Acknowledging derogatory term, Eskimo Pie owner says to change ice cream's name

LONDON (Reuters) - The U.S. owner of Eskimo Pie ice cream will change the product’s brand name and marketing, it told Reuters on Friday, becoming the latest company to rethink racially charged brand imagery amid a broad debate on racial injustice.

Dreyer’s Grand Ice Cream, the owner of Eskimo Pie, said it had been reviewing the business for some time.

“We are committed to being a part of the solution on racial equality, and recognize the term is derogatory,” Elizabell Marquez, head of marketing at Dreyer’s Grand, said in a statement.

“This move is part of a larger review to ensure our company and brands reflect our people values.”

Earlier this week, a unit of PepsiCo said it would retire the Aunt Jemima name and branding, following weeks of protests against racism and police brutality sparked by the May 25 death of George Floyd, a Black man, in police custody. That prompted a string of other brands to initiate reviews.

Dreyer’s Grand is the U.S. subsidiary of Froneri, a joint venture between Nestle and Britain’s R&R Ice Cream. R&R is owned by PAI Partners.

Nestle, the world’s biggest packaged food maker, agreed to sell its U.S. ice cream business, which included Eskimo Pie, to Dreyer’s Grand in December 2019.

Eskimo Pie is a chocolate-covered vanilla ice cream on a stick.

Reporting by Martinne Geller; Editing by Kirsten Donovan and Jonathan Oatis