For 130 years, Aunt Jemima was known as one of the most recognizable brands for syrup and pancakes.
Today (June 17), Quaker Oats which is owned by PepsiCo announced that the controversial name and figure will now be rebranded due to the offensive stereotype. Aunt Jemima was originally modeled after a minstrel character and has gone through many evolutions throughout the years.
The sad history behind the Aunt Jemima brand a thread pic.twitter.com/jbpVgVpTx5
— LK💕 (@lexikennedy35) June 16, 2020
In a press release, vice president and chief marketing officer of Quaker Foods North America Kristin Kroepfl wrote the following announcement as obtained by NBC News:
“We recognize Aunt Jemima’s origins are based on a racial stereotype. 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.”
Their decision comes following backlash from many on social media about the origins of the famed syrup company. A new brand and logo is expected to be revealed in the fall.
Y’all thought Aunt Jemima’s was black owned…. pic.twitter.com/dAOv9eE9DT
— KAYA NOVA (@thekayanova) June 17, 2020
Seeing #AuntJemima is trending so I might as well say… I’ve always felt some kind of way about the Popeyes lady…like are they all that different. I’m assuming “Annie” makes a lot more money at least. pic.twitter.com/iPCXzFv0K3
— Shaina Jade (@ShainaJade92) June 17, 2020
The brand will also donate $5 million over the next five years to “create meaningful, ongoing support and engagement in the Black community.”