Trader Joe’s said it is repackaging international food products branded with ethnic-sounding names in response to a petition calling for the chain to “remove racist branding and packaging.” https://t.co/iRiADg8XUa— CBS Evening News (@CBSEveningNews) July 20, 2020
The grocery store chain said it will change product branding on some of its international food products. This following an online petition that called for the elimination of the labels “Trader Ming’s,” “Trader José,” “Trader Giotto’s,” “Arabian Joe,” and “Trader Joe San,” which refer to Chinese, Mexican, Italian, Middle Eastern and Japanese foods, respectively.
“The Trader Joe’s branding is racist because it exoticizes other cultures — it presents ‘Joe’ as the default ‘normal’ and the other characters falling outside of it — they are ‘Arabian Joe,’ ‘Trader José’ and ‘Trader Joe San,’” the petition states.
A Trader Joe’s spokesperson says while it may have begun as a “lighthearted attempt at inclusiveness” the company now recognizes it had the opposite effect.
Packaging for some of its products have already been changed to remove the names and the company expects to complete the entire process “very soon.”
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