Cheer (stylised as CHEER), formerly marketed as Coon, is the Australian trademark of a cheddar cheese (known as "tasty" in Australia) produced by the Warrnambool Cheese and Butter company, which is majority-owned by Canadian dairy company Saputo Inc.
The Kraft Walker Cheese Co. (a partnership between Fred Walker and James L. Kraft) launched a cheese known as "Red Coon" around 1931. In October 1949, Kraft Foods Inc. registered the trademark "COON" for cheese with the US Patent Office, claiming use since 1910.
The Australian company marketing the Coon brand formerly stated on their website (2012) that the name derived from the American cheesemaker Edward Coon of Philadelphia, who patented a method in the US in 1926 for fast maturation of cheese via high temperature and humidity; however, this claim has not been repeated, and no links have been found between the Australian cheese and this man.
On 13 January 2021, the chair and CEO of Saputo Inc. announced that "Coon" cheese was to be rebranded as "Cheer" cheese, the new name scheduled to be launched in July 2021. The name was chosen to signify happiness.
On 9 November 2022, Saputo Australia announced that the company will close its Maffra factory in the Gippsland region of Victoria, and lay off up to 75 workers following issues with milk supply and a A$54.4 million annual losses. The company generated a A$30.6 million net profit in the previous year.
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