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Trader Joe’s appears to have wised up to the cancel culture and reversed course on an announced plan to rebrand some of its international food labels.
The popular grocery chain announced that it will be keeping “products that resonate with our customers” on its store shelves despite saying earlier this month that it was essentially caving into woke leftists demanding a change in branding that is allegedly “racist because it exoticizes other cultures.”
In a customer update about product naming, Trader Joe’s addressed “recent feedback and attention we’ve received” and sought to “clarify our approach.”
The company denied that international foods it carries with names like Trader Giotto’s, Trader José’s and Trader Ming’s are racist, doubling down on earlier assertions and saying the choice was meant to be “fun and show appreciation for other cultures.”
“We want to be clear: we disagree that any of these labels are racist,” Trader Joe’s said in the statement.
Apparently the chain “heard from many customers” following the recent announcement that it was eliminating ethnic-sounding product labels in the spirit of “inclusiveness.”
Trader Joe’s caves again, agrees to sterilize branding over ‘racist’ accusations. Will the name itself be next? https://t.co/fXQjk2nlD2
— Conservative News (@BIZPACReview) July 21, 2020
“Recently we have heard from many customers reaffirming that these name variations are largely viewed in exactly the way they were intended—as an attempt to have fun with our product marketing. We continue our ongoing evaluation, and those products that resonate with our customers and sell well will remain on our shelves,” the company said.
And to further clarify, Trader Joe’s asserted: “We do not make decisions based on petitions.”
The stand was clearly referring to the online petition organized by California high school student Briones Bedell which has garnered just under 5,000 signatures at the time of this writing.
The fact that the grocery chain had capitulated to such a small leftist mob sparked plenty of backlash, and may have been behind the company’s contention that “inaccurate reports that the petition prompted us to take action” followed the launch of the politically-correct petition.
“We make decisions based on what customers purchase, as well as the feedback we receive from our customers and Crew Members. If we feel there is need for change, we do not hesitate to take action,” Trader Joe’s, which opened its first store in 1967 in Pasadena, California, said.
“We constantly reevaluate what we are doing to ensure it makes sense for our business and aligns with customers’ expectations,” the company continued, going on to contend that changes are regularly made and are based on branding studies and feedback.
“A couple years ago we asked our Buying Team to review all our products to see if we needed to update any older packages, and also see if the associated brands developed years ago needed to be refreshed. We found that some of the older names or products just weren’t connecting or selling very well; so, they were discontinued,” they said. “It’s kind of what we do.”
Bedell updated the petition page, telling supporters that the latest statement from Trader Joe’s “is a departure from the company’s commitment to removing products that they have recognized have not been inclusive or conducive to creating a welcoming, rewarding customer experience.”
“Further, this recent statement adds confusion as to how – and whether – Trader Joe’s will proceed with the repackaging of their ethnic foods,” Bedell added.
She further demanded that Trader Joe’s clarify “which ethnically branded products will be modified” and “clarify statements regarding the company’s corporate brand philosophy and founder Joe Coulombe’s inspiration for the company.”
But the apparent reversal by Trader Joe’s, in a clear show that cultural appreciation is not racism, was approved by Twitter users who applauded the company.
Hoorah! Sanity still exists
— Norm (@Norm_Millsap) July 30, 2020
Finally a brand has the stones to just say no.
— honeybear (@honeybear19871) July 30, 2020
Good for them!👏
— John Michael Soria (@Guitarslinger10) July 30, 2020
Yep, a company showing any semblance of a backbone nowadays is a rare sighting, kudos. This foolish hysteria has to come to a full stop, it’s nuts.
— MW (@OH1_MW) July 30, 2020
— IdaFlo – (@IdaFlo) July 30, 2020
In a gesture to honor the unsuccessful efforts of Briones Bedell and to bestow the grocery store equivalent of the coveted participation trophy, Trader Joe’s is branding their new line of feminine hygiene products Trader Karen.
— Mikey B (@M38Birdo) July 30, 2020
First Goya. Now this. Maybe the tide is turning.
— Mary Owen (@maryowen29) July 30, 2020
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