Swedish Match is rebranding its Red Man chewing tobacco to America’s Best Chew to better align with the company’s contemporary values. The name change comes as the product celebrates its 135th anniversary.
While the new packaging will reflect the rebrand, the product is the same. According to Swedish Match, consumers can expect the same high-quality chewing tobacco that has been enjoyed by generations, right down to the unmistakable aroma, texture and flavor.
“Understanding that an essential part of being America’s best means being a leader, Swedish Match worked diligently over the past several months to make changes in response to our heightened awareness and our desire to be more inclusive,” said Joe Ackerman, vice president of marketing at Swedish Match, in a statement. “Consumers and diverse agency partners were selected to participate in the rebranding research. It was critical and valuable for us to gain these insights and recommendations to develop America’s Best Chew packaging.”
“I applaud the Swedish Match company for retiring the use of ‘Red Man’ as a product name,” said Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Chuck Hoskin, Jr. “Nationally, we are moving away from the use of derogatory terms and depictions of Native Americans as product mascots because representations are stereotypical caricatures, and they do not honor us or reflect how we live and thrive, both as individuals and as unique Tribal Nations today. The announcement to change the brand’s name and imagery gives us hope that more companies, schools and sports teams hear us and that we will continue to make impactful national changes for the betterment of Indian Country.”
“This decision exemplifies the global awakening of these harmful practices toward Indigenous Peoples and gives us hope that others will follow Swedish Match’s bold and courageous lead,” said Fawn Sharp, president of the National Congress of American Indians.
“While the phrase ‘America’s Best Chew’ may have gone unnoticed to some, it is an essential part of who we are,” according to Ackerman. “It represents our founder John Pinkerton’s passion and commitment to quality. More importantly, America’s Best Chew was the promise that Pinkerton made 135 years ago when he created the original recipe and innovative flavoring process that we still use today.”
The transition to the new America’s Best Chew packaging will begin within the next few weeks.