Dreyer’s to drop “derogatory” Eskimo Pie name after 99 years

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An undated box that originally held Eskimo Fudge Pies. ARCHIVES CENTER, NATIONAL MUSEUM OF AMERICAN HISTORY, SMITHSONIAN INSTITUTION

(CBS News)– The brand behind the popular Eskimo Pie ice cream announced Friday that it will change the product’s brand and marketing after nearly 100 years. It’s just the latest in a slew of companies to announce they are changing or reviewing brand imagery as they attempt to grapple with racist histories amid global protests against racial injustice. 

Dreyer’s Grand Ice Cream, which owns Eskimo Pie, said it acknowledges the name is “derogatory.”

“We have been reviewing our Eskimo Pie business for some time and will be changing the brand name and marketing,” Elizabell Marquez, head of marketing, Dreyer’s Grand Ice Cream, told CBS News. “We are committed to being a part of the solution on racial equality, and recognize the term is derogatory.”

Marquez said the rebrand is part of a larger company review to ensure products reflect its values.

The chocolate-covered vanilla ice cream bar got its name from the indigenous people of the Arctic regions, including northern Canada, Alaska, Greenland and Siberia. The ice cream’s packaging features a young boy dressed for snowy weather. 

Many indigenous people consider Eskimo a derogatory term because non-native colonizers used it to mean “eater of raw meat,” connoting barbarism. 

Dreyer’s Grand, a U.S. subsidiary of Froneri, follows in the footsteps of several major brands announcing product changes or reviews this week. Following an announcement from Quaker Oats that it will rebrand Aunt Jemima, the companies that make Uncle Ben’s, Mrs. Butterworth’s and Cream of Wheat announced reviews of their products’ branding.

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