Well, Ex-Squaws Me!
Don’t reach for a loaf of Squaw Bread next time you’re at Trader Joe’s. The South Pasadena-based specialty food chain has changed the name, which offended some Native Americans, to Fat Free Multi-Grain Bread. The company received only three complaints, all from individuals, during the 10 years the bread was marketed under the original name, says Pat St. John, vice president of marketing, but Trader Joe’s changed it three months ago, when labels were being changed anyway to comply with new federal nutrition regulations, to emphasize the fat-free and multi-grain aspects and make the name more descriptive “and less offensive.”
The old Squaw Bread label depicted a man with his head stuck under the curtain of an old-fashioned tripod camera, a somewhat remote reference to Cecil B. DeMille’s 1931 film “The Squaw Man,” which tells the story of an English aristocrat who flees to America and marries an Indian woman. The renamed bread has a multi-colored label with an abstract design.
St. John says the names of many Trader Joe’s products have obscure origins, but there is never an attempt to offend people. She added, “We will continue to poke fun at ourselves and at political correctness.”