Allen's to change names of Red Skins and Chicos after years of criticism

Olivia Lambert
·News Editor
·4-min read

Allen’s Lollies will change the name of Red Skins and Chicos, joining a list of other brands who vowed to rebrand controversial products.

Nestlé announced on Tuesday it would change the name to ensure nothing the company does marginalises friends, neighbours, colleagues, or is out of step with its values.

Pictured is a bag of Allen's Lollies Red Skins.
The name Red Skins has long been an offensive term for Native Americans and First Nations people. Source: Allen's Lollies

“These names have overtones which are out of step with Nestlé’s values, which are rooted in respect,” Nestlé said in a statement.

The new names have not yet been finalised.

“We appreciate the comments we have received on the need for change,” the company said.

Why Red Skins and Chicos are controversial

Red Skin has long been a slang and offensive term for Native Americans in the US and First Nations people in Canada.

Chico is an offensive term for people of Latin-American descent.

Allen’s Lollies started in Melbourne in 1891 before being bought by UK-based Rothmans holdings in 1985 and then later sold to Nestlé.

The name change comes as people protest the Black Lives Matter movement across the world, prompted by George Floyd, an African-American man who died in police custody in the US state of Minnesota.

Allen’s Lollies praised for ‘obvious decision’

A number of people applauded Allen’s over the name change on Facebook.

“An obvious decision, thanks for listening!” one wrote.

“If you grew up eating Red Skins then you'll remember the picture of the Native Indian Americans on them, clearly the name "Red Skins" is derived from the racist terminology once used to describe these people,” another said.

“Kudos to Allen's Lollies for recognising it and changing the name.”

However others suggested people were not offended by the names of the popular confectionary.

Pictured is a bag of Allen's Lollies Chicos
Allen's Lollies has vowed to rebrand Chicos. Source: Allen's Lollies

“Allen’s PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE don’t go down this road. Nobody is offended by the name of these lollies! These lollies were given these names well before the world went absolutely crazy and decided to be offended by anything and everything – please just leave things alone,” one commented.

“This is ridiculous, I’m sorry I don’t know why the world is going crazy I DON’T buy these lollies and think of racism, I buy them because I have grown up with them and I understand that when I get a Red Skin lolly it will be hard/chewy sweet raspberry flavoured toffee lolly. And a Chico lolly is a chocolate baby/child lolly,” another claimed.

Allen’s Lollies follows decisions of other brands

The announcement comes after controversially named ice cream Eskimo Pie vowed to also change its name.

Eskimo Pie, a chocolate-covered ice cream sold in the US and invented 99 years ago, has also vowed to change its name and branding, while the parent company, Dreyer’s Grand Ice Cream, has pledged to be part of the solution in striving for racial equality.fr

“We are committed to being a part of the solution on racial equality, and recognise the term is derogatory,” Elizabell Marquez, head of marketing at Dreyer’s Grand Ice Cream, told Rolling Stone.

Dreyer’s Grand Ice Cream will reportedly discontinue using the character seen on the ice cream’s packaging and the dessert will have a new name by the end of the year.

Pictured is a box of Eskimo Pie ice creams.
Eskimo Pie is another controversial product to be renamed. Source: Twitter

“Although the name ‘Eskimo’ is commonly used in Alaska to refer to all Inuit and Yupik people of the world, this name is considered derogatory in many other places because it was given by non-Inuit people and was said to mean ‘eater of raw meat’,” the Alaskan Native Language Centre says on their website.

Last week Quaker Oats announced that it will retire the Aunt Jemima brand, saying the company recognises the character’s origins are “based on a racial stereotype”.

The logo was inspired by 19th century minstrel celebrating the “mammy”, a black woman content to serve her white masters. A former slave, Nancy Green, became the first face of the pancake product in 1890.

With AP and Reuters

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