Quaker Oats announced that it would drop the Aunt Jemima name last summer following the assassination of George Floyd and widespread protests against racial inequality

It has been a staple on American breakfast tables for more than a century, but has long been criticized for its name and resemblance to be based on racist imagery

In an announcement from PepsiCo, which owns Aunt Jemima’s parent company, Quaker Oats, the pancake mix and syrup line has officially renamed itself and is one step closer to the 131-year-old name

The new name comes from the mill company in St Joseph, Mon.This pioneered the self-rising pancake mix, known as Aunt Jemima, according to PepsiCo The renamed products would hit stores in June

The change has been in the works since last June after the assassination of George Floyd sparked widespread protests against racial injustice and a nationwide reckoning on symbols of the Old South and what they mean. Several large food companies have come under fire for using racist stereotypes , including Quaker Oats who said they would drop the Aunt Jemima name, redesign their packaging, and pledge $ 5 million in support of the black community

The company launched a redesigned website for its Aunt Jemima product line on Tuesday, stating, “It was the start of a new day”

“Last June, PepsiCo and The Quaker Oats Company committed to changing Aunt Jemima’s name and image, realizing they didn’t reflect our core values,” the company said on the website. p>

Products with the Aunt Jemima name will continue to be available through June, but without the image of Aunt Jemima’s face, according to PepsiCo, who said in a press release the company was looking for information about the new name

“During the effort that led to the new name Pearl Milling Company, Quaker worked with consumers, employees, external cultural and technical experts, and various agency partners to gain broad perspectives and ensure the new brand evolves with inclusiveness became mind, ”said PepsiCo

Yes’Mal Green, a civil rights activist and former mayoral candidate in Chicago, said on Twitter on Tuesday that the change was long overdue

“130 years ago, two white men made ‘Aunt Jemima’ syrup,” said Mr Said Green, “& has taken an archetype of a black slave and made it the face of their syrup at a profit. Today ends Aunt Jemima is finally being replaced. These white men made billions who appropriated the blackness Hopefully & rotten in hell ”

Photos of the pancake mix and the new packaging for the syrup were revealed on Aunt Jemima’s website Tuesday.They show the appearance of a mill with a water wheel and still use the same red, white and yellow color scheme in both the pancake mix box and the syrup bottle had a label that read “New Name Same Great Taste Aunt Jemima”

In addition to the rebranding, the newly formed Pearl Milling Company announced Tuesday that it had committed to $ 1 million to empower and nurture black girls and women with a five-year investment of $ 400 million US dollars were added to aid black businesses and communities and increase black representation at PepsiCo, the company said

Noliwe Rooks, an author and professor at Cornell University whose work is on race and gender, said in an email Tuesday evening that the company could take additional steps

“I think a good use of these funds could be to support a black women-run advertising agency that they could hire to consult with them in the future and ensure they have good advice on their branding and advertising plans“Dr Rooks said about the $ 1 million

The character of Aunt Jemima has roots in a minstrel song from the 19th century Century, expressing nostalgia for the Antebellum South, Quaker Oats replaced the headscarf on Aunt Jemima’s head with a plaid headband in 1968, and added pearl earrings and a lace collar in 1989

Last September, Mars Food announced it was changing the name of its uncle Ben’s rice products to Ben’s original and removing the image of an elderly black man smiling from the box

The parent company of Cream of Wheat also said last September that the black chef would no longer appear on its packaging

Aunt Jemima, Pearl Milling Company

World news – USA – Aunt Jemima has a new name after 131 years: The Pearl Milling Company

Source: https://www.nytimes.com/2021/02/09/business/aunt-jemima-renamed-pearl-milling-company.html