Aunt Jemima syrup changing its name and Quaker Oats removing iconic image due to origins ‘based on a racial stereotype’ – The Sun
AUNT Jemima syrup's iconic name and image will soon be changed because it's origins are "based on a racial stereotype."
PepsiCo Inc decided Wednesday to rebrand Aunt Jemima pancake mix and syrup, the world's first ready pancake mix, which was created in 1889, according to NBC News.
Kristin Kroepfl, vice president and chief marketing officer of Quaker Foods North America, revealed the changes in a press release.
"We recognize Aunt Jemima's origins are based on a racial stereotype," Kroepfl said.
"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."
The Quaker Oats Company, a subsidiary of PepsiCo., purchased Aunt Jemima Mills Company in 1926.
PepsiCo, which merged with Quaker Oats 19 years ago, has not yet revealed what the new name or logo will be.
Kroepfl added in the statement, also obtained by Adweek: “We are starting by removing the image and changing the name.
“We will continue the conversation by gathering diverse perspectives from both our organization and the Black community to further evolve the brand and make it one everyone can be proud to have in their pantry.”
The Aunt Jemima logo was a picture of an African American woman, previously dressed as a minstrel show performer.
Rebranding Aunt Jemima comes in the aftermath of George Floyd's death, after Black Lives Matter demonstrations filled US streets and demanded for change.
Floyd's death sparked the global BLM protests after a video went viral on May 25, 2020, showing police officer Derek Chauvin kneeling on his neck and back for nearly nine minutes as he pleaded for his life.
However, some social media users disapproved of Quaker's move.
One Twitter user appears to think the change is unnecessary and wrote: "Do you honestly think anyone cares?
"Are people eating pancakes with tears in their eyes from looking at the illustration of Aunt Jemima? We’re officially living in crazy town."
Another Twitter user also slammed Quaker Foods' decision, tweeting: "Now they are cancelling pancake mix and syrup.
"Instead of perceiving it as a compliment that the products are amazingly tasty foods made presumably by a black woman, it's "racist" and a reference to slavery.
"The original Aunt Jemima character was played by a former slave Nancy Green who used her role at state fairs & expositions for black activism. In a world where blacks were still considered property, Mills Co. had the courage to use a black woman as their main spokesperson.
"By "cancelling" Aunt Jemima they are in essence "cancelling" the hard work and activism of Nancy Green who played the role of Aunt Jemima until her death."
However, others praised the company for acknowledging the racist history of the brand.
One woman tweeted: "Never too late for honest introspection leading to meaningful change! Well done, #PepsiCo."
Meanwhile, the PepsiCo-owned brand has chosen to donate at least $5million over the next five years to "to create meaningful, ongoing support and engagement in the Black community."
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