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 … Trader Joe’s is doing away with store brand labels derided as racist in an online petition, becoming the latest major company to end the use of names and images that perpetuate stereotypes. Inside Trader Joe's - a Podcast - episode 30 available From our humble beginnings as a small chain of eclectic Southern California convenience stores, Trader Joe’s has grown to become a national chain of 514 (and counting) neighborhood grocery stores, employing more than 45,000 Crew Members. Privately held Trader Joe’s opened its first store in Pasadena, Calif., in 1967. Today, now headquartered in nearby Monrovia, the grocer — known for low prices and associates in festive Aloha shirts — has more than 500 locations in 42 states and the District. “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 chain is one of many who has been faced with reassessing their brand’s racist history and/or marketing. She said the controversial approach to naming “may have been rooted in a lighthearted attempt at inclusiveness.” However, Friend-Daniel said, “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.”, In a statement to CBS News, the brand added: “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.”, While many of the offending product packaging has already been changed, according to the brand, Trader Joe’s also told the publication they plan to finish changing over all packaging “very soon.”. “We recognize Aunt Jemima’s origins are based on a racial stereotype,” Kristin Kroepfl, vice president and chief marketing officer of parent company Quaker Foods North America, said last month. But a Change.org petition criticizing what it called “racist branding and packaging” apparently helped fast-track the process. The petition also took issue with the chain’s founder, Joe Coulombe, taking “inspiration in building the Trader Joe’s brand from a racist book and a controversial theme park attraction, both of which have received criticism for romanticizing Western Imperialism and fetishizing non-Western peoples.” The petition points to the chain’s website, which claims Coulombe was inspired by the book “White Shadows in the South Seas” and the Disneyland Jungle Trip ride. “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.’”. Last month, Quaker Oats said it would begin to phase out the Aunt Jemima name and logo from its syrup and pancake mix later this year. The company said in a statement that it decided several years ago to use only the Trader Joe’s name on its products and has been in the process of updating the ethnic-sounding labels. But nationwide racial justice protests following the killing of George Floyd in police custody brought new attention to systemic racism in American life, including elements of consumer brands that reinforce stereotypes. In the wake of the police killing of George Floyd and nationwide protests against racial inequality in America, brands like Aunt Jemima, Uncle Ben’s, Cream of Wheat, Mrs. Butterworth, and more have reevaluated their names, mascots and imagery to not perpetuate racism and stereotypes. The brand claims it decided to repackage products labeled "Trader Ming's," "Trader Giotto's," "Arabian Joe," and more "several years ago," not because of the petition. Trader Joe's is a neighborhood grocery store with amazing food and drink from around the globe and around the corner. Trader Joe’s is one of several brands to pivot away from marketing and naming conventions rooted in racial stereotypes. And after two decades of resisting calls to change the name of the Washington football franchise, which has been protested as a slur against Native Americans, the National Football League team announced it will retire the name, and is expected to choose a new one before the regular season begins in September.

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