The Eskimo Pie will have a new name for its second century. Like companies deciding their product names are hurtful, Dreyer’s Grand Ice Cream's has decided to leave the Eskimo Pie name and marketing campaign in the past, along with the Eskimo character, the New York Times reports. "We are committed to being a part of the solution on racial equality, and recognize the term is inappropriate," the company's marketing chief says. Dreyer's just closed the deal to buy Eskimo Pie from Nestle in January, per Adweek.The company said it will have a new name for its chocolate-wrapped ice cream product by the end of the year and review its other brands to ensure they "reflect our people values."
The packaging has changed over the years, of course, but has long included a child with dark hair, wearing mittens and a parka with a fur-lined hood. "Eskimo" often is used in Alaska to refer to all Inuit and Yupik people, but many people in various parts of the world consider it derogatory. It was conferred and used by colonizers in the Arctic and was said to mean "eater of raw meat," as a code for barbarism. The rapid name changes are a switch for the owners of problematic brands. Before the protests for racial equity began, sparked by the death of George Floyd, Adweek points out, some of the companies wouldn't comment on the names or whether they'd be changed. "Eskimo Pie" was trademarked in 1922. The original name was "I-Scream Bar." (Quaker Oats says it's reassessing its brand names.)