After 130 Years, Aunt Jemima Has a New Name

David Fox

The Aunt Jemima brand is a well known name - and some might say iconic - on store shelves in the US. But now the 130-year-old brand - part of Quaker Oats and ultimately owned by PepsiCo - is getting a new name and logo.

This isn't a surprise. Back in June the company announced it would be re-branding because "Aunt Jemima's origins are based on a racial stereotype".

Previously the brand's recognisable packaging was adorned with the face of a black woman named Aunt Jemima. The design has undergone some changes over the years, including the removal of the "mammy" 'kerchief, but there was no escaping the fact that she was originally dressed as a minstrel character.

Quaker explained last summer that this re-brand would help "to make progress towards racial equality". But it's not just Aunt Jemima's face that has gone, the name has gone too, with the familiar red packaging now sporting the name Pearl Milling Company.

Why that name, you ask? Parent company PepsiCo released an explainer statement that read: "Pearl Milling Company was founded in 1888 in St. Joseph, Missouri, and was the originator of the iconic self-rising pancake mix that would later become known as Aunt Jemima."

It makes complete sense that any company with branding with racist origins would want to make a change in 2021, but the new Pearl Milling Company still contains a nod to the company's history.

What's your take on the new branding?

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David is an author and freelance writer. He has published two books of short stories and his first novel is due to be released in January 2021. He writes about parenting, relationships and life with a disability, as well as about pop culture, writing, productivity, politics and soccer. His work has appared in The Mighty, Apparently, Movie Pilot, WhatCulture, Vocal Media, What Millenials Want, State of the Game, FootballEye, Football Critic, The False 9 and Just Football.


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