SAN FRANCISCO – Responding to Trader Joe’s request to stop labeling international food products with ethnic-sounding names, the grocery chain said it had been in the process of repackaging these products for years and would soon finish work.
In the latest call to name brand and logos that are subject to racial fees, nearly 1,000 people have signed an online petition urging the retail giant to change the name of the product named “Trader Ming,” “Trader José,” “Trader Giotto,” or ” Trader Giotto “to refer to Chinese, Mexican or Italian food, respectively, SFGate reported.
The petition says that the labels perpetuate dangerous stereotypes.
“Trader Joe’s branding is racist because it gives rise to other cultures – presenting ‘Joe’ as a standard for ‘normal’ and other characters that are outside it – they are ‘Arabian Joe,’ ‘Trader José,’ and ‘Trader Joe San,’ the petition states.
The company said in a statement that it decided a few years ago to only use the name Trader Joe on its products and was in the process of updating ethnic-sounding labels.
“Although this product naming approach may have been rooted in a mild inclusiveness effort, we recognize that it may now have the opposite effect – contrary to the friendly and satisfying customer experience that we strive to create every day,” company spokeswoman Friends Kenya-Daniel said.
Packaging for a number of products has been changed, and the company expects to complete the process “soon,” he said.
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