Unilever’s German food brand Knorr has announced that it will change the name of its Zigeunersauce or ‘gypsy sauce’, marking the latest brand to rename products due to racist overtones.
“As the term ‘gypsy sauce’ can be interpreted negatively, we have decided to give our Knorr sauce a new name,” said a Unilever spokesperson.
The multinational consumer goods company said the sauce will be renamed and found on shelves in a few weeks as “Paprika Sauce Hungarian style”.
The word Zigeuner (gypsy) – which has been used to describe the sauce for more than 100 years – was widely used by Nazi’s as a derogatory term for the Roma and Sinti minority groups who lived in Europe.
The move was welcomed the Central Council of German Sinti and Roma. As reported by the Bild am Sonntag newspaper, head of the council Romani Rose, said:”It is good that Knorr is responding to the complaints of many people.”
However, Rose said he was worried about the growing antiziganism in Germany and Europe. He added: “Against this background, gypsy schnitzel and gypsy sauce are not of the utmost urgency for the Central Council.
“It is much more important to evaluate terms such as ‘Gypsies’ depending on the context, when, for example, ‘Gypsies’ or ‘Jews’ are chanted with openly insulting intent in football stadiums.”
Knorr joins Nestlé who recently announced that it was changing the names of its Red Skins and Chicos lollies, in response to protests against systemic racism around the world.
This followed similar announcements from Mars Foods and Conagra Brands who have said they will review the Uncle Ben’s and Mrs. Butterworth brands, and PepsiCo’s Quaker Oats subsidiary which said it will replace and retire its Aunt Jemima brand.