LOS ANGELES (AP) — The popular grocery chain Trader Joe's says it won't be changing ethnic-sounding labels on its line of Mexican, Chinese and other international foods, adding they are not racist.
Earlier this month the company said it was looking at changing some labels. But now it says it has no problem with ethnic-food labels like Trader Jose's, Trader Ming's and Arabian Joe.
"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," a press release from the company reads.
The company says they were created years ago in a lighthearted effort to promote inclusion and that customers still like them.
"We continue our ongoing evaluation, and those products that resonate with our customers and sell well will remain on our shelves," the company said.
A change.org petition demanding the change had gathered more than 5,000 signatures by Friday.