Quaker Oats Getting Rid of the Aunt Jemima Brand
Companies across the country are taking a closer look at the names and images that they use to promote their products. In the wake of the death of George Floyd and marches and protests aimed at increasing racial equality, these companies understand that they need to be sensitive to all of their potential consumers. You can add Quaker Oats to the companies that have identified one of their products in need of an image overhaul.
That product is Aunt Jemima brand syrup and pancake mix. NBC News reports that the products will be getting a new name and a new image. Quaker Oats issued a statement on Wednesday saying that they recognize that Aunt Jemima's origins "are based on a racial stereotype." The 130-year-old brand features a black woman named Aunt Jemima.
The image of Aunt Jemima products has been changed over the years. Quaker removed a "mammy" kerchief from the character after criticism that the image dated back to the days of slavery. Despite the changes, the company realized that they were not enough. NBC News reports that Quaker's decision to remove the image and name is part of an effort by the company to "make progress towards racial equality."
Quaker says that the new packaging will begin to appear this fall, with a new name for the foods announced at a later date. The company also announced that it will be donating $5 million over the next five years to causes involving social justice issues in the black community.