Coon cheese ‘vintage’ packaging goes on sale online for $50 after the ‘racist’ name was dumped for offending Aboriginals – despite the old brand staying on shelves until JULY
- Vintage packaging of Coon cheese going on sale for $50 following name switch
- The popular brand changed it’s name to Cheer after a backlash over racism
- The label was named after American cheese processor Edward William Coon
- But due to its its historical use as a racist slur, the dairy giant made the change
An empty packet of ‘vintage’ Coon cheese is selling for $50 online, just over a week after the controversial label changed its ‘racist’ name to Cheer.
Although the much-loved dairy product was named after its American cheese processor Edward William Coon, who died in 1934, the company announced said it would retire the name because of its historical use as a racist slur.
The asking price for ‘vintage’ Coon cheese packaging is $50 online, just over a week after the controversial label changed its name to Cheer following a backlash over racism
Cheer Cheese (pictured) will start appearing on supermarket shelves from July
Aboriginal activists, including academic and former diplomat Dr Stephen Hagan, have spent the past two decades lobbying to have the brand name changed as the word ‘coon’ is a slur against people of colour.
But many Australian cheese lovers were disappointed with the name change and now the original could soon become a collectors item.
‘Vintage cheese packaging. $50 in stock,’ and ad on Facebook marketplace says.
‘No longer in circulation, you may have seen these about. Some people found theirs to be racist but I can assure you this one was named after its creator not under any bad motives.
‘Absolutely 100 per cent genuine. Can post or deliver within Perth for a fee.’
But the new packaging will not hit the shelves until July this year, so fans of the Coon brand can simply go to their local supermarket and buy a packet of 24 Tasty Slices for about $6 – rather than shelling out $50 for an empty packet.
Coon cheese has been much-loved by Australians for almost nine decades
Mr Coon is credited for patenting a ‘ripening process’ that was used to manufacture the original product in the 1920s.
The new name has divided the Australian public and sent social media into meltdown.
While some welcomed the change, it was overshadowed by outpouring of anger.
‘Another company kowtowing to the Woke mob. I never even thought of racism when I enjoyed my Coon Cheese. I certainly won’t be eating Cheer. What a joke!’ one man tweeted.
Controversial media commentator Prue MacSween also weighed into the debate.
‘Having my say on the latest cancel culture victim. Pretty cheesed off about it,’ she tweeted.
Pioneering chef Peter Russell Clarke (pictured in an old ad) was the face of Coon cheese television ads in the 1980s. He was opposed to changing the name when it was first announced six months ago
The decision to rebrand Coon Cheese (pictured) follows a long-running campaign by activists who claimed the name had racist connotations
But Saputo’s chief executive Lino Saputo told Chanel Seven’s Sunrise program the company just wants to produce a cheese with a ‘fully inclusive culture’.
‘Coon is a brand that was known and I would say loved by some in Australia,’ he said.
‘But it was important for us to understand that name did not please other consumers and created a connotation that was not favourable.
‘We decided to embark on this journey to rename that brand and come up with something that we thought would resonate well with all consumers without exclusion.’
Last year global food giant Nestle made a similar move to stamp out some of their Australian product names after they were deemed ‘offensive’.
Redskins and Chicos lollies were changed to Red Ripper and Cheekies in the immediate aftermath of the Black Lives Matter protests.
Aboriginal activists have spent many years lobbying for Coon cheese to change its name. Pictured are two women in an old ad for Coon cheese