The Aunt Jemima brand is getting a new name and image. In a statement on Wednesday, Quaker Oats said “we recognize Aunt Jemima’s origins are based on a racial stereotype.”
The Aunt Jemima brand makes syrups and pancake mixes.
"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,” added Kristin Kroepfl, vice president and chief marketing officer of Quaker Foods North America.
Quaker Oats said the new packaging will appear on products in the fall of 2020. A new name for the brand will be announced at a “later date.”
Aunt Jemima debuted in 1889 as the "world's first" ready pancake mix. While the image on the packaging has changed subtly over time, it is based on a caricature and stereotype of Black women that reinforces the slavery-era concept of a Southern "mammy." Aunt Jemima's image was last adapted in 1989, when pearl earrings and a lace collar were added.
In a New York Times Opinion piece from 2015 arguing for the removal of Aunt Jemima, author Riche Richardson describes the plantation myth of the mammy as "a devoted and submissive servant who eagerly nurtured the children of her white master and mistress while neglecting her own."
Quaker Oats announced it will also donate at least $5 million over the next five years to the Black community.
Quaker Oats is owned by PepsiCo. On Wednesday, PepsiCo stock was up 0.68%.
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