Aunt Jemima has a new name and logo
Aunt Jemima pancake mix and maple syrups will have a new name and look starting this summer.
Pepsi Co., which owns Quaker Oats, the parent company of the popular breakfast brand, announced the Aunt Jemima line will be rebranded as the Pearl Milling Company in June, according to a press release.
“Though new to store shelves, Pearl Milling Company was founded in 1888 in St. Joseph, Missouri, and was the originator of the iconic self-rising pancake mix that would later become known as Aunt Jemima,” Pepsi Co. said.
The switch to the new name and logo will come nearly a year after Quaker Oats announced it would drop the Aunt Jemima logo and name due to negative racial stereotypes.
“Throughout the effort that led to the new Pearl Milling Company name, Quaker worked with consumers, employees, external cultural and subject-matter experts, and diverse agency partners to gather broad perspectives and ensure the new brand was developed with inclusivity in mind,” Pepsi Co. said in the press release.
The Aunt Jemima brand originated in 1889 as the “world’s first” ready-made pancake mix and featured a Black woman on the label as a stereotypical “mammy” character until 1989, when she was given a more modern look.
“We recognize Aunt Jemima’s origins are based on a racial stereotype,” said Kristin Kroepfl, vice president and chief marketing officer of Quaker Foods North America, when the branding revamp was announced in June 2020. “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.
At Quaker, the company began the transition by removing the image of Aunt Jemima on its packaging but kept the name until it could settle on its new brand identity.
According to the Feb. 9 press release, the new packaging will still have the same recognizable red color but with a new name and logo. “Products will continue to be available under the Aunt Jemima name without the character image until June,” the company said.
In addition to the rebranding, Pearl Milling Company will also donate $1 million to “empower Black girls and women” by inviting the public to nominate nonprofit organizations through the company’s website to receive grants to promote that mission. More details about the grant program will be released in the coming weeks, according to Pepsi Co.