GB Glace (originally Glace-Bolaget until 1991) is the largest ice cream company in Sweden. It was founded in 1942, and was purchased by the Anglo-Dutch company Unilever in 1996. Besides its own traditional brands, it now produces many of the same products as other Unilever Heartbrand subsidiaries, such as Langnese in Germany.
The company was formed when Mjölkcentralen (which later became Arla) and Choklad-Thule (Stockholm's first ice-cream company) purchased Alaska Glace, creating a new company called Glace bolaget.
Nogger Black controversy
In 2005, the Swedish company was criticized by the Centre against Racism and Related Intolerance after launching an advertising campaign introducing their new line of ice cream bars, the Nogger Black, which is an addition to their existing "Nogger" ice cream product. The original Nogger is a vanilla ice cream bar with a nougat filling and chocolate shell, whereas the Nogger Black substitutes toffee in lieu of the nougat center and encases the bar in a salty, black liquorice outer shell rather than chocolate; hence the name Nogger Black. Petronella Warg, GB Glace's information officer, reported that the first Nogger ice cream bar had been marketed since 1979, its name derived from the nougat filling.
The criticism was mainly aimed at an advert where the slogan "Nogger + liquorice = true" (a Swedish equivalent to "Nogger ♥ liquorice") was written in white chalk on asphalt. Stig Wallin - chairman of the centre - read the slogan as "Nigger + liquorice" and said "It's impossible not to see this as an allusion to racism." The centre urged for a boycott of the company if they did not withdraw the campaign. Slate writer Timothy Noah also criticized the product.
The Swedish tabloid Aftonbladet wrote an article about it in 2005, and also started a poll along with the article. The question was: 'Tycker du att glassreklamen är rasistisk?', which roughly translates to 'Do you think that the ice-cream advert is racist?'. Over 150,000 people have voted, and 94.9% voted 'No'.
Also, the name of another GB ice cream, 88:an ("The 88"), is similar to 88, a codename for "Heil Hitler" used in neo-nazi circles (HH, as "H" is the 8th letter of the Latin alphabet). This product has been on the market since the 1960s and was named because it was the 88th ice cream brand the company produced. There was also a limited 88:an Black ice cream a few years prior to Nogger Black.