Trader Joe’s employee explains how to pack races
When it comes to grocery stores that inspire almost fanatical devotion among shoppers, two chains come to mind: Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s. And while you can discuss the benefits of both, it’s clear that the employees at Trader Joe’s have more or less mastered the art of bagging groceries. No tears, spills or broken wine bottles here.
While you might think this is part of their employees’ orientation after they get a job, it isn’t. Skill is something their crew members learn along the way, according to Trader Joe’s. âOur crew members are given basic guidance in their training (keeping the items cold with the items cold, balancing the weight of the products in each bag, etc.),â a company spokesperson told Mental Floss. “[So] most of what you see is the result of anecdotal (and effective!) tips and tricks that our crew members pass on to each other, along with lots and lots of practice.
If you don’t have a Trader Joe’s nearby or if you have one and would rather bag your own, we’ve got good news – it’s possible to learn the secrets of this grocery version of Tetris. We went straight to the source: a former Trader Joe employee. The takeaway? Embrace geometry.
âThe best strategy I found was to ask what the customer’s preferences were and pack their stuff that way,â says Christine, who worked at Trader Joe’s in Florida at Mental Floss. “However, the majority of customers did not have preferences, so my goal was always to make the bag as ‘square’ as possible, ie without lumps or bumps, and therefore without items in positions. uncomfortable This helped prevent breakage and spillage of delicate or heavy items.
A “lumpy” bag may contain product diverted to one side or other protruding objects. This is where most baggers fail. “Sometimes it is inevitable depending on the article, [like] a bag full of products like potatoes [or] avocadosâ¦ but the âsquareâ bags are easier to transport and store in the car, âexplains Christine. “In general, they are also safer for items inside, because when the bag turns out square, nothing is usually in an uncomfortable place where it could be damaged.”
To achieve this, it is best to wait until all items have been scanned and then assess the inventory. Place the heavier items at the bottom of the bag, like canned goods, then continue building, achieving uniformity and even weight distribution. You wouldn’t want, for example, to leave a gallon of milk on one side of the bag and put marshmallows on the other.
Once you’ve made your base, you can put lighter items like chips or bread on top.
When it comes to glass, the sides aren’t where you want to go. “For wine in particular, this makes it more likely that the glass will break because there is a larger surface area that will have an impact when the bag is put down,” explains Christine. âEqually dangerous is the possibility of the bottle leaking. If the bag gets wet it will tear and everything will fall out. Â»All liquids should be kept upright for this reason.
Double bagging is almost as important as weight distribution. Too often people rely on one bag to have the strength when it takes two: âUsually we always do a double bag, unless the customer has just a few light items or the customer does. asks for simple bags.
Another customer preference is wrapping the meat separately. Some like the bags dedicated to raw food, while others don’t care. According to the Institute of Food Technologists, it’s best to use a separate bag, because raw foods contain bacteria that may not be contained in plastic wrap or wrapping.
If you use reusable fabric shopping bags, be sure to send them regularly to your washing machine (with hot water) to kill any germs that might be left over from your shopping trips.
According to Trader Joe’s, customers are encouraged to pack their own groceries. When it’s crowded, employees can even appreciate it. As long as you get a square in a double bag, whatever you bought is likely to leave it intact at home.