Nestlé has announced that it will change the names of its Red Skins and Chicos lollies, in the wake of protests against systemic racism following the killing of George Floyd.
Both products are part of the confectionery range of Nestlé-owned Australian brand, Allen’s. Red Skins are a red, raspberry-flavoured chewy sweet, and Chicos are a brown, chocolate-flavoured gelatinous confectionery.
Nestlé acknowledged that the names had “overtones” that weren’t in keeping with its values. ‘Redskin’ is a derogatory term for Native Americans and First Nations Canadians, while ‘chico’ can be an offensive term for people of Latin American descent.
While new names have not yet been finalised, Nestlé stated it would “move quickly” to change them.
“This decision acknowledges the need to ensure that nothing we do marginalises our friends, neighbours and colleagues,” Nestlé said in a statement.
“These names have overtones which are out of step with Nestlé’s values, which are rooted in respect.”
In a post on the Allen’s Lollies Facebook page, the brand added: “At Allen’s we are about creating smiles. This decision acknowledges the need to keep creating smiles.”
The killing of George Floyd and the growth of the Black Lives Matter movement around the world has intensified the pressure on companies to remove offensive stereotypes from branding.
Nestlé’s move follows similar announcements from Mars Foods and Conagra Brands who have said they will review the Uncle Ben’s and Mrs. Butterworth brands.
PepsiCo’s Quaker Oats subsidiary also announced last week that it will replace and retire its Aunt Jemima brand, acknowledging its origins are “based on a racial stereotype”.
© FoodBev Media Ltd 2020
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