Eskimo Pie ice cream is getting a new name and look after its owner recognized the term as “derogatory.” The move follows growing criticism against American companies which have a history of using racial stereotypes.
Dreyer’s Grand Ice Cream, which owns Eskimo Pie as part of a larger venture with Nestle, made the announcement on Friday after questions were raised about the brand’s name, which is accompanied by imagery to portray them.
“We are committed to being a part of the solution on racial equality, and recognize the term is derogatory,” Dreyer’s said in a statement, according to Reuters. “This move is part of a larger review to ensure our company and brands reflect our people values.”
A new name was not immediately announced.
Eskimo Pie was the first chocolate-covered ice cream bar in the U.S. when it was introduced in 1921. It was invented by Christian Kent Nelson, who got the idea when a boy came to his candy store and couldn’t choose between ice cream and a chocolate bar, according to the National Museum of American History.
Critics argue that the ice cream brand is based on racial stereotypes of the indigenous peoples of Alaska and other Arctic regions. The term “Eskimo” is considered offensive by some because it was given by non-natives and was said to mean “eater of raw meat.”
Over the past few days, several companies have promised to rename their brands in the wake of protests against police brutality and racism. This includes Aunt Jemima, Uncle Ben’s, Mrs. Butterworth’s, and Cream of Wheat.