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Trader Joe's, responding to demands to change its packaging, says the product labels aren't racist

August 1, 2020. Summarized by summa-bot.

Amidst a reexamination of American culture that has seen numerous racial and ethnic stereotypes dismantled -- like the infamous Aunt Jemima -- Trader Joe's persists.

More than 5,000 people have signed a petition calling on the grocery store chain to change what they call its racist branding names, using phrases like "Trader José" "Trader Ming's" and "San Joe" on some of its international food products.

"Decades ago, our Buying Team started using product names, like Trader Giotto's, Trader José's, Trader Ming's, etc.

We thought then — and still do — that this naming of products could be fun and show appreciation for other cultures," it continued.

The statement is a far cry from the one made just last week by Kenya Friend-Daniel, a spokeswoman for Trader Joe's, when the petition was first gaining traction.

"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," she said in a statement to CNN.

"Pitch perfect response from Trader Joes to one of the dumbest twitter mob non-controveries ever.

In its most recent statement, Trader Joe's asserts that customer feedback revealed its clientele is unbothered by this "fun" approach to product marketing.

"Recently we have heard from many customers reaffirming that these name variations are largely viewed in exactly the way they were intended — as an attempt to have fun with our product marketing," the statement said.

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