A popular spicy dressing in Germany is getting rebranded because of the racist connotations of its name.

Food company Knorr will change the name of its "Zigeuersauce," or "gypsy sauce" to "Paprika Sauce Hungarian Style," Bild am Sonntag reported Sunday.

"Since 'gypsy sauce' can be interpreted in a negative way, we have decided to give our Knorr sauce a new name," said Unilever, the company that owns Knorr.

FILE: A man holds a bottle of "gypsy sauce" from the manufacturer Knorr in his hand in Berlin, Germany. 

FILE: A man holds a bottle of "gypsy sauce" from the manufacturer Knorr in his hand in Berlin, Germany. (Hauke-Christian Dittrich/dpa via AP)

The spicy sauce, a staple in many German households, will soon show up with the new name in supermarkets across the country, Bild am Sonntag reported.

The renaming of the brand follows recent international debates over racism, especially in the United States, where big national companies have also renamed traditional brands in response to concerns about racial stereotyping.

"Zigeuner" is a derogative German expression for the Roma and Sinti minority groups who have lived throughout Europe for centuries and still face discrimination. Roma and Sinti organizations in Germany have also pointed out that the sauce is not even part of their traditional cuisine and they have demanded for years that the name be abolished.

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The head of the Central Council of German Sinti and Roma welcomed Knorr's decision to no longer use the term. 

"It is good that Knorr reacts to the complaints of apparently a lot of people," Romani Rose told Bild am Sonntag. However, he added that he was worried by the increasing racism against minorities in Germany.

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Germany's official anti-discrimination watchdog said in June it received significantly more complaints about racism in 2019 than the year before. The Federal Anti-Discrimination Agency said it received nearly 1,200 complaints about racism last year, an increase of 10% compared to 2018.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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