have to take financial responsibility for it in the event they don't like it. More buying means more numbers for the company to analyze. The reason Trader Joe's is so adored by its shoppers is the company is always on the pulse of the hottest flavors (sriracha and cookie butter!) and constantly pumps out new riffs of what they've deemed to be a success. Any great company knows you must rely on numbers in order to give the people more of what they want!
If many people are returning a certain product, particularly because they don't like the flavor, that gives Trader Joe's even more insight. TJ's can use those numbers to discontinue the "failed" product or reformulate the recipe, as they've done with countless products including chocolate-covered dried fruit and salmon jerky.
Now that you know you can return just about anything, try not to be the person who buys everything only to return the half-eaten frozen pizza or half-open bottle of wine the next day because you were finished, rather than because you didn't like it. Stay classy, TJ fans.