Petition Calls on Trader Joe’s to Eliminate Ethnic-Sounding Food Branding

NATIONWIDE – It’s the latest call for rebranding in the wake of protests spurred by the in-custody death of George Floyd in Minneapolis.

What You Need To Know

  • Petition calls on Trader Joe’s to eliminate ethnic-sounding branding
  • Petition says such branding perpetuates harmful cultural stereotypes
  • More than 1,000 signatures collected so far
  • Company says it’s already in the process of eliminating that branding

A petition, which so far has in excess of 1,000 signatures, calls on grocery chain Trader Joe’s to rename international food products with ethnic-sounding names.

Those products include “Trader Ming’s,” “Trader José,” and “Trader Giotto’s,” which correspond to Chinese, Mexican and Italian foods.

 The petition states that those product names are racist because they perpetuate harmful stereotypes.

“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 — they are ‘Arabian Joe,’ ‘Trader José,’ and ‘Trader Joe San,’ the petition states.

In a statement, the company said it is already in the process of only using “Trader Joe’s” on its products and is eliminating ethnic-sounding labels.

“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 said.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.