UPDATED: 11:29 A.M. ET, Feb 10, 2021 —
PepsiCo keeps its promise made during the George Floyd protests to change the name of their Aunt Jemima line due to its racist past.
Last summer, when the George Floyd protests began, a swift movement followed that forced companies to look in the mirror and see how they were contributing to displaying racism in their everyday businesses.
Several southern companies were in the hot seat for their racist names, symbols, and even logos. The Washington Redskins ended up changing their name and are now known as the Washington Football team after many voiced their frustration with cultural appropriation from the team. Southern grocery retailer Winn-Dixie announced it would take a look into its name, but made zero promise of a change.
Two brands that gained more attention than others happened to be Uncle Ben’s–who is now Ben’s Originals–and Aunt Jemima. PepsiCo immediately stepped up and stated they would change the name of its Aunt Jemima line and change its racist imagery. While many companies haven’t done anything and hoped people would forget, PepsiCo announced today it’s finally gotten a new name and packaging for the breakfast lineup. Aunt Jemima will now be known as Pearl Milling Company, with the name paying homage to the 19th-century company that originally created the ready-made pancake mix. You can take a look at the new imagery and product packing below.
Back in June of last year, Quaker Oats which is a subsidiary of PepsiCo pledged to remove the controversial Aunt Jemima character from the packaging of the company’s products.
“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 Foods CMO Kristin Kroepfl said at the time.
In a lengthy statement, PepsiCo revealed that the new and improved branding for the storied breakfast staple was made with “inclusivity in mind.” The company also promised to contribute $1 million toward causes that will uplift Black women and girls in the coming months.