*Bitter sweet? After more than 130 years, it looks like Aunt Jemima has served her tenure. Last month PepsiCo and its subsidiary Quaker Oats said they made good on a promise to depart with the mammy stereotype, a brand name and image, consumers have known their whole lives.
After the White Minneapolis Police officer Derek Chauvin’s public killing of George Floyd (a Black man) last year, and massive complaints, companies and organizations across the country hastened in a move towards cutting ties with systemic racism.
The focus on racism in America was pervasive. There were outcries to do something about racism (from the gamut of America’s subcultures) that trickled into company policies and even into brand names. So, when concerned citizens said the jolly portrait of a matronly Aunt Jemima dressed in her head wrap represents slavery and subordination and also poverty and oppression, PepsiCo decided it was time to listen and go the safe route.
“[We recognize] Aunt Jemima’s origins are based on a racial stereotype,” the brand said reports CNN Business.
So, Aunt Jemima’s products including its pancake mixes, syrups, cornmeal and flour are now rebranded as Pearl Milling Company.
“We are working closely with our retail partners to get the new Pearl Milling Company packaging on shelves… People may still see some products under the old brand name as we work through the transition,” said the brand according to CNN Business.
While the brand’s color scheme is still the same, in place of Aunt Jemima’s name and image is a new, more politically correct representation: Pearl Milling Company and a 19th century waterfall.
For the time being, Pearl Milling Company’s packaging will prop a banner that says “New Name, Same Great Taste as Aunt Jemima.” PepsiCo officials say this should help consumers recognize the products they have always known and loved.
Source: CNN Business