Aunt Jemima is being rebranded with a new name and image, parent company Quaker Oats has announced, acknowledging that the face of the brand was “based on a racial stereotype.”
It was announced on Wednesday morning that the line of pancake mix, syrup, and other breakfast foods will be debut a new look as part of Quaker’s push to “to make progress toward racial equality.”
“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, in a statement shared with Fox News. “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."
Kroepfl added that while the parent company has tried to “update” the Aunt Jemima brand through the years to be “appropriate and respectful,” the time has come to scrap the current product in favor of a complete makeover.
“We acknowledge the brand has not progressed enough to appropriately reflect the confidence, warmth and dignity that we would like it to stand for today,” Kroepfl stressed. “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 130-year-old breakfast brand’s logo features a black woman named Aunt Jemima, who was once dressed as a minstrel character. The logo has evolved over time, with Quaker dropping Aunt Jemima’s kerchief in recent years, per NBC News.
Following the Memorial Day death of George Floyd in Minneapolis police custody, however, social media critics denounced Aunt Jemima’s problematic history and demanded that Quaker make a change.
The new packaging will be unveiled in fall 2020, with the product line’s new name revealed at a later date.
Through the next five years, Quaker said, the food conglomerate will donate at least $5 million to "to create meaningful, ongoing support and engagement in the Black community."
Earlier this year, Land O' Lakes removed the "racist" image of a Native American woman from its packaging, a logo featured on the butter brand's label for nearly 100 years.