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Consumers force brands to align with social causes

  • January 15 2021
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Consumers force brands to align with social causes

By Maja Garaca Djurdjevic
January 15 2021

With consumers increasingly embracing social causes, their expectations of the products and brands they buy have altered significantly over the past few years.

Consumers force brands to align with social causes

Consumers force brands to align with social causes

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  • January 15 2021
  • Share

With consumers increasingly embracing social causes, their expectations of the products and brands they buy have altered significantly over the past few years.

Consumers force brands to align with social causes

Consumers are likely to pay more for brands that get it right, as they look to exercise their power and voice through the products they buy. This ethical awakening of sorts means that for brands, there’s a lot at stake.

Having recognised the “current attitudes and perspectives” of its consumers, Saputo Dairy Australia announced this week that CHEER Cheese will be the new name for COON Cheese, as the brand looks to part ways with the negative connotations of the term “coon”.

Pledging to “build a culture of acceptance”, Saputo finally decided to part ways with the name COON after a lengthy campaign by activists who said it had racist connotations.

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In a statement issued to media, Lino A. Saputo, chair and CEO at Saputo Inc, said: “Treating people with respect and without discrimination is one of our basic principles, and it is imperative that we continue to uphold this in everything we do.

“Our decision to change the name of Australia’s much-loved cheese reinforces this commitment to build a culture of acceptance, inclusion and respect where everyone feels a sense of belonging.”

The company's commercial director, Cam Bruce, confirmed that despite the name change, the recipe would remain the same.

“CHEER Cheese is a cheese for everyone, and we trust our valued consumers and those who are new to our products will embrace this new name.

“We want to stay true to the brand values,” Mr Bruce said.

“CHEER Cheese is the same recipe that millions have come to love, and will continue to grow up with, for generations to come. We remain committed to our Australian farmers who continue to produce the high-quality milk that goes into all of our products, including CHEER Cheese,” he added.

In the past, Saputo has explained that the name COON was originally inspired by Edward William Coon, who patented a process used to manufacture cheese in the United States in 1926.

However, for years, activists have argued that the name should be changed given that the term “coon” has a long history of being used as a racist slur against people with dark skin.

According to the Ferris State University’s Jim Crowe Museum of Racist Memorabilia, the “name itself, an abbreviation of raccoon, is dehumanising”.

Consumers force brands to align with social causes
Consumers force brands to align with social causes
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About the author

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Maja Garaca Djurdjevic is the editor of nestegg and Smart Property Investment. Email Maja at [email protected]

About the author

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Maja Garaca Djurdjevic

Maja Garaca Djurdjevic is the editor of nestegg and Smart Property Investment. Email Maja at [email protected]

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