Aunt Jemima Finally Gets A New Name And Logo
by Rudy Sanchez on 02/09/2021 | 2 Minute Read
In response to the renewed critical attention racially insensitive and antiquated branding received in the summer of 2020, Quaker Oats announced that they would retire the racist caricature of Aunt Jemima for its pancake mix and syrup products.
Starting today, Auntie joins mascots Uncle Ben, Mrs. Butterworth, and Cream of Wheat’s Rastus in retirement, relegated to the dustbin of history. According to mothership PepsiCo, Aunt Jemima will now be the Pearl Milling Company, offering the same product lineup under a new brand with less of a racist charge.
Visually, Pearl Milling Company replaces the long-held mascot with an image of a 19th-century watermill. The colors, typography, and other brand elements seem unchanged while the firm ushers in the new identity. And though absent obvious racist imagery, the history of Pearl Milling Company isn’t without its baggage. The mill is the birthplace of ready-mix, self-rising pancake flour, and owners Charles Rutt and Charles Underwood named the product Aunt Jemima, taken from a contemporary minstrel show song. Eventually, the mill itself would be renamed Aunt Jemima Mills by new owners in 1913, then sold to Quaker Oats in 1925.
“This name is a nod to where our delicious products began before becoming a family-favorite breakfast staple,” PepsiCo told CNN Business. “While the Aunt Jemima brand was updated over the years in a manner intended to remove racial stereotypes, it has not progressed enough to appropriately reflect the dignity, respect, and warmth that we stand for today.”
According to PepsiCo, consumers will see products branded Aunt Jemima absent the character until June when the new Pearl Milling Company branding will begin to arrive on shelves.