It was only a matter of time before cancel culture came for Trader Joe’s. The thing is, they weren’t very interested in listening.
On July 20, the Los Angeles Times reported that the supermarket chain was “in the process of eliminating labels that use ethnic-sounding names intended to be humorous.”
“The offending products bear such labels as Trader Ming’s for foods and condiments related to Chinese cuisine, Trader José’s for Mexican-style products and Trader Giotto’s for Italian-themed items,” Howard Blume reported.
This was prompted, Blume said, because of a petition on Change.org. The petition was started by 17-year-old Briones Bedell, who said she was offended by these labels — as was her family, apparently, who no longer shopped at the store.
“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,’”