This morning, Quaker Oats announced that they are canceling the Aunt Jemima brand of syrup and pancake mix, saying thaty they recognize that “Aunt Jemima’s origins are based on a racial stereotype.” The brand will get a new name and image, according to NBC News.
The 130-year-old brand features a Black woman named Aunt Jemima, who was originally dressed as a minstrel character. Quaker Oats, a subsidiary of PepsiCo, said removing the image and name is part of an effort by the company “to make progress toward racial equality.”
“We recognize Aunt Jemima’s origins are based on a racial stereotype,” Kristin Kroepfl, vice president and chief marketing officer of Quaker Foods North America, said in a press release. “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 company said that the new packaging will begin to appear in the fall of 2020, and a new name/brand will be announced at a later date. They also announced it will donate at least $5 million over the next five years “to create meaningful, ongoing support and engagement in the Black community.”