The Massive Grocery Chain That Just Quietly Ignored Cancel Culture

(Right Country) – The popular grocery chain Trader Joe’s is quietly and defiantly declining to succumb to the pressures of cancel culture in what Breitbart’s John Nolte describes as something they did “politely.”

Last week, the Los Angeles Times reported that the retailer had caved to an online petition which derided some of its branding as racist.

In the petition, the 17-year-old author bemoans the brand’s inspiration, which was the Jungle Cruise ride at Disney and a book called White Shadows in the South Seas.

The book White Shadows in the South Seas was also made into a silent film. This work demonstrates the horrific legacy of trading companies as they exploited and enslaved the South Pacific in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Many of these regions are still at a disadvantage today because of how traders ravaged their peoples, their societies, and their natural resources. Even though the story calls out the abuses of trading companies, (although it perpetuates other racist tropes such as that of the “noble savage” and “white god” narratives common during this period), “Trader” is still part of the grocery chain’s name. It leaves the question: What in particular about this book inspired the company?

The Times quoted company spokeswoman Kenya Friend-Daniel as saying in response to the petition, “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.”

In a statement released this week, however, Trader Joe’s defended its iconic brand naming scheme where they were quite blunt that they do “not make decisions based on petitions.”

In light of recent feedback and attention we’ve received about our product naming, we have some things we’d like to say to clarify our approach.

A few weeks ago, an online petition was launched calling on us to “remove racist packaging from [our] products.” Following were inaccurate reports that the petition prompted us to take action. We want to be clear: we disagree that any of these labels are racist. We do not make decisions based on petitions.

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.

[…]

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.

Capitalism wins the day!

Featured image credit: Phillip Pessar – flickr.com/photos/southbeachcars/31921521713

14 COMMENTS

  1. I was really disappointed when I heard that Trader Joe’s had caved to the cancel culture. Glad that’s fake news! Any person with a brain cell can see that they are just having fun with the naming of their products. If anyone is offended, I say, get a life and stop being so sensitive. Or are you just looking for controversy?

  2. exactly! get a life and stop trying to change America!!! We have a Great Country! so leave it be! Keep America Great….!

  3. I had sent a message to TJ when I read the same thing. And my message said that I’m sure an opposite petition (NOT to change) would have gotten a lot more signatures. I’m so happy with TJ’s decision not to cave in. I wonder how much other feedback they had gotten like mine. It’s important to make our ANTI-cancel culture opinions known.

  4. Thank God!!! If these few people are offended, now listen 👂 very simple don’t purchase those products.
    Thank you Trader Joe’s. Job well done.

  5. GOOD! GOOD! GREAT !!!!!! I was just in Trader’s Joe this morning, and am HAPPY to say I do not expect them to change anything ! For God’s sake, next thing they will have to change where they hang the banana’s !!!!
    More companies, and individuals should follow this company and stand their ground!
    It is UNAMERICAN to let these libs take over every tradition some of us hold Dear. I don’t even buy syrup anymore, but I sure as heck bought some “Aunt Jemima” last week. That was a proud label, never racist !

  6. How refreshing to read that someone out there has some common sense. My syrup, rice, etc. have never offended anyone. Fact is, they can’t do anything by themselves. They need me to open the bottle, package and put my spin on it. So, I agree ”get a life” and leave my purchasing agenda alone. Uh, am I stupid, ignorant, blind, or deaf? I just heard they were ”trading” stocks, bonds, etc. on Wallstreet. How ridiculous to think a word on a product could/would influence a person’s lifestyle other than their sense of smell, taste!!! Thanks Trader Joe’s for standing your ground. How can I get others to see your intelligence??? Just me in N.C. who never did anything to anyone. Thanks again. Penny Joy!

  7. Isn’t it Political Correctness that had Trader Joe’s considering redoing their branding?

    Yes, Cancel Culture is a new and snappy and alliterative term, and all that, but I think it has nothing to do with this situation.

  8. Using cultural terms does not meet the standard of racism on it’s own merit. The only person that gets to define intent is the person from which the the action/words/behavior comes. Cancel culture seems to be accusing everyone of doing what they, themselves, are actually doing and suggesting that whatever they decide is another’s intent is the only opinion that matters.

  9. Oh my gosh, my son “trades” candy, small cars, etc at school. Geez, trading is done in many different ways and you are a divider just focusing on the negative.

  10. Thank God for Trader Joe’s!! Thank God for America! Don’t these protestors have anything else to do but run around complaining and being offended about everything? Many don’t have jobs and are still receiving bail out money plus money from George Soro’s. Real Americans love America!! Thank you TJ’s!!

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