Saputo Australia has revealed the new name for its cheese brand Coon after ceding to criticisms the name had associations with a racial slur.
After more than five months since Saputo decided to retire the Coon brand name, the company has announced Cheer as the new name today. Saputo said the change follows the company’s “careful and diligent review to honour the brand-affinity felt by our consumers while aligning with current attitudes and perspectives”.
“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,” said Lino A. Saputo, chair and CEO at Saputo.
“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.”
Cheer cheese will be available on supermarket shelves nationwide this July.
The controversy over the name was sparked when Australian comedian Josh Thomas suggested on his Twitter that the Coon brand name is associated with a racial slur.
While the name is inappropriately used to describe ethnic groups, the cheese was named after Edward William Coon, who patented a unique ripening process that was used to manufacture the original Coon cheese.