It will have been a year in the making, but the iconic Aunt Jemima products will receive a new name. PepsiCo’s Quaker Oats brand announced the new name for the pancake product is Pearl Milling Company.
Last June, amid the racial unrest in the U.S. and around the world, PepsiCo signaled it would remove the Aunt Jemima image from its syrup and pancake-mix packaging because it was “based on a racial stereotype.”
The original Aunt Jemima image – a smiling black woman wearing a bandana – was criticized for celebrating the pre-Civil War South.
In images released on Tuesday by the company, the new products have a similar look and feel, including the red and yellow scheme of the existing products. They include a label that says, “New Name Same Great Taste, Aunt Jemima.”
The Pearl Milling Company-branded products – also including cornmeal, flour and grits – are anticipated to be available in June. The company products in stores today will stay as they have been recently: available under the Aunt Jemima name without the character image.
Included in the company release is a pledge to further causes related to black communities and to empower black girls and women as well as details on the Pearl Milling Company name:
“Though new to store shelves, 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. …
“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.”