Woman looking confused(l+r), Trader Joe's sign(c)

Lori Butcher/Shutterstock @kyeatdaays/Tiktok (Licensed)

‘I could’ve swore they said they were going to stop doing this’: Trader Joe’s earns a side-eye after changing the names on its cultural food packaging

'I been saying this is so wrong for so many years.'


Tiffanie Drayton


Posted on Dec 5, 2023   Updated on Dec 5, 2023, 1:52 pm CST

Trader Joe’s stirred controversy online after one woman pointed out that the brand changes its name on its packaging for “cultural foods.”

In a viral video that has amassed over 2.1 million views and well over 100,000 likes, TikToker Kyi (@kyeatdaays) side-eyed the brand for the marketing choice.

The woman did a skit to capture the moment she realized the name change on a frozen pack of Mandarin Orange Chicken she purchased from the store. After thinking for a moment about what she should eat, she opened her freezer and excitedly took out the frozen chicken bites. Then, she pulled out a baking sheet and preheated her oven to 405 degrees to prepare the food. 

That’s when she noticed the writing on the package.

“Wait a damn minute,” the content creator mouthed along to the clip’s audio.

Then, the camera did a close-up of the chicken package, which read “Trader Ming’s.”

“POV: U just found out Trader Joe’s does THIS to cultural foods,” read an on-screen caption.

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

In the comments section, viewers confirmed that they have seen the names on the grocery store’s packaged foods change whenever they are from a different culture.

“For the Italian food it’s Trader Giottos,” one viewer wrote.

“The soyaki says ‘Tader Joe-San,'” a second said. 

“Gluten free baking mix says smth like ‘baker josef’ lol,” another remarked.

Other users were surprised that the store still partakes in the practice.

“I couldve swore they said they were going to stop doing this … omg,” a viewer commented. 

Back in 2020, Trader Joe’s did say it would change the names of some of its products after a petition called out the company for racism. However, it later decided not to make the changes.

“We want to be clear: we disagree that any of these labels are racist,” the company reportedly wrote in a statement on its website. 

It also said the store will “not make decisions based on petitions.”

The Daily Dot reached out to Trader Joe’s via contact form and Kyi by email for comment.

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*First Published: Dec 5, 2023, 4:30 pm CST