American Thinker’s Monica Showalter asks, “Have we reached Peak Corporate Cave-In?” after Trader Joe’s grocery chain refused to change the names of several of its products a Change.org petition deems ‘racist’.
Here’s the grocery store’s full statement:
To Our Valued Customers:
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.
Decades ago, our Buying Team started using product names, like Trader Giotto’s, Trader José’s, Trader Ming’s, etc. We thought then—and still do—that this naming of products could be fun and show appreciation for other cultures. For example, we named our Mexican beer “Trader José Premium” and a couple guacamole products are called “Avocado’s Number” in a kitschy reference to a mathematical theory. These products have been really popular with our customers, including some budding mathematicians.
We constantly reevaluate what we are doing to ensure it makes sense for our business and aligns with customers’ expectations. 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. It’s kind of what we do.
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.
Trader Joe’s has been a unique, fun and neighborly place to shop for over 50 years. We look forward to taking care of our wonderful customers for many future decades.
It’s quite refreshing to see some backbone after we’ve witnessed iconic brands kowtow to the PC mob, brands such as: Mrs. Butterworth, Cream of Wheat, Aunt Jemima, Eskimo Pies, the Land O’Lakes Indian maiden and others. Many of these changes left only faces of whites on the packages. If the actions of conservatives had such a result they would quickly be branded ‘racist.’
Here’s American Thinker’s read-through of Trader Joe’s corporate statement:
1. They refute flat-out that their products are racist:
We want to be clear: we disagree that any of these labels are racist.
Glad they got that out of the way. Nice to see a full frontal from what had been a bunch of corporate jellyfish.
2. They note that they are hearing from people:
We make decisions based on what customers purchase, as well as the feedback we receive from our customers and Crew Members.
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.
…and it’s scaring them straight. They must have been flooded with angry customers disgusted at seeing their beloved company cave in to political correctness. What next, replacing all the spicy food with bland pabulum, to keep all the cultural appropriation out and satisfy the far-left mob? Make the high-chair spoon-throwers happy? Obviously, the customers rebelled.
3. They remember that they are a business:
We make decisions based on what customers purchase,
those products that resonate with our customers and sell well will remain on our shelves.
Nice to see a company remember what it is — no Silicon Valley/Portland/Seattle–style claptrap about “changing the world” from them. If something’s profitable, they keep their customers happy. And what’s more, customers agree. Here are some very recent comments that went onto the Change.org petition to force the company to take its cutesy ethnic names off its products:
One little white lie mars Trader Joe’s excellent pullback from its earlier stance — its claim that the petition to take the names off the shelves had no effect on it. Here’s an excerpt of what they were saying via the Change.org petition to shut their brands down:
“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.”
“… we made the decision several years ago to use only the Trader Joe’s name on our products moving forward. Since then, we have been in the process of updating older labels and replacing any variations with the name Trader Joe’s, and we will continue do so until we complete this important work.”
Yes, it did have an effect, and now the lefties are gathering more signatures to complain further. See how Change.org arranged the two statements and framed the issue on its site. They thought they had a cave-in from Big Corporate, and now are upset that they don’t.
But the rest of us see something good happening.
Source: American Thinker