Trader Joe’s will rename ‘Trader José’ and other international food products
Trader Joe’s is renaming some of its international food product lines after being called stereotypical and racist.
For years, the grocery store chain has sold Chinese food items under the name “Trader Ming’s” and Mexican food under “Trader José.”
Other names include “Arabian Joe” for Middle Eastern selections and “Trader Joe San” for Japanese products. The company also uses “Trader Giotto’s” for Italian items.
An online petition calling for the chain to rebrand its products has racked up thousands of signatures, saying the branding “belies a narrative of exoticism that perpetuates harmful stereotypes.”
“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,” the company said in a statement to The New York Times.