Aunt Jemima to rebrand as Quaker says it is 'based on racial stereotype'
The change is a result of the recent Black Lives Matter protests
Quaker Oats has announced the Aunt Jemima brand of syrup and pancake mix will get a rebrand, with a new name and image. Quaker has said that 'Aunt Jemima's origins are based on a racial stereotype'.
Aunt Jemima products have been around since 1889; the company was acquired by the Quaker Oats Company in 1926. The logo of the product line features a black woman known as Aunt Jemima. Like the products themselves, the logo/brand image has gone through various changes in order to reduce racial stereotyping, including the removal of the 'mammy' kerchief in recent years. The original picture was a woman dressed as a minstrel character.
one of the earlier Aunt Jemima brand images.
Kristin Kroepfl, vice president and chief marketing officer of Quaker Foods North America stated in a press release, "We recognize 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."
Riché Richardson, an associate professor of African American literature at Cornell University said on the TODAY show this week, "It's an image that hearkens back to the antebellum plantation... Aunt Jemima is that kind of stereotype that is premised on this idea of black inferiority and otherness."
Quaker also announced it will donate at least $5m over the next five years to 'create meaningful, ongoing support and engagement in the black community'.
I think it is good companies are taking the time to address the current situation in the world and show support for Black Lives Matter and other causes.
What do you guys think? Is this change good, could the company have addressed the issue differently?