This month's Fearless Flier has an Insider Page on herbs and spices, comparing theirs with what's in "supermarkets & natural food stores." The price comparisons make TJ's look good, though less so when corrected for different quantities. But it's the quality claim that's interesting. "There are only a handful of truly high quality spice manufacturers in the world, and we happen to do business directly with a number of them... Trader Joe's puts the spiced in our own label and we don't mark up our prices to sky-high proportions just to recover all those "hidden" [marketing] costs."
I've bought nearly all my herbs and spices from a "truly high quality spice manufacturer," Penzey's, and haven't tried any of TJ's competitive products except for black peppercorns (not in their comparison). Has anyone here made such comparisons, or have inside information about TJ's suppliers?