Trader Joe’s Is Removing Culturally Insensitive Branding, Still Selling Taste Insensitive ‘Two Buck Chuck’

Photo: Johnny Louis / Contributor (Getty Images)

It’s really not a good time to be culturally insensitive (not that there ever was a good time). In a world where we’re quickly erasing Aunt Jemima, Uncle Ben, the Washington Redskins, and the long-overdue Eskimo Bars, it’s surprising that it took so long for Trader Joe’s realize its mistake. And no, we’re not talking about the highly offensive (to your palate) “Two Buck Chuck” Charles Shaw wine that somehow still exists. We’re talking about the strange choice of branding for various ethnic foods.

Somehow, we were all so delighted with the high quality, delicious food at Trader Joe’s that we missed the products listed as “Trader Jose’s,” “Arabian Joe’s,” “Trader Joe San,” and “Trader Ming’s.” It’s hard to imagine a world where we thought those names were OK. And don’t get us wrong, we understand what Trader Joe’s was doing. They were trying to make a cheeky joke for each ethnic food. But, it’s just kind of a swing and miss.

You might assume the grocery store chain realized its faux pas after the outcry for other products to be retired. But, according to a statement provided to NPR, the company decided to do this years ago.
“We made the decision several years ago to use only the Trader Joe’s name on our products moving forward,” Kenya Friend-Daniel, Trader Joe’s spokesperson told NPR. “(We) had hoped that the work would be complete by now but there are still a small number of products going through the packaging change and we expect to be done very soon.”

It’s hard to believe that this was planned as the products remained on the shelves until a petition was started to get the company to remove the packaging. All in all, we don’t care if it took a public outcry for this to gain traction. We’re just glad to see it happening. Let’s just hope that a petition gets started to finally rid the world of that awful wine.

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