Trader Joe’s is Gung Ho for Miso

TJ - MISOTrader Joe’s is gung ho for miso. Their fervor for fermented soybean paste led to the creation of their very own Private Brand Mild Yellow Miso. It’s thick, umami-rich and conducts flavor and texture with deliberate grace. Along the way, it contributes significant protein (the complete kind) and other beneficial enzymes naturally found in fermented foods. It’s more than a seasoning. It’s a way of navigating.

Trader Joe’s has introduced its latest Private Brand promotion “Master-at-Miso.” Customers may demonstrate their proficiency in an inspired recipe that showcases Trader Joe’s Mild Yellow Miso can win.

A total of three Winners will be selected. The Master-at-Miso Winner will be awarded a $100 Trader Joe’s Gift Card. The Master-at-Miso First Runner-Up will be awarded a $50 Trader Joe’s Gift Card. The Master-at-Miso Second Runner-Up will be awarded a $25 Trader Joe’s Gift Card. All winners will have their names and recipes published on the Trader Joe’s website. All winners will also receive a hip reusable bag and a super special surprise.

Every Master-at-Miso Recipe will be evaluated first by the Trader Joe’s Recipe Review Panel on the following recipe elements:

Innovation: Is the recipe original? How unique are the ingredient pairings?

Feasibility: How easy is the preparation? Does the recipe require uncommon cooking equipment? Is the recipe written in a clear and concise manner?

Visual Appeal: How does the plate look? Is it colorful and appetizing?

Taste: Is this recipe a keeper? Would you make it again?

The Master-at-Miso Recipe Finalists will be selected by the TJ’s Recipe Review Panel for further judging by our Trader Joe’s customers (to be announced in our next eNewsletter), who will cast their votes for the three Master-at-Miso Recipe Winners.

According to the Trader Joe’s Website:

  1. Your Master-at-Miso Recipe must be an original creation that uses up to seven Trader Joe’s products only. Binders (flour, butter, eggs…), oils and seasonings (salt, pepper, oregano…) must be included as part of your seven ingredients. All recipes must be the original work of the entrant and not previously published. Recipes must not infringe on the copyright, trademark, privacy, publicity or other intellectual property rights of any person or entity. (We have to say it…)
  2. Trader Joe’s Mild Yellow Miso must be used as one of your seven ingredients.
  3. Recipes must take 30 minutes or less for preparation; the actual cooking can take longer.
  4. To be fair to all of our chefs under the age of 21, the use of alcohol is not allowed in Master-at-Miso Recipes.
  5. Only one recipe entry per person will be accepted.
  6. The contest begins on May 12, 2014 and ends on May 27, 2014. All entries must be received by 11:59pm PST on May 27, 2014.

To enter, customers may send an e-mail to MasterAtMiso@traderjoes.com, with the recipe name as the subject line and list the following:

  • List of ingredients and measurements (7 ingredients maximum, including TJ’s Mild Yellow Miso)
  • Cooking instructions written as concisely as possible
  • Total time to prepare (must be 30 minutes or less, cooking time not included)
  • Number of servings
  • First and last name


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Christopher Durham

Christopher Durham is the president of My Private Brand and the co-founder of The Vertex Awards. He is a strategist, author, consultant and retailer who built brands at Delhaize-owned Food Lion, and lead strategy and brand development for Lowe’s Home Improvement. He has consulted with retailers around the world on their private brand portfolios including: Family Dollar, Petco, Staples, Office Depot, Best Buy, Metro (Canada), TLW (Taiwan) and Hola (Taiwan).

Durham has published five definitive books on private brands, including his first book, Fifty2: The My Private Brand Project. In 2017, he will debut his newest book, Vanguard: Vintage Originals, a visual tour of innovation and disruption in private brand going back to the mid-1800’s.
Dynamic in his presentation while down to earth and frank in his opinions, he has presented at numerous conferences, including FUSE, The Dieline Conference, Packaging that Sells, Omnishopper and PLMA’a annual trade show in Chicago.

Durham lives in Charlotte, NC with his wife, Laraine, and two daughters, Olivia and Sarah.