Saputo Dairy Australia unveils Cheer to replace Coon

Saputo Dairy Australia has revealed Cheer as the new brand of its household staple cheese range.

The decision to rebrand from the name Coon cheese was announced July 2020 amidst the global Black Lives Matter Movement and local controversy involving Sunrise host Samantha Armytage and media personality Prue MacSween.  Coon, along with a number of brands around the world have been forced by consumers to confront racial connotations of their names, logos and images.

Coon is an offensive slur used towards Indigenous Australians.

Cheer has been revealed as the new brand for Coon.

In a statement released by Saputo Dairy Australia today, the business said the revised name, Cheer, followed a “careful and diligent review to honour the brand-affinity felt by our customers while aligning with current attitudes and perspectives”.

Owner, Canadian-based Saputo Inc, had been under pressure to revise the brand for decades, culminating in an unsuccessful 1999 complaint to the Australian Human Rights Commission from Indigenous activist Dr Stephen Hagan.

The business has previously defended the name, stating the brand was named after its American founder, Edward William Coon.

Saputo Inc chair and CEO, Lino Saputo, said of the rebrand: “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.

“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.”

Saputo Dairy Australia commercial director, Cam Bruce, said he trusted the new name will be embraced, and that “Cheer cheese is a cheese for everyone”.

“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. We remain committed to our Australian farmers who continue to produce the high-quality milk that goes into all of our products, including Cheer cheese.”

In November, Nestlé revealed the new branding for its Redskins and Chicos lollies, renaming them Red Rippers and Cheekies, respectively.

Other FMCG companies revising their brands include Quaker’s Aunt Jemima’s pancake and syrup range and Mars’ Uncle Ben’s rice brand.

Cheer will hit supermarket shelves from July 2021.


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