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Dreyer’s Will Change Eskimo Pie Name, Admitting ‘the Term Is Derogatory’

Plus, China suspends imports of Tyson chicken over coronavirus concerns, and other news to start the day

Vintage box showing Eskimo Pie’s Fudge Pie.
An archival image of the Eskimo Pie’s Fudge Pie packaging, featuring the brand’s eponymous character.
Photo: National Museum of American History, Archives Center

Eskimo Pie is the latest brand to announce a name change amid racial equity conversation

Eskimo Pie announced it will be changing its name and retiring its eponymous character by the end of the year. The decision came within days of Aunt Jemima, Uncle Ben’s, Cream of Wheat, and Mrs. Butterworth’s announcing brand overhauls in the wake of Black Lives Matter protests and a broader racial reckoning across the United States.

“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 the Wall Street Journal in a statement.

Eskimo Pie, the chocolate-covered vanilla ice cream bar, was invented about a century ago under the name I-Scream Bar, but was renamed Eskimo Pie after founder Christian Kent Nelson partnered with chocolate maker Russell C. Stover, the New York Times reports. The brand’s character — a little boy with dark hair and a fur-lined parka, sometimes depicted riding a qamutiik-like sled in the past — and name were “meant to evoke the chilly north and the indigenous people who lived there,” according to a Smithsonian Magazine piece published in 2017. The term “Eskimo” is widely considered to be a derogatory name for native peoples of the Arctic regions.

And in other news…

  • Essential workers — underpaid, overworked, at risk on the job — are more likely to need food stamps than others. [Modern Farmer]
  • What’s next for grocery store self-serve salad and hot bars? Sealed to-go containers, employees dishing out the food, and prepared meals from local restaurants, maybe. [CNBC]
  • St. Louis restaurant Savage is getting a name change, with the owner citing the word’s “troubled history.” [Riverfront Times]
  • A hard seltzer company is selling face masks with a little straw flap for ease of drinking. [Time Out New York]
  • China has suspended importing poultry from a Tyson Foods plant after a cluster of coronavirus cases at the facility in Springdale, Arkansas. [CNN]
  • Eating meat from processing plants that have had coronavirus outbreaks may carry some risks, but is probably largely safe, says one virologist. [Forbes]
  • How Rome’s restaurants and cafes are trying to adapt to a new landscape as they reopen. [Washington Post]

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