“Aunt Jemima” has represented a quick breakfast for more than 130 years. Now, Quaker, the company behind this brand, has announced it will remove the image of Aunt Jemima from its packaging and change the name. Expect to see syrup and pancake mix sans Aunt Jemima within the coming months, along with an announcement about an official name change.
What Brought on This Change?
It’s the result of Quaker taking a long, hard look at their brands. “We recognize Aunt Jemima’s origins are based on a racial stereotype,” says Kristin Kroepfl, vice president and chief marketing officer at Quaker Foods. “While work has been done over the years to update the brand in a manner intended to be appropriate and respectful, we realize those changes are not enough.”
The Aunt Jemima brand intended to represent loving moms who wanted an easy breakfast for their family. But in reality, the character of Aunt Jemima more closely represents a black maid (or worse, a slave) that would make breakfast for a wealthy white family.
“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,” says Kroepfl. “We are starting by removing the image and changing the name.”
Kroepfl has pledged that the rebranded Aunt Jemima products will be something we’re all proud to have in our pantry. At Taste of Home, we applaud this effort, and appreciate their commitment to donate $5 million to create meaningful, ongoing engagement with the black community.
Have you seen the Bakers Against Racism bake sales across the country?
Land O’ Lakes Is Making a Change, Too
Aunt Jemima isn’t the only brand that recently removed a person from its branding. In February of 2020, Land O’ Lakes announced that it would remove the Native American woman from its iconic logo.
Land O’Lakes was founded by a group of Minnesota dairy farmers in 1921. The co-op is approaching its 100th anniversary, and made the decision to shift focus to farmers. The new packaging will feature the phrase “Farmer-Owned” along with a familiar illustration of land and lakes. Don’t worry, though—just like the syrup and pancake mix, the quintessential butter will stay the same.