The tasty syrup and pancake mix from the 'Aunt Jemima' breakfast brand will be no more, after gracing our tables since the pancake mix made is debut in 1889.
In a press release published on June 17, 2020, the Quaker Oats Company, a subsidiary of PepsiCo, Inc., announced it will remove the image of Aunt Jemima from its packaging and change the name of the brand.
We will begin to see new packaging in the fall. The new name and packaging will be announced at a later date.
"As we work to make progress toward racial equality through several initiatives, we also must take a hard look at our portfolio of brands and ensure they reflect our values and meet our consumers' expectations," said Kristin Kroepfl, Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer, Quaker Foods North America. "We recognize Aunt Jemima's origins are based on a racial stereotype. While work has been done over the years to update the brand in a manner intended to be appropriate and respectful, we realize those changes are not enough."
The Quaker Oats Company first registered the Aunt Jemima trademark in April 1937. The idea for Aunt Jemima came from a minstrel show. Minstrel shows are another sad part of our history during which white performers covered their faces with burnt cork or greasepaint in disparage African-Americans in skits and songs. Aunt Jemima's character was prominent favorite in the shows.
"We acknowledge the brand has not progressed enough to appropriately reflect the confidence, warmth, and dignity that we would like it to stand for today," continues Kroepfl. "We are starting by removing the image and changing the name. We will continue the conversation by gathering diverse perspectives from both our organization and the Black community to further evolve the brand and make it one everyone can be proud to have in their pantry."
The Aunt Jemima brand will also donate a minimum of $5 million over the next five years to create meaningful, ongoing support and engagement in the Black community.