PepsiCo’s Quaker Oats subsidiary has announced that it will replace and retire its Aunt Jemima range of breakfast products, acknowledging the imagery behind the brand was “based on a racial stereotype”.
The Aunt Jemima logo features an image of an African American woman named after a character from 19th-century minstrel shows, which negatively caricatured people of African descent.
Quaker stated that it would remove all imagery of the woman from the brand’s product range, which includes pancake mixes, syrups and other products. The company will also change the name of the brand.
A new name and logo have not yet been announced, though Quaker stated that products that do not feature the brand’s current imagery will start appearing in retailers in the fourth quarter of 2020.
This decision follows a consumer backlash against the Aunt Jemima brand, who had expressed criticism about the brand’s origins in the wake of protests against systemic racism in the US, following the death of George Floyd.
Kristin Kroepfl, vice president and chief marketing officer, Quaker Foods North America, said in a statement: “We recognise Aunt Jemima’s origins are based on a racial stereotype.
“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.”
PepsiCo announced on Tuesday that it will invest around $400 million over the next five years to implement initiatives that support black communities and increase black representation at the company.
The Aunt Jemima brand, meanwhile, also announced that it would donate a minimum of $5 million over the next five years to support and engage with black communities.
© FoodBev Media Ltd 2020
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