In a bid to create “a culture of acceptance, inclusion and respect” the owner of COON Cheese has finally rebranded its name.
The Australian cheese product will have its name changed to ‘CHEER Cheese’, its owner Saputo Dairy Australia announced in a statement celebrating the news.
The original product, which has been in operation for some 85 years, takes its name from the American cheese processor, Edward William Coon.
However, the name also carries an offensive connotation as a racial slur against people of colour. Critics of COON Cheese have long been calling for the product’s name to be changed.
Saputo Dairy said the decision to rebrand to CHEER followed a careful and diligent review to “honour the brand affinity felt by our consumers while aligning with current attitudes and perspectives”.
“Treating people with respect and without discrimination is one of our basic principles and it is imperative that we continue to uphold this in everything we do,” Lino A. Saputo, chair and chief executive officer at Saputo Inc., said.
“Our decision to change the name of Australia’s much-loved cheese reinforces this commitment to build a culture of acceptance, inclusion and respect where everyone feels a sense of belonging.”
Cam Bruce, commercial director at Saputo Dairy Australia, said: “CHEER Cheese is a cheese for everyone, and we trust our valued consumers and those who are new to our products will embrace this new name.
“We want to stay true to the brand values. CHEER Cheese enriches everyday moments, with our signature taste that brightens your morning, noon or night. CHEER Cheese fits into every part of your day and brings that extra little bit of happiness.
“Whether it’s a sliced snack, a part of your family’s dinner time favourite or a melty midnight toastie.
“CHEER Cheese is the same recipe that millions have come to love, and will continue to grow up with, for generations to come.”
Bruce added that the company remains committed to Australian farmers who “continue to produce the high-quality milk that goes into all of our products, including CHEER Cheese”.
The news comes after Saputo Dairy announced in July, during the Black Lives Matter protests, that it would be rebranding the cheese product.
CHEER Cheese will appear on supermarket shelves nationwide from July 2021.
Featured image source: Saputo Dairy Australia
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