Aunt Jemima to remove image from packaging and rename brand
The breakfast brand Aunt Jemima is removing its logo and will be renamed, amid public outcry that the branding perpetuated a racist stereotype, its parent company said Wednesday.
Quaker Oats said in a statement that the longtime brand will remove the image of Aunt Jemima from its packaging starting at the end of 2020, and the name change will happen at a later date.
"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," said Kristin Kroepfl, vice president and chief marketing officer of Quaker Foods North America.
"We recognize Aunt Jemima's origins are based on a racial stereotype. 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."
Quaker Oats, a subsidiary of PepsiCo, owns the Aunt Jemima brand, which has been around for more than 130 years.
"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 said.
"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 rebrand comes after "Aunt Jemima" became a trending topic on Twitter Tuesday, with many users criticizing the company for maintaining the name and logo for so long.