Aunt Jemima Brand Will Change Its Name and Remove Its Namesake Black Character
When you hear the name “Aunt Jemima,” you probably lick your lips as you imagine Sunday morning pancakes with your favorite syrup poured over the stack. You can probably picture the syrup bottle we’re talking about. You know, the iconic black woman smiling, seen on a red background.
Since 1889, Aunt Jemima has been the face of the syrup bottle, when Chris Rutt and Charles Underwood developed the brand. Aunt Jemima herself was inspired by a black storyteller and cook named Nancy Green.
In light of the movements regarding racial equality, the company announced that they will be changing the Aunt Jemima name as well as its black character.
Aunt Jemima originally was created as a character who was born into slavery. Quaker Oats, who bought the brand in 1926, updated her look to include pearl earrings and friendly curly hair.
Throughout the years, the company has attempted to update the brand, but the changes were never sufficient. By taking away the image and modifying the name, the company is making an effort to make “progress toward racial equality,” they stated.
“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 press release. “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.”
There has been no further information regarding what the new brand will be called or look like, but the new packaging is set to hit grocery store shelves in the fourth quarter of 2020.
Do you find the Aunt Jemima brand name and image offensive? What do you think w can expect from the company in terms of changing the stereotype?