- The Eskimo Pie ice cream treat will become known as Edy's Pie, Dreyer's Grand Ice Cream announced on Friday. Dreyer's — the U.S. subsidiary of global ice cream manufacturer Froneri — announced it would rebrand Eskimo Pie in June after several other items with branding some felt was racist committed to making changes.
- Edy's Pie is named in honor of one of the company's founders, Joseph Edy, Dreyer's Head of Marketing Elizabell Marquez said in a statement emailed to Food Dive. The treat, created more than 100 years ago, was the first candy-coated ice cream bar.
- Several other food brands that committed to rebranding have recently announced their upcoming changes, which should be on shelves next year. Last week, Mars Food said it is rebranding its Uncle Ben's side dish brand as "Ben's Original" and discontinuing the image of a Black man on its packaging. Also, B&G Foods said it will remove the image of a Black chef from its Cream of Wheat packaging.
Another well-known food item is changing its whole branding and image — and this one may be the most difficult yet for both the company and consumers.
In June, Dreyer's released a statement saying the company recognized the term "Eskimo" was inappropriate and not in keeping with the company's commitment to "be a part of the solution on racial equality." They vowed to change the name and brand symbolism, which included a child wearing a white furry coat.
With this change, Dreyer's accomplishes its goal. However, the rebranding ends with a very different name for a well-known product — one with less brand equity and recognition. Marquez's statement was not accompanied by a rendering of the new item, so it remains to be seen what the new branding and packaging will look like when it hits shelves.
Dreyer's does have an Edy's brand in its portfolio already. It's possible the ice cream bar may take on a similar brand image and build on that recognition. Edy's is Dreyer's premium packaged ice cream brand, which is available in a wide variety of flavors. According to Statista, Edy's was the sixth most popular branded ice cream last year with nearly $57 million in sales.
The new name could work in the company's favor. While Eskimo Pie was the first candy-coated ice cream bar, the last century has brought a lot of competition, which has translated to diminishing sales. Statista ranked Eskimo Pie 19th on a 2019 listing of the ice cream novelty brands consumers purchased most often. The leader, Klondike Bars, was bought by 40.11 million Americans last year. Eskimo Pies were bought by less than a quarter of that total — 9.93 million consumers.
The two brands that have already announced their changes will not be losing their brand recognition quite as much. Cream of Wheat will keep the same name, and it can maintain almost everything about its packaging. The Black chef is just a small image on top of the logo, and consumers might not even notice it's gone.
Ben's Original will keep its orange package with navy blue lettering, as well as the name "Ben." The dominant image on packages of Uncle Ben's side dish products now is of the product itself, with a smaller representation of the Black man next to the logo. Even though the changes are more significant, the new brand will be similar enough that consumers will likely still be able to recognize the product.
The two brands that have not yet announced their changes have a much tougher challenge ahead. In order to remove images and branding that has been seen as racially offensive, they will need to completely change some of the most recognized aspects of their products.
Aunt Jemima, the pancake mix and syrup brand owned by PepsiCo's Quaker Oats division, was the first to announce its rebranding. For many years, this brand deeply identified with the Aunt Jemima character — a Black woman from the "good Old South" — even hiring actresses to portray her. Last week, the company told Food Dive in an email it is still listening to consumers and "diverse partners" about the best way forward.
Conagra Brands also is still in the midst of a review of its Mrs. Butterworth's brand, a company spokesperson said in an email. Bottles of Mrs. Butterworth's syrup are in the shape of a woman with a long skirt and a bun, and the brand's key marketing campaign has consistently involved consumers having conversations with the bottle.
The bottle is dark brown — though most syrup bottles are to prevent light damage. If Conagra decides to make changes, it would mean a complete overhaul of the packaging, which also is a major part of the brand that has been highlighted in marketing campaigns.
With its rebranding announcement, Dreyer's does away with the offensive terminology and image that was associated with its treat while refreshing a well-known offering that had seen its sales melt away. By becoming Edy's Pie, the ice cream bars still retain some consumer recognition. And more than the inclusive name, the treat's affiliation with a premium ice cream brand might help it win new consumers.