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Aunt Jemima Rebrands As Pearl Milling Company With Non-Discriminatory Packaging
By Mikelle Leow, 10 Feb 2021
Image via Biz Pic Baby / Shutterstock.com
After over a century of using an image deemed by many as offensive, the breakfast foods company formerly known as Aunt Jemima has unveiled a new brand identity to correct a past “based on a racial stereotype.”
On Tuesday, PepsiCo revealed the new name and packaging for the self-rising pancake mix and syrup brand, which will begin appearing in stores in the summer. The rechristened Pearl Milling Company is its attempt to correct negative, oldfangled associations of Black women as subservient helpers.
The name Aunt Jemima was derived from an American folk song called Old Aunt Jemima. To perform it, white men would often be in drag and blackface to portray a Black woman.
Along with the new moniker, PepsiCo has introduced an illustrated logo of a building with a mill, noting the company’s roots in St. Joseph, Missouri. The icon is stamped with the text “since 1889” to reaffirm the brand as “the originator of the iconic self-rising pancake mix.”
Pearl Milling Company will continue to release products in “the same familiar red packaging” and beloved formulas of the Aunt Jemima brand, PepsiCo confirmed.
In addition, Pearl Milling Company has made a US$1 million commitment to empower Black females, and will unveil more details about this pledge in the coming weeks. PepsiCo itself has dedicated over US$400 million to “uplift Black business and communities, and increase Black representation at PepsiCo.”
PepsiCo, which owns Quaker Oats, will cease Aunt Jemima sales in June 2021, and that’s when the Pearl Milling Company boxes and bottles will become available on shelves.
Image via PepsiCo
Image via PepsiCo
[via NBC News, images via various sources]
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