On Saturday, she said that she had been referring to new products that the company had introduced after 2017.
Asked about the status of other product labels, Ms. Friend-Daniel said on Saturday that “for the remaining products, we will change packages or discontinue products that do not resonate” with customers.
Over the years, customer feedback showed some label variations were found to be insensitive or confusing, Ms. Friend-Daniel said.
The spokeswoman added that labels such as Arabian Joe’s and Armenian Joe’s were no longer In use, and that the label Trader Joe San is the currently used on only about three products.
“Quite frankly, I’m honestly surprised,” Briones Bedell, who started the online petition that led to renewed scrutiny of the company’s labels, said on Saturday. “I see it to be a complete reversal to their previous commitment to removing the labels from the international foods.”
With her petition, Ms. Bedell, 17, said she wanted to raise awareness of stereotypes that are of a piece with the larger discussions about race happening across the country.
“They rely only on characters and kind of vague ideas and not anything of actual substance or legitimacy,” Ms. Bedell said of the labels. “It becomes a tool of othering.”