The Switzerland-based international confectionery company Nestle has decided to expand on its plans announced this week to rebrand some of its popular Australian products.
Nestle has said it would change the name of its Chico Babies and Redskins lollies sold under the Allen’s label in Australia because “chico” was regarded as a derogatory term for people of Latin American heritage and “redskins” was now seen as an insulting term formerly applied to Native Americans.
The decision has already prompted rival manufacturers to announce changes to the names of some of their own products.
Dutch company Perfetti Van Melle has today revealed it will drop the Mentos brand name from its line of hard sweets and instead use “Persontos” (main picture) to avoid sexist connotations.
A Nestle’s spokesperson said its Chico Babies and Redskins lines would be just the first to be rebranded to avoid marginalising any community groups or consumers.
“I can reveal that other name-changes are in the pipeline to ensure we meet contemporary community expectations and standards,” Nestle’s director of branding, Mal Tesers, said.
“We will soon change our Smarties brand name because we feel the current name places too much pressure on consumers to be smart and is insulting to people of average or even below-average intelligence and aptitude. So they will be renamed as ‘Smartenoughies’.
“We’re proud that Nestle is leading efforts by the world’s confectionery makers to bring our brands into line with modern standards.
“We and others in the industry have already agreed that none of our products will be labelled as ‘jubes’, given the word’s clear anti-Semitic tone.
“We will also be stopping use of the generic term ‘toffee’ because that sounds far too elitist, and of course plans to drop the term ‘fairy floss’ need no explanation.”
Mr Tesers said as someone who had spent his entire working life in the confectionery industry he believed the foreshadowed changes were long overdue.
“I must admit that I’ve had deep misgivings about some product names and terms ever since the first day when I started work at Allen’s factory in Melbourne as a very young fudge packer,” he said.