Eskimo Pie no more: Ice cream owners will drop ‘derogatory’ name
Alta Spells and Jay Croft, CNN
(CNN) — After nearly 100 years, Eskimo Pie ice cream will get a new name.
“We are committed to being a part of the solution on racial equality, and recognize the term is derogatory,” Elizabell Marquez, head of marketing for parent company Dreyer’s Grand Ice Cream, told CNN in a statement.
The chocolate-covered vanilla ice cream bar joins brands such as Aunt Jemima and Uncle Ben’s in overhauling long-used names and marketing strategies considered racially offensive. The trend comes amid global demonstrations against police brutality and systemic racism following the deaths of George Floyd and other African Americans at the hands of police.
Dreyer’s Grand Ice Cream has been reviewing the business for some time, Marquez said.
The name “Eskimo” is commonly used in Alaska to refer to Inuit and Yupik people, according to the Alaska Native Language Center at the University of Alaska. “This name is considered derogatory in many other places because it was given by non-Inuit people and was said to mean ‘eater of raw meat.'”
Linguists now say the word has another origin, based on a word meaning “to net snowshoes,” the language center notes on its website. But people of Canada and Greenland prefer other names.
Nestle sold Dreyer’s and the rest of its US ice cream brands to Froneri, a joint venture with a private equity firm, in a $4 billion deal in 2019.