Racist Finnish Candy?

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Porvoo, Finland

One of the nice things about hanging out with locals, is that they take you to places you would never think of going or be able to reach on your own.

Before heading to Kaisa’s house for lunch we stopped off at the Brunberg candy factory where you can try as much candy as you want in the store.

I don’t have much of a sweet tooth but I couldn’t pass up the toffee.

I also wanted to see the infamous racist candy people had told me about that formerly used a racist name and had been changed to liquorice kisses.

Sheepishly Iina showed me the candy with the updated packaging and admitted that it wasn’t much of an upgrade considering its past.

But before anyone judges I would point to our own racist candy in North America that we finally decided to call ‘liquorice’ babies instead of it’s former racist name in the 1980s.

It was always sold as pieces so there is no formal packaging but we certainly can’t point fingers.

But I can’t stop thinking about the packaging. I am sure they thought it was fine to change the name and image into a cartoon picture of a presumably African couple about to kiss under the moonlight. But does it go far enough?



Disclosure: I was a guest of the Finnish Tourist Board as part of a Navigate Media Group project. They did not request that I write a favourable review or buy a $20 tin of toffee candy to bring back as a souvenir.

Join the Conversation

  1. Andi of My Beautiful Adventures says:

    Wow I had never heard of this before!

  2. Things like this do not surprise me at all.

    My former colleagues told me about some German candy which had to be re-named due to being racist.

    For me, it was still felt weird to see of hear about these things, especially since we’re almost over sensitive here. But you’re right, we can’t judge as we’re guilty of the same in the past,

    1. Casey E. Palmer says:

      Yeah, it reminds me of the first time I spent a Christmas with my Dutch family-in-law and they gave me a chocolate letter with a picture of Sinterklaas and Swatre Piet or not, and I was ridiculously confused since Piet basically looked like a guy in Blackface!

      I was later told that he was a guy covered in soot, but I don’t buy it to this day….

  3. TammyOnTheMove says:

    There certainly is a sweet in Germany that used to be called ‘negrokiss’. It is a marshmallow covered with chocolate. They changed the name years ago, but unfortunately the brand was so old and popular that the name still sticks with a lot of people.

  4. The Time-Crunched Traveler (Ellen) says:

    Hmm … I had never thought about the connection, but now that you mention it, I’m sure there have been quite a few inappropriate names for licorice over the years.

  5. Oh dear! It’s hard to believe people used to get away with this sort of thing. Still, no matter how much they rebrand licorice, you won’t get me eating the stuff!

  6. Kristin Addis says:

    This reminds me of “Darlie” toothpaste in Asia that has similar images. Used to be called “darkie”. I guess they just moved one letter of the alphabet over??

  7. Wow, I’d never heard of this … and now I’m curious about the licorice from America that was once kind of racist too. Yikes.

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