Coon Cheese unveils new name after racism concerns

Marco Green
January 13, 2021

Australian cheese brand Coon has a new name - Cheer.

Aboriginal activists have spent the past 20 years lobbying to have the brand name changed as the word "coon" is demeaning to people of colour.

'At Saputo, one of our basic principles as an organisation is to treat people with respect and without discrimination and we will not condone behaviour that goes against this, ' Saputo said after announcing its decision last July.

While the recipe and packaging has remained unchanged, the new name came as a result of the company's "careful and diligent review to honour the brand-affinity felt by our consumers while aligning with current attitudes and perspectives".

Coon cheese was originally named after its founder, American Edward William Coon, who died in 1934.

Creative Director Cam Bruce promised customers that while the name may be different, the recipe would stay the same.

The new name, Cheer, was chosen because it signals happiness.

The name has stirred controversy many times over recent years.

The decision to ditch its traditional but controversial name past year follows the Black Lives Matter movement worldwide.

The brand joins a growing list of companies and groups which have changed their branding to reflect non-racist values.

Last year, Quaker Foods announced a rebranding of Aunt Jemima's logo due to bein based on a "racial stereotype".

Weeks later, the company announced it would be changing its name to contribute towards eliminating racism.

Uncle Ben's canned foods and Coco Pops are also being overhauled in light of the BLM movement.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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