Trader Joes’ $2.99 Mini Tote Is the Hottest Bag on the Market

Trader Joes’ $2.99 Mini Tote Is the Hottest Bag on the Market

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Months after the Stanley Cup craze drew frenzied crowds and ransacked shelves at stores across the country, shoppers have found another product to fixate on: the new Trader Joe’s mini tote. It is, as you might expect, simply a smaller version of Trader Joe’s original and timeless canvas tote bag. It comes in four colors—blue, green, yellow, and red—and where the original-sized bag can hold a respectable haul of groceries, the new mini tote can hold little more than a generously packed lunch.

The beloved chain is apparently fielding an avalanche of calls from shoppers double-checking that the bags are in stock. “Phones were off the hook with people calling about the totes,” reads one Reddit post. On TikTok users are posting scenes from inside the grocery stores, where throngs of shoppers rush displays to get their hands on one of the petite bags. It’s giving Target during the infamous Valentine’s Day Stanley drop of yore—remember that? Some locations have cracked down on how many each shopper can buy, which leads me to believe at least one person tried to buy every bag the store had in stock at once.

Like many viral items, the mini tote’s irresistible draw is in its simplicity. Its design features a single small pocket on the outside, a demure Trader Joe’s logo on the front, straps that come in a primary color. But one feature is more valuable than all the rest: It’s adorably tiny. There’s something powerful and mysteriously alluring in things that are simply a tinier version of another thing. Small status symbol bags in particular are a statement in fashion and status in themselves—think of the Louis Vuitton bag that was as large as a grain of sand. Baggu’s mini line frequently sells out too. The power of the tiny bag hand in hand with the status symbol that is Trader Joe’s can’t be beat.

At Trader Joe’s the mini tote sells for just $2.99 (the regular retails for just under $15), but online resellers are already turning a profit on the buzz. A Poshmark listing puts four bags at $99. On Ebay four bags are slightly cheaper at $89. Personally, my takeaway here is that the Trader Joe’s brand is stronger than ever—or rather that it’s the next brand that’s so not fashion, it’s fashion. Like other brands, Trader Joe’s mini tote is the perfect storm of exclusive and utilitarian-chic. Don’t be surprised at the inevitable Telfar x Trader Joe’s collab; I’m speaking it into existence. The only logical next step for Trader Joe’s is to release another tote bag, even smaller this time, and price it at $75.

Elsewhere online

Kylie Jenner is kind of like those chocolate-covered strawberries that are going viral for…being viral. It’s a closed-loop fame spiral that happens to be making the youngest member of the reality star family a lot of money. Two days before launching a perfume brand, Jenner unveiled Sprinter, a line of 100-calorie vodka sodas infused with real fruit juice. The colorful cans come in four decidedly unoriginal, Spindrift-esque flavors: lime, grapefruit, peach, and black cherry. But I’ve been Kar-Jen’d. I do want to inflate my giant narwhal toy, haul her to the nearest natural body of water, and down a few cans while bobbing into the sunset. —Ali Francis, staff writer

New York health officials are investigating Savory Fig, a Long Island baker accused of pulling a pastry switcheroo. The owners of CindySnacks, a local vegan market, are alleging that Savory Fig owner Michelle Siriani passed off Dunkin’s classic donuts as her own supposedly vegan and gluten-free creations. Despite an at-home gluten test on the doughnuts returning a positive result, and one of the dubious confections appearing to be sprinkled with trademarked letter Ds, Siriani refutes the claims. —A.F.

TikTok’s very-chopped sandwich trend, where bread is stuffed with a paste-y mish-mash of ingredients, has simply gone too far. I understand wanting all the flavors in one bite, but as Eater reporter Bettina Makalintal points out, isn’t that also the point of a well-assembled sandwich? Toasted: yes. “Prechewed?” Maybe not, thank you. —A.F.

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Author:Sam Stone |

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