Aunt Jemima Brand to Get New Name and Image

Quaker Oats says 'we recognize Aunt Jemima's origins are based on a racial stereotype.'
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Aunt Jemima syrup and pancake mix will get a new name and image, parent company Quaker Oats announced Wednesday, saying the current brand is based on a "racial stereotype."

"We recognize Aunt Jemima's origins are based on a racial stereotype," Kristin Kroepfl, vice president and chief marketing officer of Quaker Foods North America, said in a statement. "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."

The image of Aunt Jemima will no longer appear on bottles of syrup and boxes of pancake mix in the fourth quarter, while a name change will be announced at a "later date."

The rebranding comes at a time of racial strife across the United States and around the world ignited by the death of George Floyd, an African-American man who died while in police custody.

Aunt Jemima debuted in 1889 as the "world's first" ready pancake mix. 

The caricature is often represented as a heavy-set black woman with a handkerchief in her hair and drew up the "mammy" stereotype - a minstrel caricature of black women that reinforces slavery-era values like loyal servitude.

The kerchief was removed from the image in a 1989 redesign that also added pearl earrings and a lace collar.

The inspiration for Aunt Jemima reportedly came from an 1875 vaudeville song called "Old Aunt Jemima," and the Aunt Jemima character was prominent in minstrel shows in the late 19th Century.

Quaker Oats introduced Aunt Jemima pancake syrup in 1966 with the slogan "Aunt Jemima, what took you so long?"

The company also announced it will donate at least $5 million over the next five years "to create meaningful, ongoing support and engagement in the Black community."

Shares of PepsiCo  (PEP) - Get Report, which owns Quaker Oats, were up 1.1% to $133.12 in premarket trading.