Eskimo Pie Ice Cream will change its problematic name and packaging that’s rooted in derogatory stereotypes

Ice cream scoops sit in a glass container at the Beckon offices. Dominick Reuter / Business Insider
  • Eskimo Pie, a dessert product made by Dreyer’s Grand Ice Cream, is getting rid of its name and packaging, according to a new report.
  • The company acknowledged the packaging’s imagery and the use of the word “Eskimo” was “inappropriate.”
  • Eskimo Pie is one of many brands addressing its roots in racism after the widespread protests and activism sparked after the police killing of George Floyd.
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Eskimo Pie, a Dreyer’s Grand Ice Cream product, is pledging to change its name and marketing after acknowledging its problematic origins, The New York Times recently reported.

The chocolate-covered ice cream popsicle brand was started in the early 1920s and has consisted of packaging that shows a dark-haired child in a parka, a fur hood, and mittens. The ice cream took on the name “Eskimo” from a term referring to the Inuit and Yupik people, but it has derogatory connotations stemming from non-native settlers who colonised areas of the Arctic.

“We are committed to being a part of the solution on racial equality, and recognise the term is inappropriate,” Elizabell Marquez, Dreyer’s head of marketing, said in a statement on Saturday. “This move is part of a larger review to ensure our company and brands reflect our people values.”

The idea for the dessert was conceived by Christian Kent Nelson in Iowa in 1920. The original name for the treat was “I-Scream Bars” but the marketing later changed when Russell C. Stover joined Nelson’s business.

The brand’s name change is one of a slew of marketing changes made by companies across the board in an effort to remove racist and derogatory stereotypes in marketing material.

Some recent high-profile companies making alterations or complete revamps include Aunt Jemima, Uncle Ben’s, and Land O’Lakes.

The re-examining of brand messaging became more widely addressed after protests and activism erupted after the police killing of George Floyd, a 46-year-old Black man who died after an officer knelt on his neck for over eight minutes.