Mayochup has officially come to Canada but the rollout has hit a little snag—the condiment name sounds very close to a Cree word Kraft Heinz probably doesn’t want associated with their product. As first reported by CBC Up North host Waubgeshig Rice, the word “mayochup” sounds a lot like Cree words meaning “shitface.”
I have some important information to distribute about Mayochup, first shared with me by Jonathan Solomon of Kashechewan First Nation pic.twitter.com/e2FRDnKj8v
— Waubgeshig Rice (@waub) May 17, 2019
As Rice shared in his tweet, Jonathan Solomon of Kashechewan First Nation alerted him to the news last week. The National Post consulted director of the Cree Literacy Network, Arden Ogg, who explained that “mayo” sounds like the Cree word “mêyi” which means “excrement” and “chup” sounds like the Cree word for “eye” which is sometimes used to mean “face.” She cautioned that the meanings vary by dialect, but there’s definitely a portion of the known 96,575 Canadian Cree-speakers who will read “mayochup” as “shitface.”
After the story was picked up, Kraft Heinz Canada responded in an email statement which Rice posted on Twitter.
“We have heard about the unfortunate translation of Mayochup in Cree,” the statement read. “And the only thing we want our customers, whichever dialect of Cree they speak, to have on their faces this summer is our newest condiment mash-up.”
— Waubgeshig Rice (@waub) May 19, 2019
Mayochup was the result of a Twitter campaign last year where Heinz asked Americans if they wanted them to bottle a convenient mix of mayo and ketchup—a combo people have been making on their own for decades. The company also asked if they should stick with the name “Mayochup” or change it for market. While some preferred “ketchonnaise” or simply “fry sauce,” “Mayochup” won out in the end. The sauce has been available in the United States since last fall, but just launched in Canada in May this year.