| USA TODAY
Brands and teams under fire for perpetuating racial stereotypes
Some brands are beginning to alter their names and logos as they face increasing pressure to diversify and combat racism.
Eskimo Pie, America’s first chocolate-covered ice cream bar, is the latest to get a new name and image.
More than three months after Dreyer’s Grand Ice Cream announced it would rebrand the ice cream that has featured an “Eskimo” character on the box, the company has revealed the new name will be Edy’s Pie.
In rapid succession back in mid-June, several companies announced they would retire racial imagery from their branding from Aunt Jemima to Mrs. Butterworth’s in the wake of renewed calls for racial equality.
Experts say the branding announcements are a ripple effect from the Black Lives Matters protests over the police killing of George Floyd and other African Americans.
“The name Edy’s Pie was chosen in honor of one of our company’s founders, candy maker Joseph Edy, as well as a form of tribute to the entrepreneurial origins of this treat,” Elizabell Marquez, head of marketing for Dreyer’s, said in a statement to USA TODAY.
Last month, Cream of Wheat’s parent company, B&G Foods, said the Black chef would come off boxes of the cereal. Mars Inc. also announced its 70-year-old Uncle Ben’s rice brand will be renamed Ben’s Original and will drop the logo.
Marquez told USA TODAY in June that Dreyer’s has “been reviewing our Eskimo Pie business for some time and will be changing the brand name and marketing.”
“We are committed to being a part of the solution on racial equality, and recognize the term is derogatory,” Marquez said. “This move is part of a larger review to ensure our company and brands reflect our people values.”
According to the Alaska Native Language Center, while the word “Eskimo” is commonly used in Alaska to refer to Inuit and Yupik people, it’s considered derogatory and was said to mean “eater of raw meat.”
Marquez said in a statement Tuesday that the company paused production of the ice cream bar under the Eskimo Pie branding and packaging after announcing the decision to rebrand.
The new Edy’s Pie ice cream bars are expected to be in stores in early 2021, she said.
Follow USA TODAY reporter Kelly Tyko on Twitter: @KellyTyko