Trader Joe's Refuses to Change Product Labels after Coming under Fire for Racist Undertones

Despite getting backlash online, Trader Joe’s refused to change their product labels. The American grocery store wants to retain the names of their items even after getting called out by concerned individuals.

In a statement released on July 24, the company disagreed that their brands are racist. The store claimed that naming their products Trader Giotto's, Trader José's, and Trader Ming's are "fun" as it shows "appreciation for other cultures." The statement read:

"We want to be clear: we disagree that any of these labels are racist. We do not make decisions based on petitions."

The new statement, however, was opposite to what Trader Joe’s national director for public relations Kenya Friend-Daniel said earlier. She stated that the names of the grocery items were in the process of being changed. 

As reported by Do You Remember, Friend-Daniel originally stated that the light-hearted attempt of the store’s inclusiveness had an opposite effect. She continued by saying that the issue was contrary to the store’s aim for good customer experience. She said:

"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."

Friend-Daniel’s earlier message was in response to a petition by San Francisco high school student Briones Bedell. The latter’s petition to remove Trader Joe’s racist packaging amassed more than 5,800 signatures. 

Bedell’s online petition noted that the grocery store “exoticizes other cultures” and called the store’s branding insensitive. 

She explained that the name "Joe" was the store’s default normal. The other characters, according to her, are falling outside of it.

Since the clamor for change is getting louder and more visible online, many companies promised to change their product names as a way to address racial inequality. The most noted product was the famous Aunt Jemima logo.

However, the call to change the Aunt Jemima logo did not sit well with actor Larnell Evans, Sr.,  the great-grandson of Anna Short Harrington. She is the image model of the popular breakfast mix from 1935 to 1954.

He said it was a form of injustice for him and his family because it is part of their history. He added that the issue was all raised by "white people."

Grocery shoppers inside Trader Joe's New York City branch. | Photo: Getty Images

Grocery shoppers inside Trader Joe's New York City branch. | Photo: Getty Images

Trader Joe’s marked their golden anniversary in 2017. Founder Joe Coulombe opened their first branch in Pasadena, California in 1967. 

Before the company embraced its new name, the store was called Pronto Markets in 1958. It was just a small chain of convenience stores.

Through the years, the tropically-inclined grocery chain has expanded its business. They now have 467 stores across the country. 

Trader Joe's in California. | Photo: Getty Images

Trader Joe's in California. | Photo: Getty Images

With the controversy surrounding the store, Trader Joe’s gave its employees a break during a special time of the year. The company closed its stores on April 12,  Easter Sunday.

The store wanted to allow their employees a day of rest,especially after tirelessly working amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Related posts
Geoffrey Owens of 'Cosby Show' Is 59 Now and Looks Good with His Salt and Pepper Hair
Youtube/CBS This Morning
TV Shows Jun 15, 2020
Geoffrey Owens of 'Cosby Show' Is 59 Now and Looks Good with His Salt and Pepper Hair
 'Cosby Show' Star Geoffrey Owens' Only Son Jordyn Is Now 21 and Bears Strong Resemblance to Dad
Getty images
Celebs Jun 05, 2020
'Cosby Show' Star Geoffrey Owens' Only Son Jordyn Is Now 21 and Bears Strong Resemblance to Dad
Why Bath & Body Works Is Closing 50 Stores across the Country
wikipedia.com/Digitalegypt
Coronavirus May 29, 2020
Why Bath & Body Works Is Closing 50 Stores across the Country
TMZ: Khloe Kardashian Reportedly Pays for Elderly's Groceries at Supermarkets Amid Pandemic
Instagram/khloekardashian
Coronavirus Apr 21, 2020
TMZ: Khloe Kardashian Reportedly Pays for Elderly's Groceries at Supermarkets Amid Pandemic

Please disable your AdBlocker

Advertising helps us continue to provide quality content. For instant unlimited access. Please disable your AdBlocker on our site and refresh the page.

If you need help to disable AdBlocker please choose yours: