Trader Joe's will open eight new SoCal stores. Here they are

Trader Joe's is ramping up its expansion, with plans to open two dozen new grocery stores across the country, including eight in Southern California.

The SoCal stores will be in South Pasadena, Northridge, Sherman Oaks, Santa Clarita, Murrieta, Mission Viejo, Poway and Santee. Opening dates have not yet been announced.

Nakia Rohde, a spokesperson for Monrovia-based Trader Joe's, said the number of openings is “faster than in recent years.”

“There aren't many companies that grow their physical produce, so that's nice,” she said Thursday.

Trader Joe's push to expand its footprint comes as grocery prices have risen about 25% over the past four years and industry competition has been fierce as stores compete for budget-conscious consumers, many of whom say they buy products only the essence.

With its tightly curated selection of trendy snacks, frozen meals, alcohol and produce at affordable prices, Trader Joe's is a popular destination for the budget-conscious.

But even the country has had to raise prices: In March, it raised the individual cost of its beloved bananas from 19 cents to 23 cents each for the first time in more than two decades.

Food price inflation is expected to slow in 2024 but remain slightly higher than a year ago, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Privately held Trader Joe's operates 549 locations in 42 states and Washington, DC

This month it opened new stores in San Francisco and Boston. The first Trader Joe's opened in Pasadena in 1967.

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