The line builds up as grocery shoppers line up six-feet apart from each other outside of Trader Joe's in New Springville as they adhere to the new limitation of people inside the store on April 4, 2020. Trader Joe's is changing the labeling on some of its international food products after petition signers claimed the branding was "racist." (Staten Island Advance/Jason Paderon)
Trader Joe’s says it is in the process of changing packaging on some international products after an online petition said current labels are ‘racist.'
According to CNN, the online petition has more than 1,700 signatures.
The petition says, “We demand that Trader Joe’s remove racist branding and packaging from its stores. The grocery chain labels some of its ethnic foods with modifications of ‘Joe’ that belies a narrative of exoticism that perpetuates harmful stereotypes. 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.”
“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.”
CNN reported that Trader Joe’s said it had already been in the process of updating its labels that include any variation of Trader Joe’s.
“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,” Kenya Friend-Daniel, a spokeswoman for Trader Joe’s, said in a statement.
In Pennsylvania there are Trader Joe’s stores in Ardmore, Jenkintown, Media, North Wales, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, State College and Wayne.
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