The change between Aunt Jemima and the brand’s new name has begun.
The change has come a year after PepsiCo and Quaker Oats, the parent companies, announced it would retire Aunt Jemima’s name and imagery on pancake mixes and syrup because it was “based on a racial stereotype” after calls for racial equality in light of the George Floyd murder, The New York Times reported earlier this year.
The new name was announced in February.
USA Today reported that the Pearl Milling Company branded products were on shelves next to the Aunt Jemima products in stores in Florida and California.
Pearl Milling Company was decided upon after getting input from a variety of groups.
“Throughout the effort that led to the new Pearl Milling Company name, Quaker worked with consumers, employees, external cultural and subject-matter experts, and diverse agency partners to gather broad perspectives and ensure the new brand was developed with inclusivity in mind,” PepsiCo said, according to The New York Times.
The company said the change will take a few months.
Nancy Green, a former Civil War-era slave who moved from the south to Chicago to take care of a prominent white family, was the inspiration for the image of Aunt Jemima, NPR reported. She also appeared as Aunt Jemima until her death.
Green was also a philanthropist and ministry leader, NPR reported.
Some worried that her removal from the brand would do away with Green’s legacy and that of the Black women who raised generations of white families.
“Black mothers are not irrelevant,” Bronzeville Historical Society President Sherry Williams told NPR last year. “I look at Nancy Green as a Black mother figure, and Black women are the lifelines for generations, both Black and white.”
She was shown with a smile and wearing a bandana over her hair that was said to encourage racial stereotypes. Quaker Oats, which brought the brand in 1925, changed the image in 1989 with the woman pictured wearing pearl earrings, USA Today reported. In February, the company removed the image but kept the name until recently.
Pearl Milling products will also have the phrase “New Name, Same Great Taste as Aunt Jemima” on packaging so customers can find the newly named items. The statement can also be found on the brand’s website.
Aunt Jemima isn’t the only rebranding.
The companies behind Uncle Ben’s, Mrs. Butterworth’s and Cream of Wheat also reviewed the imagery and names of these products.
Uncle Ben’s was renamed Ben’s Original and the company removed the image of a white-haired Black man that had been inspired by Chicago maitre d’ Frank Brown, USA Today reported.
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