Woman’s Attempt To Paint Trader Joe’s As Racist Goes Down In FLAMES

Trader Joe’s, the popular grocery store, is once again facing drummed-up backlash over its allegedly racist ways.

The latest controversy started late last month when an Asian woman published a TikTok video taking note of how Trader Joe’s brands its mandarin orange chicken under the name “Trader Ming’s.”

Watch:

@kyeatdaays a different name for every culture too lol #traderjoes #traderjoesorangechicken #orangechicken #asianfoodtiktok ♬ original sound – eni‍♀️

Her video quickly went viral, attracting over two million views and over 200,000 likes.

Thankfully, most of the thousands of comments that followed suit were comical, meaning most people weren’t remotely offended by this particular product’s branding name, let alone Trader Joe’s other products.

“Shame on Trader Joe’s. ‘Trader Jiu’ was right there and they went with Ming? or even ‘Zhou’ (mandarin pronunciation),” one TikTok user lightheartedly wrote.

“It’s my favorite thing,” another TikTok user, clearly one who’s a major fan of Trader Joe’s, wrote.

“This is so smart,” another user wrote.

This was not the same reaction that erupted when the issue first came to the spotlight in 2020 thanks to a ridiculous petition.

At the time, over 1,700 people — all of them presumably leftists — signed a petition written by a high school student demanding that the grocer change its “racist” labeling of its products.

“The grocery chain labels some of its ethnic foods with modifications of ‘Joe’ that belies a narrative of exoticism that perpetuates harmful stereotypes,” the petition read, as reported by CNN.

The petition went on to complain about branding labels such as “Trader Ming’s,” “Arabian Joe,” and “Trader Jose,” among others.

“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,” the petition continued.

Initially, the company responded to the petition by bending the knee and vowing to change.

“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,” a company spokesperson told CNN.

“Packaging for a number of the products has already been changed, but there’s a small number of products in which the packaging is still going through the process,” they added.

However, the company soon after backtracked.

“We disagree that any of these labels are racist. We do not make decisions based on petitions. We thought then — and still do — that this naming of products could be fun and show appreciation for other cultures,” Trader Joe’s said in a statement at the time, as reported then by The New York Times.

Briones Bedell, the high school student who started the petition, was evidently devastated.

“I see it to be a complete reversal to their previous commitment to removing the labels from the international foods,” she told the Times.

She added that the goal of her petition had been to raise awareness about stereotypes.

“They rely only on characters and kind of vague ideas and not anything of actual substance or legitimacy. It becomes a tool of othering,” she claimed.

As to why Trader Joe’s changed its mind, University of Houston marketing professor Paul Andrew Galvani speculated at the time that the company realized that its target audience didn’t care about the matter.

“If their consumers are suddenly up in arms and saying, ‘You know what, we’re not going to shop Trader Joe’s unless you change,’ then, like any sensible marketer, they’re going to look at that and say, ‘Well, when it starts to impact our bottom line, that’s when we may have to make a change,’” he said.

Dovetailing back to the latest Trader Joe’s controversy, critics responded to it with massive mockery and derision:

Thanks for sharing!
[firefly_email_form list_id='169,203,200,188' show_labels=false]