In July last year, Saputo Dairy announced its Coon cheese brand would be getting a new name after 85 years. The decision came after years of criticism about the name, which is also a racist slur used to denigrate people of colour.
“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,” said Lino Saputo, the founder and CEO of Saputo.
“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.”
Today, the company has revealed the fromage’s new name: Cheer.
Why “Cheer”? Saputo Australia’s commercial director Cam Bruce says: “Cheer cheese enriches everyday moments, with our signature taste that brightens your morning, noon or night. Cheer cheese fits into every part of your day and brings that extra little bit of happiness.”
Activists have been lobbying for a name change for many years, with previous owners Dairy Farmers and Kraft refusing to accede. Saputo announced its intention to change the brand’s name following the Black Lives Matter protests last year.
Cheer cheese will continue to be made to the same recipe, using milk from Australian farmers. It will be sold from July 2021.