Coon Cheese’s new name revealed
Iconic Australian food brand Coon Cheese will be rebranded as Cheer.
The Coon name will be retired after 85 years amid concerns over its racist connotations.
Saputo, the dairy company that owns the cheese, will relaunch the product as Cheer in July after six months of deliberations over a new name.
"The name Cheer has the significance of pleasure and joy,'' Saputo's chief executive Lino Saputo said. "It's nice when you take a picture you say cheese and when you give a toast you say cheers.
"We took some time to think about this, we wanted to do the proper due diligence and consulted with different focus groups and we narrowed it down to three to five names and resoundingly consumers thought this was the right reflection of what we're bringing for families.
"There's a lot of joy and happiness in it."
The move, which follows a string of rebrands for other popular products, came after decades-long efforts to rename Coon Cheese, including an unsuccessful 1999 complaint to the Australian Human Rights Commission from Indigenous activist Stephen Hagan.
The brand, which was first sold in 1935, had long resisted calls for change and defended its historical origins of being named after American cheesemaker Edward William Coon, who patented a cheese ripening process.
The new Cheer Cheese packets will hit supermarket shelves in July this year.
"It has been a long process from the first time we were approached by some of the consumer activists about the connotation of the previous name we reflected long and hard,'' Mr Saputo said.
"When we acquired the business in 2015 from Lion's everyday cheese platform we understood their idea behind the previous name, which was again linked from the previous owners before then.
"When you think about the controversy, especially in the most recent past, in the last 12-18 months, consumers are much more sensitive to so many things in our society.
"We thought it was a responsible thing to remove any of the bad feelings relative to the previous brand."
Last year global food giant Nestle announced new names for Redskins and Chicos lollies, now named Red Ripper and Cheekies, also in the midst of Black Lives Matter protests.
BRAND NEW NAMES
REDSKINS: Now Red Ripper
CHICOS: Now Cheekies
ESKIMO PIE: Now Edy's Pie
UNCLE BEN'S: Now Ben's Original
AUNT JEMIMA: TBC
Originally published as Coon Cheese's new name revealed