One of Australia’s best-known ice cream brands is to fade away as its parent company changes the name in an effort to move with the times.
The Eskimo Pie that was introduced by Peters Ice Cream to the country way back in the 1920s will in future be known as the Polar Pie.
‘Eskimo’ is a colonial term
The change is an acknowledgement by the company that the word ‘Eskimo’ is now widely regarded as a colonial term that has derogatory connotations.
It has been used to describe indigenous people inhabiting the cold regions of northern Canada, Alaska, Greenland and eastern Siberia.
“Peters Ice Cream is committed to being a part of the solution on racial equality and we acknowledge that now is the time for change,” Peters said in a statement.
New name is the Polar Pie
“Eskimo Pie is a brand which has been within our portfolio for many decades and has a loyal consumer base who adore the product. We have chosen to rename the product ‘Polar Pie’ as this retains a strong association back to the original brand and product idea – a frozen treat you eat much like a pie.”
The name Eskimo Pie is also used by an ice cream product in the United States, where it has been manufactured by Dreyer’s Grand Ice Cream.
But the US name is being replaced and from next year it will be known as Edy’s Pie in reference to one of the founders of the company, Joseph Edy. The Edy name is already used by the company for other food products.
Name also withdrawn in US
Dreyer’s is currently not selling the Eskimo Pie, having withdrawn it from the market in the wake of the death of George Floyd and widespread Black Lives Matter protests.
According to Lawrence Kaplan from the University of Alaska, most indigenous people in the region prefer to be known as ‘Inuit’ or ‘Yupic’ and the use of ‘Eskimo’ is starting to be used less frequently as it is viewed as a name that was imposed during colonial times.
A wide range of brands and products have undergone name changes in the wake of the Black Lives Matter Protests and increased concern over names that may be deemed racist or offensive.