NEW YORK (AP) — The owner of Eskimo Pie is changing its name and marketing of the nearly century-old chocolate-covered ice cream bar, the latest brand to reckon with racial in charge of logos and marketing.
“We are committed to being a part of the solution on racial equality, and to recognize the term is pejorative,” said Elizabell Marquez, head of marketing for its parent dreyer’s Grand Ice Cream, the AMERICAN subsidiary for Froneri, in a press release. “This initiative is part of a larger review to ensure our company and brands reflect our values.”
The treatment was patented by Christian Kent Nelson, of Ohio, and his business partner Russell C. Stover, in 1922, according to the Smithsonian Magazine.
Eskimo Pie joins a growing list of brands that are rethinking their marketing strategy in the wake of the Black Lives Matter protests in recent weeks, triggered by the death of George Floyd. Quaker Oats announced Wednesday that he will retire from the Aunt Jemima brand, saying the company recognizes the character of its origins “are based on a stereotype of race.”
Other companies are reviewing their name or logo. Geechie Boy Mill, a family-owned operation in South Carolina that is locally grown and milled white grits, said on Wednesday that he is “listening to and reviewing all of our brand image,” if no decision has been taken. Geechie is a dialect spoken primarily by the descendants of the enslaved african-American who is installed on the Ogeechee River in Georgia, according to Merriam-Webster.com.
Mars Inc. said it is also reviewing its Uncle ben’s rice brand. B&G Foods Inc., what makes the Cream of Wheat, hot cereal, also said last week that it is committed to “an immediate review” of its packaging. A smiling black chef holding a bowl of cereal appeared on the Cream of Wheat, packaging and in the ads since at least 1918, according to the web site of the company.
Based in Chicago, Conagra Brands, which makes Mrs. Butterworth’s syrup, said to his bottles, which have the form of a matronly woman — are intended to evoke a “grand-loving mother.” But the company has stated that it can be understood that the packaging might be misinterpreted. Critics have long argued that the bottle is rooted in the “mammy” stereotype.
AP Food Writer Dee-Ann Durbin in Detroit contributed to this report.