Why the internet is divided over rebranding an iconic Australian cheese


Social media users are divided over whether or not they support rebranding a famous Australian cheese.

Coon cheese has announced that it will officially change its name to Cheer – and it has sparked a cultural war on social media.

Some Twitter users have promised never to buy the brand again, accusing its owners of being politically correct.

The product was originally named after an American cheesemaker, but has drawn criticism for being a racial insult as well.

The new name, revealed Tuesday night, was chosen because it signals happiness, according to its owner, the multinational Saputo Dairy.

But some thought the brand could just as easily have rebranded itself after the culture that destroyed it.

Indigenous groups have long pushed for a name change, and some Twitter users have stressed that it shouldn’t be for non-Indigenous people to decide what is offensive.

Other users were indifferent to the decision to ditch Coon, but contested the new name and argued that Saputo Dairy could have chosen something livelier.

On the flip side, one user vowed to go out and buy the brand after learning that the controversial rebranding scandalized One Nation politician Mark Latham.

Whether the rebranding was overdue or if Coon cheese was just the latest in cancellation culture, cheese lovers across the country were feeling nostalgic.

Albanese refuses to bite

Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese declined to comment on the famous cheese’s renaming.

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He was strewn with questions about the rebaded Cheer cheese in a radio interview Wednesday morning, but declined to consider any prospect of a reactionary culture war.

The rebranded cheese, sold in Australia since the 1930s, will hit supermarket shelves in July.

Mr Albanese said that while he disagreed with the rewrite of history or the controversy surrounding some statues, he had no objection to the new name.

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“Frankly, I think it’s a business decision for the company and fair enough,” he told Sydney 2GB Radio on Wednesday.

“It was certainly named after an American cheesemonger… it is certainly not named after a eulogy of a racist term.

“But the good news is the cheese will be the same. It will taste the same and I think everyone will know it is the same product.

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Mr Albanese said the company was clearly motivated by selling more cheese: “And good luck to them.”

“It’s something that comes and goes. ”

Saputo Dairy said its rebranding followed a review that took into account “current attitudes and perspectives” after community objections to the original name, which is also a racial insult.

“Our decision to change the name of Australia’s highly regarded cheese reinforces this commitment to building a culture of acceptance, inclusion and respect where everyone feels a sense of belonging,” Saputo Global Chef said Wednesday, Lino Saputo.

Saputo’s Australian Commercial Director Cam Bruce said the new brand will stick to the “same recipe that millions of people have come to love and will continue to grow with”.

“We remain committed to our Australian farmers who continue to produce the high quality milk that goes into all of our products, including Cheese cheese,” he said.

Coon cheese was originally named after the American who developed the ripening process, Edward William Coon.

-with AAP


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