Breakfast Cereal Coco Pops Under Fire For Supposed Racist Branding
Kellogg’s have been accused of racist branding by a former MP who is questioning why Coco Pops is marketed using a monkey as it’s mascot.
The former British MP wants to know why breakfast cereal Coco Pops is promoted with a monkey, while its white coloured stablemate Rice Krispies (or Rice Bubbles in Australia) has three fair-skinned characters on its box. Fiona Onasanya wrote to Kellogg’s demanding answers and shared her claims on social media saying there is no difference between the two cereal products other than flavour and colour.
@KelloggsUK, as you are yet to reply to my email – Coco Pops and Rice Krispies have the same compòsition (except for the fact CP’s are brown and chocolate flavoured)… so I was wondering why Rice Krispies have three white boys representing the brand and Coco Pops have a monkey?
— Fiona Onasanya (@Fiona_Onasanya) June 15, 2020
“As you are yet to reply to my email,” the MP wrote in a tweet to the brand. “Coco Pops and Rice Krispies have the same composition (except for the fact CPs are brown and chocolate flavoured). So I was wondering why Rice Krispies have three white boys representing the brand and Coco Pops have a monkey?”
Kellogg’s have responded saying they support the black community and feel it’s important to improve racial equality. “The monkey mascot that appears on both white and milk chocolate Coco Pops, was created in the 1980s to highlight the playful personality of the brand,” the company said. “As part of our ambition to bring fun to the breakfast table, we have a range of characters that we show on our cereal boxes, including tigers, giraffes, crocodiles, elves and a narwhal. We do not tolerate discrimination and believe that people of all races, genders, backgrounds, sexual orientation, religions, capabilities and beliefs should be treated with the utmost dignity and respect.”
People were quick to call out the former MP saying how ridiculous her claim was.
“The monkey is called Coco,” one said. “Remove the monkey and they are just called pops.”
“The cacao tree from which cocoa beans and hence cocoa powder is derived is native to the Amazon Basin where there are monkeys,” explained another.
You are such an amazing idiot. pic.twitter.com/VJPWV8trdJ
— Ministry of Truth (@BanTheBBC) June 15, 2020
In fact one person noted that Kellogg’s do in fact have a cocoa flavoured Rice Krispies cereal which has nothing to do with race or culture.
The rise in racist claims of products are on the back of a global uprising which has reignited the Black Lives Matter movement following the death of George Floyd, who was killed while in police custody in Minneapolis.
In recent weeks we have seen films and shows being pulled off air for racist content as well as a number of products including Coon Cheese and Margaret River’s Colonial Brewing being questioned also.
The Aussie Coon cheese brand was bought up this week after comedian Josh Thomas posted a picture of the label on Twitter accompanied with the caption: “Hey Australia — are we still chill with this?”
Saputo Dairy Australia, which owns the brand, did not respond to a request for comment. However its website provides “a brief history” of Coon Cheese in Australia, where it explains where the brand name came from.