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The story behind ‘Let’s Go to Trader Joe’s,’ TikTok’s new favorite grocery anthem

By Dana and Alden featuring Cinya, this song is, simply put, "sweet like lemon tea."

A recently released song about everyone’s favorite grocery chain is a certified bop.

On May 19, brothers Dana and Alden McWayne (of the band Dana and Alden) released their new song, “Let’s Go To Trader Joe’s,” which shows young love can bloom as much in Paris or Madrid as much as it can in the aisles of a grocery store.

The full single, which features Tiny Habits singer Cinya Khan, arrives much to the excitement of the band’s legion of fans on TikTok, where a set of snippets from the track have gone viral on lyricist and drummer Alden's popular account, @gucci_pineapple, in the past few weeks.

“Let’s go to Trader Joe’s!” Khan and Alden say in unison at the start of a TikTok preview for the track posted May 5. The vintage-filtered clip starts with the pair standing in front of a Trader Joe’s, iconic paper bag in hand, before switching to the store’s interior. 

“You’re as sweet as lemon tea/ You’re mushy like pumpkin pie,” Khan and Alden sing in traded-off lines in their sweet duet, holding store items and rolling a cart through the shop. “In my bag like grocery/ Meet me in the yogurt aisle.”

The 21-second clip has garnered an astonishing 1.5 million views on TikTok and another 1.1 million on Instagram for just one snippet, but other previews of the song have also taken off: a video taken at another Trader Joe’s, a live performance, one where McWayne plays the track for a TJ’s employee and another filmed at the vocalists recent graduation from Berklee College of Music, complete with their mothers dancing along.

All in all, the earworm has garnered more than 7 million views across Alden's social media platforms. The catchy and quirky tune has started a bit of a trend on TikTok, with customers using the song to soundtrack their trips to the store and show off their TJ’s hauls.

The track, written, composed and accompanied by the McWayne brothers has also attracted a following of Trader Joe’s employees, many of whom have used the video to accompany long days and late nights at work, racking up hundreds of thousands of views themselves.

“I think food is my principal muse in life,” Alden tells “Two summers ago, I made this kind of love song about my girlfriend, laying in the grass and then going grocery shopping. For me, it’s just a fun little tune. I didn’t really have any endgame.”

Many of the duo’s other tracks have distinctly culinary titles, from “Coconut Water” to “Serrano” (like the chile) to “Apple Butter,” which the singer says was inspired by the brothers' experience working on an apple orchard in their hometown of Eugene, Oregon during their childhood.

Alden and Dana McWayne of band Dana and Alden.
Alden and Dana McWayne of band Dana and Alden.Courtesy Alden McWayn

“We grew up in a food-loving family; food was always a part of any celebration we had,” Dana tells The older of the pair, he can be heard in the track’s smooth saxophone notes and is a keyboardist as well. Although music artist quickly, quickly produced this track with Alden, many of the duos' other tracks are produced by Dana from Oregon — all while he works as an organic farm inspector.

"He composes most of our music," says Alden about how they collaborated while he was in Boston for college, adding that Dana would work on a track and send it to him to work on. "In between classes, I would run into a practice room and I would voice my beat — I would drum on top of the song he sent, then text them all the beats and run back to class."

After collaborating states away, they went into the studio to record audio gold. "We had like all of these demos ready, because we've been remotely collaborating," Alden adds.

Dana says their grandmother Mary Ellen played a big part in the brother’s shared love of TJ’s.

“She is probably Trader Joe’s biggest customer as far as gross sales over a lifetime. Whenever she visited us, she took us to Trader Joe’s and then we would go home and eat cheese and crackers with her. That’s like a core memory,” Dana says. “I think the combination of loving eating and then loving working on the farm played a huge role in our lives, and that has come out in our music.”

“I was just, like, bored and feeling silly,” Alden adds.

“So many people have reached out to us saying that they either can’t get it out of their head or haven’t stopped listening to it,” Dana says. “Loving like the goofiness that we put out into the world with that song.”

When asked if the pair plan on releasing a full-length video for the track, Alden says no, since the parts of the video that are already out were all filmed vertically for TikTok. But he says he’s planning on releasing more clips on social media.

“We have more music coming very soon, and we’re really excited to share more music with the world,” Alden says, adding that it includes another single and then a whole album this summer. “It’s been so fun for me and Dana, brothers, to share this experience. We played a sold out show in Boston last Monday, and everyone knew the lyrics to ‘Trader Joe’s’ already. It was cool to see the passion spreading.”