Trader Joe’s is the latest company that will be changing the brand names and marketing of several of their items; this comes in response to an online petition that called on the grocery chain to “remove racist branding and packaging.”
CBS News reports that about 3,400 people had signed the petition as of Monday morning. Specifically, the petitioners want the grocery chain to rename products labeled “Trader Ming’s,” “Trader José” or “Trader Giotto’s,” which refer to Chinese, Mexican or Italian food, respectively.
According to the social media campaign, “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.
The company said in a statement that it decided several years ago to use only the Trader Joe’s name on its products.
The petition follows Quaker Oats’ decision last month to rebrand Aunt Jemima syrup and pancakes, with the food company noting that “Aunt Jemima’s origins are based on a racial stereotype.” Other brands facing similar criticism have also recently pledged to review their packaging, including Uncle Ben’s rice and Mrs. Butterworth’s syrup.