Eskimo Pie is getting rid of its derogatory name

ByJordan Valinsky, CNN Business, CNNWire
Sunday, October 11, 2020
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Eskimo Pie has decided on a new name three months after it acknowledged its original name was offensive toward native arctic communities.

Beginning early 2021, the chocolate-covered vanilla ice cream bar will be called Edy's Pie, a nod to one of the company's founders, Joseph Edy. It's also a familiar name to many because its maker, Dreyer's Grand Ice Cream, markets food under the Edy's name on the U.S. East Coast.

The name "Eskimo" has long been used by non-native groups to refer collectively to Inuit and Yupik people, according to the Alaska Native Language Center at the University of Alaska.

"This name is considered derogatory in many other places because it was given by non-Inuit people and was said to mean 'eater of raw meat,'" it said.

Linguists also say the word has another origin, based on a word meaning "to net snowshoes," the language center said on its website.

"Our mission at Dreyer's Grand Ice Cream is to bring joy to everyday life with ice cream, and we look forward to our Edy's Pie ice cream bars continuing to do just that," Elizabell Marquez, head of marketing for Dreyer's Grand Ice Cream, said in a statement.

She added it has "paused production" of the Eskimo Pie until the new brand rolls out.

The ice cream manufacturer announced plans for the name change in June, saying it was "committed to being a part of the solution on racial equality," and that it recognized the "Eskimo" term is derogatory.

The Nestlé-owned company joined other brands in overhauling brands and logos with racist roots, including Aunt Jemima, Cream of Wheat and Uncle Ben's.

SEE ALSO: Mrs. Butterworth's, Cream of Wheat join brands changing images amid racial protests

Eskimo Pie, which has been using the name for nearly a century, is one of the first brands to actually announce a new name. Several companies said they would change their logos shortly after the police killing of George Floyd, which ignited a nationwide racial reckoning that corporate America was forced to address.

The only other brand to unveil a new name so far is Uncle Ben's, which is changing its name to Ben's Original.

READ MORE: Uncle Ben's joins Aunt Jemima in brand overhaul amid concerns about racial stereotyping

CNN's Alta Spells and Jay Croft contributed to this report.