Every now and again, I get excited to try something WITHOUT sugar in it. I mean I like to try more than chips, ice cream, and snacks. So you better believe that I was excited to pick up Trader Joe's No Sugar Dry Rubbed Uncured Bacon. I mean it screams "NO SUGAR." Words I've waited awhile to hear because even I believe that the low carb diets have been largely ignored by Trader Joe's.
When I made this, I naturally wanted to give some to my husband who treats bacon like a natural alarm clock when I'm home. The smell of bacon wafting in the house works its own magic.
And if this review were up to him, it would read as follows: "It tastes like bacon."
Short, sweet, and to the point.
However, as much as I agree with him, I do feel the need to throw a bit of shade at this product.
This isn't my first bacon review. I'm pretty sure I've gotten to all the bacon options from the fully cooked bacon, apple smoked bacon, black forest bacon, dry-rubbed bacon, ends and pieces, and the even the now discontinued one: Maple and Brown Sugar Glazed Bacon.
So that brings me to my next point, with the exception of the maple and brown sugar glazed bacon, all of them have less than 1 carb. All of them.
Why should the no sugar be in bold? Yes, other kinds of bacon mention that sugar is in the ingredients BUT then it isn't reflected in the nutritional facts.
The selling point in this bacon then becomes two things: lower sodium and crate-free.
In terms of taste, this seemed more pork in flavor than other bacon varieties as wasn't quite as salty. If crate-free is important to you, then you can check out this list that Trader Joe's has on their website about this.
Now, here is the part where I feel like many consumers will be voting with their wallets. This package cost me $4.49.
Not a bad deal right? But when you do the math, this bacon is nearly $10 a pound. This is priced identically to the Apple Smoked Bacon which has a 50% larger package. And when you compare this against Costco or another retailer, you can find lower-sodium bacon at a far better price.
If you are part of a meat buying subscription service, you are at least getting
So, this really comes down to priorities and the willingness to pay for that crate-free labeling. And if you are in the dark about food labeling, you probably aren't alone. Here is a pretty good breakdown of what all the different labeling terms really mean.
As for my household, we don't mind paying more, BUT it has to be good. If we do spend money on bacon, it's usually through a local farm delivery service like Walden Farms. It isn't cheap, but it tastes phenomenal and it's pasture-raised and delivered right to our door.
As always, the choice is yours as to what your priorities in food are and what your budget happens to be, I'm only here to provide my thoughts on how it tastes and put the information out into the world, but an 8-ounce package of bacon in my household is a no go.
Similarly, this product seems aimed at the low carb folks when bacon is already a low carb product. Perhaps it will catch the attention of those needing lower sodium products. But the bold words of no sugar seem more like a gimmick as all the current options have 1 carb or less.
Would I buy this again? No, I will not be buying Trader Joe's No Sugar Dry Rubbed Uncured Bacon again.
Did you try it? Let me know what you think in the comments section!
The package of Trader Joe's No Sugar Dry Rubbed Uncured Bacon:
Calories and ingredients
Want to see more items I've reviewed from Trader Joe's? Click on Thoughts & Reviews of Trader Joe’s for a searchable list.
Trader Joe's No Sugar Dry Rubbed Uncured Bacon
Product Name: Trader Joe's No Sugar Dry Rubbed Uncured Bacon
Product Description: Trader Joe's No Sugar Dry Rubbed Uncured Bacon is lower in sodium and contains no sugar.
Trader Joe's No Sugar Dry Rubbed Uncured Bacon is new to shelves
- Tastes like bacon without much missing
- Tiny package size
Hhhhhhmmmmmm.....interesting review. I hate that packaged bacon contains so much sodium and sugar. Yes, it tastes good but I want to be able to eat more bacon without all the sugar and the salt not to mention the sodium nitrates and nitrites which is shown to be cancer-causing (FYI- I am a healthcare provider so please don't jump on me for that lol). I live above the Space Needle in Seattle so I don't have any big box stores like Costco or Sam's Club at my easy disposal and I certainly do not want to pay for the membership fees being a single person. Trader Joe's is within a mile and a half of me so it makes an easy go to. This is worth trying for me but I understand that it may not be for everybody. I'll let you know what I think. Thank you again for your review
Hey Dag! As a healthcare providers you are qualified to speak on topics that I'm not. And as always, this site should always be about free flowing thoughts and opinions, which means you are always free to disagree. What a boring world we would live in if we all had the same thoughts an opinion. I'd still love to hear your thoughts regardless 🙂 No need to ever apologize for your thoughts.
Helen Sandven says
I wonder if the point of this bacon is to be compliant with Whole30? The Whole30 approved Pederson sugar free bacon at Whole Foods is $7 for a similar amount, so it's a bargain from that perspective. I agree that this is not outstanding bacon, but it's still BACON! I hear Aldi's now has a sugar free bacon but haven't tried it and don't know the price.
Hi Helen! I don't know about Whole 30. The problematic ingredient here is the Sunflower Oil. So, I think the best answer here is maybe. According to the Whole30 website under Limit Vegetable Oils it says, "we ban the seed oils specifically off-limits according to the Whole30 “no grains, no legumes” rules (corn oil, rice bran oil, soybean oil, and peanut oil), and encourage you to limit your use of the others (like safflower, sunflower, canola, grapeseed, or sesame) at home, while not specifically excluding them on the program." So, that being said, I'm no expert on Whole30. But you can see the whole article here: https://whole30.com/rules-recommendations/ I hope that helps!
Diane Flowers says
I just tried this the other day. I searched for a review on this because I wondered if anyone else felt the way I did. I also wondered why the focus was on the sugar content when that seems to be a given. Anyway... I cooked mine in a cast iron skillet. I didn't like the way it browned. It wasn't as uniformly cooked and crispy. Maybe if i'd cooked it in the oven? Anyway, I tried it. I don't need to try it again. Now on to your review of the pre-cooked bacon! That's the next thing I'm trying.
Hey Diane! Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this one. I focused in on the sugar content only because I wanted to reference the sugar amounts in the other products as a reference point. I'd love to hear your thoughts on the pre-cooked bacon too. Thanks again for taking the time out of your day to stop by and share your thoughts on this.
Hi! I wasn't wondering why you focused on the sugar... I was wondering why they made such a big deal on the label when bacon is already low carb, like you said. Totally agree with your review. 🙂
Gretta Lee says
Eating TJ’s bacon now. tastes OK crunchy with my egg sandwich! But in frying pan looked pale grey before final browning
I’m not motivated to purchase again.
Thanks for sharing Gretta!