“We want to be clear: we don’t agree that any of these labels are racist,” the famous grocery chain said in a statement posted on its website. She added: “We don’t make decisions on the basis of petitions. ”
The petition posted on change.org by a high school student claims that the names create “a tale of the exotic that perpetuates harmful stereotypes.”
Other Trader Joe names cited include Arabian Joe for Middle Eastern cuisine, Trader Giotto for Italian, and Trader Joe San for Japanese cuisine.
After the petition was launched, Trader Joe’s released a statement saying it was updating product labels and hoped to wrap up this effort soon.
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“While this approach to product naming may have been rooted in a slight attempt at inclusion, we recognize that it can now have the opposite effect – an effect contrary to the welcoming and rewarding customer experience that we strive for. to create every day, ”Kenya Friend-Daniel company spokesperson said at the time.
She did not respond to a message Friday asking what had changed her mind.
But in its recent statement, the grocery chain said it still believes the names, mostly created decades ago, represented light efforts to be inclusive, adding that its customers say they love them. always.
The initial word that it would change the names, Trader Joe said, was based on “inaccurate reports.”
“We thought then – and we still do – that this product naming could be fun and show an appreciation for other cultures,” the company said.
The petition, which garnered more than 5,000 signatures on Friday, also sparked disagreement among some who saw it.
“Enough is enough,” commented one person. “Let’s stop stereotyping and perpetuating harmful and hurtful stories.”
Another replied, “Choose something else. The packaging indicates that it is authentic in the country where the recipe comes from! There are much bigger issues to work on! “