Protein Powder Review – Trader Joe’s Whey Protein Powder

Endorsement Disclosure:  From time to time I’ll extol the virtues of a specific product or service.  If I am being compensated to review a product I’ll certainlylet you know. Otherwise, you can rest assured that I receive zero compensation in doing so.  Today’s post is a case of the zero scenario. If I really like something, I feel compelled to share.  Word of mouth is a powerful force, and I love to see excellence rewarded.

TJ opening
(Photo: Morgan Spiehs/The Coloradoan)

Fort Collins is an amazing place to live. And now it’s even better that we have a Trader Joe’s to call our own. It was with much anticipation that they opened their doors to lines of over 100 people last month. I know 100 may not sound like much, but in sub-freezing weather, that’s what I call loyalty, man.

The Lobster and I have shopped at TJs before, while vacationing in the Seattle area. We’re the annoying couple that lands at the relatives’ house and promptly leaves to stock up on clean eats. It’s kind of a pain, but the upside is that we get to check out groovy new places local to the area.

So we had a pretty good idea of what Trader Joe’s would bring to our scene, which is already well represented by healthful shopping options: Whole Foods, Natural Grocers, Sprouts and even my old friend Super Target has gotten on the bandwagon with all kinds of foods. Now with Costco cha-chinging all OVER the east side of the freeway, there is absolutely no excuse not to eat well in this town.

IMG_2805So back to today’s review: Trader Joe’s Whey Protein Powder. By the way, the brand is actually Trader Darwin’s, a cute little play on the evolution of human supplementation. TJs does that to keep things fun and fresh. I like that. We tried the chocolate version, because that always just seems like the flavor we need.

SCALE: 1-10 with 1 being totally crummy and 10 being completely awesome. I’ve found with food that people have different thresholds for different aspects of the food. Same goes with protein, so I’ll rate each attribute using this scale.

COST: A biggie when you’re shopping for protein because cost per serving can add up quickly when supplementing on a daily basis.

TASTE: Perhaps THE biggest because if you can’t choke it down, it’s all over.
INGREDIENTS: Very important because, again, you may be using this for more than one meal every day.

MACROS: Important, but not as essential because you can add to it with blendables or real food sides.

MIXABILITY: Again, lower on the list, but key for those relying on this as a portable option.

AVAILABILITY/CONVENIENCE: This is a big one for me because I am very busy and don’t want to have to rely on purchase methods that are complicated or that make me wait for the product.

Trader Joe’s Whey Protein Powder – Chocolate Flavored

COST: 10

16oz for $12.99. 14 Servings at $.93 cost per serving. DAYUM! I understand from a clerk at our store that most other locations charge around $19 for the same can. Even so, $1.36 is still cheap cheap! REALLY impressive, given most protein powders come in at over 2 bucks.


True to form, the proteins with the best ingredients have the worst taste. This one is better than most, however. I feel like it’s a roasty type of cocoa flavor, not the fake chocolate I’m so used to tasting in a lot of protein powders.IMG_2813


Made with foods you can pronounce, using TJ’s protocol for their private label products. Natural sweeteners and decent binding agents. Not sure how you’d get a protein powder to function otherwise. I don’t think there is a 10 out there, unless you include ground tilapia.


17g protein, moderate 11g carbs so you can drink as is or add to it, low fat, moderate sugar with 9g , low sodium and very low fiber at <1g . I’d like to see higher protein – at least 20g, lower sugar below 6g and lower carbs to make it even more adaptable to individual needs. Sometimes you just want the protein so you can eat real carbs alongside it.


No issues here, even with water. Quick and easy.,


At some point, I’m sure Trader Joe’s will be taking over the world (at least in western markets). We are the 6th store in Colorado. If you don’t have a location in your town, I’m sure it’s on the map. If not, you can always buy it on Amazon. Right now I’m about 7 minutes from my local store, and I don’t anticipate that will be changing anytime soon.


BOTTOM LINE SCORE (average of all the attributes) 8.7


Well, overall I feel like this is a good one. A decently nutritious option that’s easy to find, really easy to mix and really REALLY affordable, especially in Fort Collins. Have you tried this one? What did you think of it?