Economy

Worth the money: We tried and rated pumpkin pies from Costco, Trader Joe’s and more—the winner was clear

Putting together a Thanksgiving feast can be an ordeal.

Cooking the perfect turkey is hard enough on its own without worrying about stuffing, cranberry sauce, casseroles and mashed potatoes.

By the time dessert rolls around, the thought of making pie dough, blending a pumpkin pie filling and baking it to perfection can feel like a bridge too far.

But if you want to outsource dessert to a supermarket near you, you’ll need to choose from countless options.

CNBC Make It tried a quintet of pies from a variety of national and regional chains to determine the best store-bought option. Staffers were asked to sample pie from the following five chains and select their favorite.

  • Trader Joe’s
  • BJ’s Wholesale Club
  • Wegman’s
  • Costco
  • Walmart

Each pie was removed from its packaging ahead of the taste test, and staffers were only informed of which pie was from which store after voting was complete.

The winner, however, was clear.

(Clockwise from top left) Pumpkin pies from Trader Joe’s, Walmart, BJ’s, Costco and Wegman’s.

Aditi Shrikant

5. Trader Joe’s

Votes: 1

Price: $6.99

Despite its reputation for great pre-packaged goods, Trader Joe’s pumpkin pie was considered the worst of the batch. “I nearly spit it out,” one tester said. “The flavor tasted fake and not like pumpkin at all.”

4. Wegman’s

Votes: 2

Price: $11.00

The priciest pie of the bunch, Wegman’s didn’t stand out from the competition. It was the least visually appealing of all the options, but one person said “it made up for that by tasting pretty good.”

3: Walmart

Votes: 2

Price: $4.42

One of the most divisive pies on the menu, tester’s had strong feelings about Walmart’s pie. While two testers thought it was the best of the five options, another remarked “If I was served that at an actual Thanksgiving, I would politely eat a few bites, but not finish the slice.”

2. BJ’s Wholesale Club

Votes: 3

Price: $5.99

The pie from the wholesale club with locations across the Midwest and eastern United States landed in second place thanks to its spice-forward flavor profile. Though the flavor was too much for some testers, it helped the pie stand out from the pack for others.

1. Costco

Votes: 5

Price: $5.99

Costco’s pumpkin pie is one of the retailer’s most popular products during the Thanksgiving season, and CNBC Make It’s testers agreed. It was the pie that was most visited for seconds and leftovers, with a “nice and creamy” consistency as well as “a good balance of spice and pumpkin.”

CNBC Make It independently determines what we cover and recommend in the “Worth the Money” section. Opinions, analyses, reviews, or recommendations have not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by any third party.

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