April 22, 2009
My support for the Canadian woman who was offended by marshmellow Eskimos puts me in the minority.
Keeping Stock launched a Save the Eskimos campaign and Whale Oil wants to keep eating Eskimos and has set up a Facebook Group.
Cadbury/Pascal which makes the sweets and Tip Top which makes Eskimo pies are standing firm too.
But Cadbury Australia and New Zealand communications manager Daniel Ellis said Cadbury/Pascall did not intend to rename or remove the product.
“Pascall Eskimos are an iconic New Zealand lolly and have been enjoyed by millions of New Zealanders since they first hit shop shelves way back in 1955,” he said.
“They continue to be incredibly popular today. Last year, we produced almost 19 million individual Eskimos, making it one of our most sought after Pascall products.
“It has never been our intention to offend any member of the public, and whilst we are disappointed to learn that this traditional New Zealand product has caused any concern, this is only the second time in the product’s 54-year history that we have received such a complaint. . .
“We have no intention to rename, reshape or remove the product, and trust that consumers will continue to enjoy Pascall Eskimos.”
That’s given me something to chew on, but I’m not going to swallow the argument that a name change would alter the taste.
April 21, 2009
A Canadian Inuit touring New Zealand has been offended by one of the staples of the Kiwi lolly mixture, the marshmellow Eskimos .
Seeka Lee Veevee Parsons, 21, an Inuit of the Nunavut Territory in Canada, says the Eskimo lolly, manufactured by Cadbury/Pascall, is an insult to her people.
The word Eskimo is unacceptable in her country and carries with it negative racial connotations, she said.
She intends sending packets of the iconic confectionary to the Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper and her grandfather, a Inuit tribal elder in the Nunavut Territory.
A name change by the manufacturer will no doubt be called a PC over-reaction, but would we say that if we came across a marshmellow caricature called a Hori in another country?
Is this very different from the name change for the wee white sticks with the pink ends we called cigarettes when I was a child? They’re now known as space sticks because the attitude to smoking has changed and it’s, correctly, seen as silly to associate smoking with sweets.
Now that the insult has been pointed out, Cadbury/Pascal will have to have a rethink and when they act on that I’m sure we’ll find that marshmellow lollies by another name will taste as sweet.
UPDATE: Alf Grumble has a different view.
UPADATE 2: Keeping Stock is on Alf’s side.