Nestlé plans to change the name of its Negrita chocolate cookie brand in Chile amid the attention being paid in the food industry to the prospect of racial stereotyping.
Negrita in the Spanish language roughly translates into English as a ‘woman of dark colour’, and so the world’s largest food maker will give the product a new name of Chokita. The newly branded cookies will be available on shelves from October.
“In light of increased awareness around inappropriate brand names and visual language, local market teams carried out a full review of our portfolio of over 2,000 brands and 25,000 products. They identified any required changes to our use of imagery or language. As part of that process, the team in Chile decided that one of our local iconic brands should be revised accordingly,” Nestlé said in a statement provided to Just Food.
The recipe, flavour and quality of the Chokita chocolate cookies remains the same as the original Negrita brand, which originated more than 60 years ago.
Reflecting concerns about what might be deemed as inappropriate imagery, Nestlé also announced similar measures last year in Australia, with plans to rebrand two confectionery lines, Red Skins and Chicos.
Food companies have been changing or reviewing brand imagery in the wake of widespread global protests against racial prejudice.
US food and beverage giant PepsiCo revealed this year it would rename its Aunt Jemima brand of pancake mixes and syrups to Pearl Milling Company.
Among other movs, earlier this year, Canadian dairy giant Saputo changed the name of its Australian cheese brand Coon to Cheer.
US group B&G Foods said last year it would drop an image of a black chef from the packaging of its Cream of Wheat porridge mix.
Meanwhile, US food major Mars has renamed the Uncle Ben’s rice-and-sauces brand as Ben’s Original.