Aussie Snacks That Were Rightly Altered for Their Unacceptable Names

Aussie Snacks That Were Rightly Altered for Their Unacceptable Names
Image: Getty Images

Plenty of iconic Aussie snacks didn’t deserve to die but Australia has had a slightly sordid history when it comes to keeping our snacks free of racist and homophobic undertones.

Here’s a list of Aussie snacks that have been discontinued or received a name change over the years.

Arnott’s Golliwog Biscuits

Aussie Snacks That Were Rightly Altered for Their Unacceptable NamesImage: Museums Victoria

For a period of time in the 1960s, Golliwog dolls became edible thanks to Arnott’s, who produced the chocolate biscuits for a number of years before changing their name to ‘Scalliwags’. The ‘Golliwog’ is an inherently racist caricature, influenced by the blackface minstrels of yesteryear – symbols of black oppression. The Golliwog entered into popular culture during the mid-20th century and some still claim it holds nostalgic memories, however, many businesses that have sold the dolls or the biscuits have been asked to remove advertisements or products from their shelves.

Ni**er Boy Licorice

Aussie Snacks That Were Rightly Altered for Their Unacceptable NamesImage: Museums Victoria

The National Licorice company produced these licorice blocks throughout the 1950s and 1960s and, according to the Museum of victoria, these kinds of snacks show how racist African American stereotypes were once imported into the country. Looking through the advertisements for this snack in the Museums Victoria collection, it’s pretty obvious why it doesn’t exist anymore.


Aussie Snacks That Were Rightly Altered for Their Unacceptable NamesImage: Riviera

Now known as FADS fun sticks these days, this Australian musk-flavoured snack – shaped like a cigarette – is the double whammy of inappropriateness. Not only was the snack shaped like a cigarette, complete with a red tip (as if the cigarette was alight), it was also known as a ‘fag’. Yes, it was a slang term for cigarettes back in the day, but it’s also a homophobic slur. Attitudes have changed dramatically towards both smoking and same-sex relationships since fags were first introduced and they were rightfully renamed to Fads in the ’90s.

Creole Creams

Aussie Snacks That Were Rightly Altered for Their Unacceptable NamesImage: Museums Victoria

When Coles introduced a home brand Oreo-style chocolate biscuit with white cream filling back in 2009, they decided to name them ‘Creole’ creams. Someone from marketing definitely got fired for this one, because ‘creole’ had for years been a term used to describe a person of mixed heritage. Sam Watson, deputy director of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies Unit at University of Queensland, was quoted by the Brisbane Times as saying “‘The word Creole comes from a period when people’s humanity was measured by the amount of white blood they had in their bloodstream.” Coles stood by the branding initially, but public backlash eventually forced them to change the name.


Aussie Snacks That Were Rightly Altered for Their Unacceptable NamesImage: Allen’s

The debate around the term ‘redskin’ has been raging in the US for some time now – one of the major NFL teams are still known as the ‘Redskins’ – and Native Americans have been subject to the pejorative term since the era of slave labour in American plantations. Originally, the chewy lolly was wrapped with an image of a Native American in full headdress, but now Allen’s has changed the logo to be a simple combination of red and purple typeface.

Update: Earlier in the year Nestle announced it would be changing the name of Red Skins to avoid marginalizing its “friends, neighbours and colleagues.” The lolly has since been rebranded as ‘Red Ripper’, which is set to roll out in stores by early 2021.


Images of the new Cheekies and Red Ripper lolly packages

Chicos are small brown gummies shaped like a baby, with a chocolate flavour. Chicos also received a name change from Nestle this year, along with Redskins, and have since been rebranded as ‘Cheekies’. Chico means ‘boys’, ‘kids’ or ‘guys’ in Spanish but can sometimes be used as an offensive term for those of Latin American descent. Nestle decided to change the name “due to overtones which are out of step with the company’s values.”

This article has been updated since its original publication.


  • Redskins are still available to this day, all they have done is changed the branding. This time of year they are especially relevant actually because they are a very popular Easter showbag filler. They are certainly not dead.

    Another interesting one is the Chico Roll. They are still called Chico Rolls obviously, but people from Central and South America may find the word “chico” offensive in the same way Indigenous Americans find “redskin” offensive. The days of calling them “chico rolls” may be numbered.

      • You’re right, they are.

        In this particular case though, I don’t think the spelling matters as the pronunciation is the same. If you called someone that word, do you think they’d stop and say “did you mean chico with a ‘c’, or chiko with a ‘k’?” before they got offended?

        • How long has that been a racial slur though? In Australia, I mean? I can’t imagine the sales of a Bendigo-invented (Bendigan?) snack are exactly through the roof in Central America.

          I sometimes wonder whether there are people with so little going on in their lives that they are reduced to seeking out offence where it doesn’t exist, or worse, seeking it out on behalf of others.

          • I don’t suppose “bogan” is related to “Bendigonian”? Several etymologists have traced its origins to the outer northern and western suburbs of Melbourne in the 1980s, which is where contact with the savage tribes to the north would have been most frequent. Not a racist term, but certainly implying the existence of class division along socio-economic lines, much like “commoners” in the UK or “rednecks” “hillbillies” and “trailer trash” in the US. A true bogan is as blissfully unaware of his/her own lowly status as they are of the societal norms and linguistic nuances that make them so easy to identify. The mullet is a prime example, as are wearing your best runners to court, the triple-whammy of trunkal-obesity, current or very recent (and in rare cases, most likely very imminent) pregnancy and leggings, and personal wrecking yards on one’s urban property. On this last point, quite often several generations and branches of the same family will operate very similar vehicles and utilise the many near-identical rusted-out shells in front of each-others’ government-issued dwellings as a shared resource to keep their vehicles operational and to facilitate their spread of their shared genetics over the widest possible area.

        • I can’t imagine any Spanish-speaking person actually getting offended at being called ‘chico.’ It’s pretty translates to ‘guy.’
          I suppose if you delivered it in a particularly nasty manner it might do the trick, but at that point, any word would do really.

    • Yeah, but changing the branding away from the Native American was a step in the right direction. That’s why I brought up the US arguments – even if that NFL team moved away from the Redskins having a Native American logo… would that be cool? I wouldn’t say so.

    • Finding words offensive because they sound like a word in another language is a slippery slope to banning a lot of language!

      When I lived in France, I loved the fact that supermarkets would frequently play English language songs with the word “Fuck” in them (e.g. Lily Allen’s song) because it wasn’t a French word and therefore couldn’t be construed as offensive to a Francophone.

      It seems that in the Anglophone world, people are looking for anything that sounds a little bit offensive in order to be enraged by it.

      • Today pop musicians routinely get around those broadcasting rules by writing the words to sound/rhyme like a different inoffensive word, for example: KatyPerry/CalvinHarris Feels “…ain’t scared to catch feels with me” is actually referring to fingering, but it sung as “catch fish with me”, to avoid any issues.

    • Confused by this – the public debate around the Creole creams was sparked by Sam Watson and considering I used the Times article as a source of this information, why wouldn’t I include that?

      • So how exactly is that different from ‘fags?’ Plenty of people (especially Brits) without a homophobic bone in their body, call cigarettes fags. If you want to go even deeper, a faggot is a piece of wood (it even shows up in Fellowship of the Ring).

        Fag has an entirely innocent meaning that predates its derogatory use. If you want to ban it, then be consistent and chuck Coon on that list too, along with any other food that could potentially offend, like rapeseed, still called ‘rape’ in the context of animal feed.

        Yes, Golliwog is inexcusable because it has known no other definition, but the biggest problem like fags is that they can normalise smoking in kids. Calling for its death is just as hysterical as mums getting Grave Robber ice cream banned for fear kids would dig up corpses.

        • Actually they were renamed because of the link with smoking not the homophobic slur. I remember the lollies looking a lot more like a smoke as a kid, I think they changed the colouring on them to look a little less like cigarettes.

          Side note: they had a bunch of other cigarette type lollies that got cancelled once smoking became “unfashionable”. Like candy cigars, chocolate smoke wrapped in paper that was coloured exactly like a real filtered cigarette.

        • FAGS made me gay, not a smoker.

          Policing language so that multiple means are no longer permissible is a terrible characteristic of our age. Every word/sign is determined to have a single, non-nuanced, unambiguous meaning with no allowance for the multiple (shades of) meaning that decorate language, give us poetry and reveal our linguistic history.

        • Because it’s still at best just a slang term, and one that people are becoming less familiar with over time.
          A person’s name like ‘Coon’ doesn’t change though, so it doesn’t need to be updated to match the times.

          • Most people would be unaware of the origin of the cheese brand’s name, so at best it’s probably a poor choice for marketing reasons to retain it. “Coon” is also used to describe Racoons and certain types of cats in North America, so it’s not really a controversial word (and in the context of use, unless you used it to describe a person or persons it should not offend anyone).

        • Irrelevant but fagging is a practice in English boarding schools where junior boys would carry out menial tasks for senior boys.
          They were called fags.
          Was seen to be character forming but now no longer in practice except in one school.
          You can see how this can be abused.

    • Someone tried about 10 years ago, claiming they could find no connection to Edward Coon. It was stopped pretty fast, the guy was a renowned activist, who in my opinion had more than a few screws loose.

      • When I turned age 10,my Grandfather sent me to the grocery to purchase Cigars and Chewing tobacco.He figured at that age,a boy was old enough to purchase those products for their Grandparent.So,every Friday afternoon,after having come home from work,he would send me down to the little store.”Now Johnny”,he would say.”don’t get me any other kind of chewin’tobacco,other than ‘Havana Blossom’.no Mailpouch or Union Workman,only Havana Blossom.Oh,and also two’Black Peter’cigars.Here’s a dollar.Buy yurself a soda pop with the change” The Tobacco company kept that name for many years,only changing the name to “Black Pete” some years later.This was in Southern Ohio in the early Fifties.

  • Redskins were, and are, yummy but I really miss fags ;(. Yes, they were meant to simulate ciggs (cigarettes) and weren’t sexist as the term fag didn’t really become popularly recognised until many years after they stopped selling as fags.
    My point being you state ‘Yes, it was a slang term for cigarettes back in the day, but it’s also a homophobic slur.” is irrelevent as it didn’t become recognised as a homophobic slur in the day when they existed back in the day the slur was mainly (virtually only) ‘poof’ whereas that has almost become an extintic word today in comparision (yes I know it still exsits but not like it did in the day people are much more likely to use terms like ‘fag’ nowadays which they never did back then
    Replacing them with the name ‘Fads’ also meant stopping the red tip (of ?sugar) at one end which was the most delicious part supposedly to stop them being compared with cigarettes. As a kid, I loved fags but couldn’t really care less about fads

  • FAGS/FADS would have been better to totally re-imagine the candy so it didn’t look like a cigarette any more. Otherwise you may as well leave it as FAGS, because that is well understood to be a cigarette. After all no one is asking for FRUIT to be renamed.

    I always felt a bit conflicted about Golliwogs. They were omnipresent in my childhood reading during a time I lived in the bush with quite a large number of Aboriginal people, including my neighbours and playmates. . However, I never connected golliwogs with being a representation of black people, not least because children’s books and toys are full of strange looking and oddly coloured caricatures of people and animals.

  • Golliwogs were my favourite biscuit as a kid. I’d always start by eating the hair first, then the feet followed by a decapitation and then the torso. It had nothing to do with race with me. It was just a biscuit man you could eat. Good times.

    Besides, Golliwog and Redskins, are American guilt. Not ours.

    As for FAGS, there’s a fair point about the inappropriate emulation of smoking for kids. I used to love ‘eating FAGS’ as a kid and I now smoke (Yes, that last sentence does look so wrong in todays context 😉 – but that’s only because of todays standards being retro actively applied to another time. You could argue if a product named Fags was released today, it could have ‘offensive connotations’, but at the time it certainly wasn’t.

    And what about my favourite childhood ice cream ‘Golden Gaytime’? In the day it was a tasty icecream. Now it’s a tasty icecream which can still illicit a juvenile giggle from me at times. Surely my giggle could be misconstrued as offensive to the easily offended and as such should be renamed to avoid further ‘hate crimes’? :p

  • Fags were a common sight when I was a kid.
    I did like the Big Boss cigars and I used to ‘smoke’ them in the school holidays when playing Monopoly, especially when I was on a winning roll.
    I also drank sarsparilla spiders in big mugs and the head on them would rise above the glass and was the epitome of opulance. (off topic I know, but the lolly cigars triggered a memory)

  • interesting, I’m in my late 40’s and I’ve never heard anyone used the term Creole as a slang term. When I saw the biscuits, I was annoyed they had nothing to do with the taste of southern America.

    • Créole – Anyone with mixed ancestry born in a country colonized by white Europeans, now especially one who speaks a creole language.

      It doesn’t appear to be commonly used as any kind of racial slur in any dictionary or thesaurus, perhaps this concern was merely misguided. I know quite a few people from the Pacific Islands who refer to themselves with the term creole, in culture, food and language.
      I’m sure my friends, along with many people from Louisana / Southern US, or Haiti / Caribbean would be horrified to learn their culture and history had become a taboo topic of discussion!

  • Anyone can understand why N**r Boy products disappeared from Aussie Milk Bar shelves, it’s blatantly racist. What’s odd is the racial stereotypes in their ads related to Africans but the number of Africans in Australia were proportionally tiny until the late-20th C, so those slurs are clearly from overseas, probably USA.

    Allens still have ‘Chico’ brand lollies, (albeit they are delicious) have hardly changed from their racist origins until now.

  • Aaah, golliwogs. Originally a breed of gnome, known to enjoy mischief.

    Virtually extinct, thanks to an ethnic cleansing / genocide movement run by the politically correct.

  • A summary
    We need to ban language it self. If we want to delve into foreign languages we will find every word we say is offensive. Seriously ,Chico is a Spanish, Fag was a cigarette everywhere except the USA until 1985. Coon is a brand name. Come on lets ban “white beans”, “black school laces” Get rid of your black car. Silly silly people.

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