Why Were Trader Joe's Patio Potato Chips Discontinued?

You could say that when Trader Joe's discontinued its well-known Patio Chips, it eliminated not only one flavor but four. The beloved seasonal snack contained Sea Salt & Vinegar, Delicious Dill, Homestyle Ketchup, and Smokin' Sweet BBQ flavors all in the same pouch, but they won't be hitting the store shelves in the near future. Ordinarily released in late spring to early summer Patio Chips have been discontinued this year due to a tragic incident that occurred at the manufacturer's plant.


Trader Joe's sources its unique products from various prominent suppliers — which is why you may have noticed its smoothies have a somewhat familiar taste. The company that produces TJ's Patio Chips – Covered Bridge Potato Chips – experienced a calamitous loss earlier this year when the production facility burned to the ground, along with any hopes Trader Joe's customers had that they would once again be getting their hands on a bag of the trendy four-flavor snack. They may not be discontinued forever, but this year, it seems the specialty grocery store won't be able to source Patio Chips in time for patio-dwelling season.

Production fire results in discontinuation of Patio Chips

The fire that razed the manufacturing plant behind Trader Joe's now discontinued fan-favorite was a blow to not only loyal patrons of the gourmet market but the community of Hartland, New Brunswick in Canada as well. While, thankfully, no employees were injured as a result of the blaze that occurred during operations at one of the town's largest employers, Covered Bridge Potato Chips workers won't be producing Patio Chips anytime soon. It is unknown how the fire was initiated, but it has been discovered that it started with an incident in the fryer room that quickly escalated out of control. A dozen fire departments attempted to put out the blaze, but to no avail.


There is hope that, like a phoenix rising from the ashes, Patio Chips will return one day. Covered Bridge Potato Chips founder and president Ryan Albright has indicated that the company plans to rebuild the plant in Hartland. Until that happens, or another facility is sourced for production, there's no telling what the fate of TJ's Patio Chips will be. Unfortunately for folks looking for an alternative to the seasonal favorite, these cherished crisps might not be the only Trader Joe's product affected by the disastrous fire.

Another snack item could be discontinued

It has been hypothesized that the company responsible for producing Patio Chips may also be the source of TJ's Chips in a Pickle, another staple nosh for those who like their chips to have a bit of zing. The item is currently listed as "Not Available" on Trader Joe's website. The product description mentions that the potatoes used to manufacture the chips are from Canada, so the theory that Covered Bridge Potato Chips are the producers holds some merit.


Various aspects are considered when Trader Joe's discontinues a popular product, but a fire leveling a manufacturing facility is obviously not something TJ's or Covered Bridge Potato Chips ever anticipated. The blaze that shut down production was an unforeseen event, affecting the lives of hundreds of New Brunswick residents. With any luck, the manufacturing facility will be rebuilt quickly, bringing back stability to the people of Hartland and keeping Patio Chips from entering the abyss of TJ's products that are likely discontinued forever.