According to reports from CBS News, the popular supermarket chain has publicly announced that they will be creating new branding for some of their international food products, which currently feature attempts at international variations on classic Trader Joe’s name. This comes following a Change.org petition making headlines for calling on the company to do just that, even though the petition only had a couple thousand signatures.
“The grocery chain labels some of its ethnic foods with modifications of “Joe” that belies a narrative of exoticism that perpetuates harmful stereotypes,” the petition reads. “For example, “Trader Ming’s” is used to brand the chain’s Chinese food, “Arabian Joe” brands Middle Eastern foods, “Trader José” brands Mexican foods, “Trader Giotto’s” is for Italian food, and “Trader Joe San” brands their Japanese cuisine.”
Trader Joe’s response was in agreeance with the petition, claiming that they had already begun the long process of switching up their branding prior to the petition being put forth. Still, the petition is what led to them letting their shoppers know about the change, publicly.
“While this approach to product naming may have been rooted in a lighthearted attempt at inclusiveness, we recognize that it may now have the opposite effect — one that is contrary to the welcoming, rewarding customer experience we strive to create every day,”company spokeswoman Kenya Friend-Daniel.
Friend-Daniel sent out a similar statement to USA TODAY, which said the following:
“At this time, I don’t have an exact date but we expect to have the work completed very soon. Packaging for a number of the products has already been changed, but there’s a small number of products in which the packaging is still going through the process.”