Ten Content Marketing Lessons from Trader Joe’s Fearless Flyer

I just received Trader Joe’s Fearless Flyer and read it from cover to cover. As a grocery shopper I’m not loyal to any one store, choosing to shop when convenient and for the items I need. This does take me to Costco, Asian markets and the local Safeway. However every time I finish reading the Fearless Flyer I resolve immediately to go out of my way to the nearest Trader Joe’s.

There are 10, possibly more, great content marketing lessons we can all learn from this immensely enjoyable and over-the-top flyer.


It’s all about the content. From the subtitles to the descriptions, every word in the Fearless Flyer rings true. Even in the hyperbolic copy, I never feel oversold because when I go to the store and look at the items that’s exactly how it was marketed to me in that flyer. I admit it, there’s a bit of the marketing Kool-Aid but it’s that well done.


When I shop at Trader Joe’s I go for a mix of the basics (whatever I need at the time) and the new-fangled mashes such as green curry shrimp gyoza just to see what it’s like. Trader Joe’s often has a fusion of traditional and new tastes. Check out the strawberry chia.


Good content is informative and entertaining. Each paragraph in the flyer waxes eloquent about the origins, antecedents and how-to-use information. “The requisite flour tortilla is hand-filled with a combination of white meat chicken, Monterey Jack and Pepper Jack cheeses, corn, bell peppers, spinach and black beans, with mild jalapeno peppers, and Mexican-style spices.” describes the southwest chicken quesadillas.


The entire flyer is fun to read. This sentence is standard Fearless Flyer copy.

“Trader Joe’s nonfat plain Greek yogurt is a standout in the creaminess department – creaminess you expect from the best Greek yogurts – and is made with milk from cows not treated with rBST.”


The flyer has only one primary goal—to make you run to the nearest Trader Joe’s and fill your basket with the goodies advertised and much more than you thought you’d buy. It does it by featuring new and beloved products. Take the subheads for instance. Mostly instead of a nice marketing description, it’s the name of product: Green Onions

Sometimes for effect the quantity and price is added.

Like this one:  “Organic Black Beans, 15 ounce can $1.19.  Wow!”

It’s enough to drive the copyeditor crazy, but it works.

Snackable content

You could say a whole flyer is snackable content, but it’s serious about positioning each item in glowing terms. Even the flyer needs snackable content to break up the hard sell as you can see from the many cartoons. The cartoons are thrown into every few pages, punctuating the selling with humor and fun asides. Who can resist?

Customer advocate

The business probably hears a lot of customer feedback. In this description, the subhead says it all by giving a nod to common consumer-squeezing business practices we’ve noticed.

“Crisp Rice Cereal.  It’s Still a Buck Ninety-Nine.  And No, We Didn’t Make the Box Smaller.”

Content mix

The flyer picks a seasonal theme during the holidays. The items are rife with cranberries, pumpkin and cinnamon. The latest flyer offered a variety of vegetarian and organic items, and featured meat, wine, fruit and desserts. Having a content mix that can engage most interests of your audience goes a long way to ensuring that they will return to your site.


Value is one of Trader Joe’s biggest selling points and it talks about it a lot in the flyer. From the $1.99 big whole wheat loaf to the 24-ounce bottle of clover honey made by industrious bees that have visited three million flowers.


Self-directed humor can win brownie points when it’s relevant. Trader Joe’s is a hold out when it comes to technology. The website is simple and clean, not fancy.  And there are no fancy loyalty programs. One sidebar talks about the company “stumbling into this modern world, one url at a time.”

We’ll be following you on Twitter.

There you have it. Ten ways the Fearless Flyer nails content marketing.

We appreciate content. Check us out at FireStart Partners.  And Trader Joe’s if you need content marketing—check us out.

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