Aunt Jemima prepares her last batch of pancakes.
Quaker Oats announced on Tuesday that its Aunt Jemima-branded pancake mix and syrup will be renamed the Pearl Milling Company. Aunt Jemima’s products will continue to be sold until June, when the packaging will officially change.
Quaker Oats, a division of PepsiCo Inc., announced last June that it would withdraw the Aunt Jemima brand, saying the character’s origins are “based on a racial stereotype.” Aunt Jemima’s smiley logo was inspired by the 19th century minstrel character “mammy”, a black woman content to serve her white masters. A former slave, Nancy Green, became the first face of pancake products in 1890.
Quaker Oats purchased the Aunt Jemima brand in 1925 and updated the logo over the years in an effort to remove negative stereotypes. But in the cultural calculation that followed last summer’s Black Lives Matter protests, Quaker decided to change its name entirely. Other brands, like Uncle Ben’s rice, followed suit.
Quaker stated that the Pearl Milling Company was founded in 1888 in St. Joseph, Missouri, and was the originator of the self-rising pancake mix. While the brand will be new to store shelves, boxes and bottles of syrup will still have Aunt Jemima’s familiar red packaging.
Quaker said it sought the advice of customers, employees and external cultural experts when developing the new brand name.
Quaker said he is also donating $ 1 million to groups that empower black women and girls as part of the Pearl Milling Company deployment.