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Mrs. Butterworth’s Is Rethinking Its Brand & Packaging To Bust Racist Overtones
By Mikelle Leow, 18 Jun 2020
Image via Mrs. Butterworth’s
Trickling in the footsteps of Aunt Jemima and Uncle Ben’s, pancake syrup giant Mrs. Butterworth is in the beginning stages of a “complete brand and packaging review” in hopes of dispelling racial bias and caricatures.
Dan Skinner, brands communications manager of the brand’s parent company ConAgra, told Forbes in an email statement that it has started on a “complete brand and packaging review” as it finally acknowledges its “actions help play an important role in eliminating racial bias.”
Mrs. Butterworth’s, created by Unilever in 1961, depicts a matronly figure as its icon that has long been railed against as racist due to associations of “slavery-era mammy stereotypes” who served White women, Forbes reports.
ConAgra also clarified with TheStreet that the “Butterworth’s” name is inspired by the ingredient in the original syrup, which “had butter” and ‘gave it a distinct taste.”
On its official Facebook page, Mrs. Butterworth’s described that although the packaging was modeled after a “loving grandmother,” it “[stands] in solidarity with our Black and Brown communities and… can see that [its] packaging may be interpreted in a way that is wholly inconsistent with [its] values.”
“It’s heartbreaking and unacceptable that racism and racial injustices exist around the world,” it concluded. “We will be part of the solution. Let’s work together to progress toward change.”
The companies’ decisions to rebrand come after Black Lives Matter protests, further sparked by the death of George Floyd, that call for the end of racial discrimation and police brutality.
[via Forbes and TheStreet, cover image via Mrs. Butterworth’s]
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