Eskimo Pie

Racially-insensitive brand names getting canned

Eskimo Pie ice cream bars will join a line of products being consigned to the scrap heap of history for their racially-insensitive names.

In the wake of the recent ‘Black Lives Matter’ global protests, the head of marketing for Dreyer’s Grand Ice Cream, the unit of Froneri that owns the Eskimo Pie brand, said that the name and marketing of the chocolate-covered ice cream bar, patented in 1922, will be phased out.

“We are committed to being a part of the solution on racial equality, and recognise the term is derogatory,” Elizabell Marquez said in a statement, although she did not give a timeline for the phaseout.

The word Eskimo has come under criticism in modern times as a dated, non-specific term and a remnant of colonialism, although this sentiment is not universal.

The governments of Canada and Greenland have switched to the term Inuit to describe their native Arctic peoples. The Inuit are a majority of native people in those countries, but not in Alaska and Siberia, whose native populations also comprise the Aleut, Yupik and other groups. “Eskimo” is still widely used in Alaska.

In the wake of national racial unrest, major food processors have been jettisoning, or at least reviewing, brands with racially-tinged names that in most cases were established decades ago.

racially-sensitive brands repurposed

The process started with PepsiCo announcing plans to dump Aunt Jemima, and is continuing with brands like Uncle Ben’s rice (Mars), Cream of Wheat breakfast cereal (B&G Foods) and Mrs Butterworth syrup (Conagra Brands).

Fronera is partially owned by Nestlé, which recently announced plans to change the names of two candy brands sold in Australia: Red Skins and Chicos.