Quaker Oats is moving away from the Aunt Jemima brand. The company announced today that they will drop the long standing name and image from their branding, saying they recognize “Aunt Jemima’s origins are based on a racial stereotype.”
NBC first reported the story, sharing a statement from the company on the move.
“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,” said Kristin Kroepfl, the vice president and chief marketing officer of Quaker Foods North America.
“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,” she continued.
Over the years, they have updated the image to make it more “appropriate and respectful” but now say they realize not enough has been done.
Since the death of George Floyd and the nation wide protests over racial inequalities, brands and companies have come under fire for not speaking out or not changing products deemed insensitive.
— KIRBY (@singkirbysing) June 15, 2020
“We acknowledge the brand has not progressed enough to appropriately reflect the confidence, warmth and dignity that we would like it to stand for today,” Kroepfl said. “We are starting by removing the image and changing the name. We will continue the conversation by gathering diverse perspectives from both our organization and the Black community to further evolve the brand and make it one everyone can be proud to have in their pantry.”
Pepsi also said the Aunt Jemima brand will donate $5 million to create “meaningful, ongoing support and engagement in the Black community.”