"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," company spokeswoman Kenya Friend-Daniel said at the time.
She didn't respond to a message Friday asking what changed the company's mind. But in its recent statement, the grocery chain said it still believes the names, many created decades ago, represent lighthearted efforts at inclusion, adding that its customers say they still like them.
Initial word that it would change the names, Trader Joe's said, was based on "inaccurate reports."
"We thought then—and still do—that this naming of products could be fun and show appreciation for other cultures," the company said.
The petition, which had more than 5,000 signatures on Friday, also provoked disagreement among some who saw it.
"Enough is enough," one person commented. "Let's stop stereotyping and perpetuating narratives that are harmful and hurtful."
Another responded, "Pick on something else. The packaging indicates it's authentic to the country the recipe comes from! There are far more important issues to be worked on!"