Aunt Jemima officially has a new name and look! Following a months-long process to rebrand the beloved breakfast brand amid conversations about racial stereotypes, Pepsi Co. unveiled a new name, logo, and packaging on Tuesday. Set to hit store shelves in June 2021, the new packaging will bear the name Pearl Milling Company, paying homage to the company that created the brand.
In a press release, an official first look at the packaging was also revealed. The original logo drew inspiration from the song "Old Aunt Jemima" from a minstrel show where performers wore blackface. A new logo featuring a watermill used to grow flour will be emblazoned on products. However, the overall look of the packaging remains pretty much the same, with both the pancake mix and syrup bottles sticking with the tried and true red, white, and yellow color scheme, making it easy to recognize on shelves even with the new name.
The rebranded products are set to hit store shelves in June, a year after Quaker Oats, a subsidiary of PepsiCo, announced that it would be changing the name of the beloved breakfast items as well as the packaging. In announcing the decision, which sparked a series of rebrand announcements from numerous other brands, Quaker Oats said, "Aunt Jemima's origins are based on a racial stereotype." Along with its origins being the song "Old Aunt Jemima," the company's website also noted the Aunt Jemima logo was created around 1890 and was based on Nancy Green, a "storyteller, cook and missionary worker" who had formerly been enslaved. Over the decades, the logo had faced criticism for depicting a racist stereotype dating back to slavery.
At the time, Kristin Kroepfl, vice president and chief marketing officer of Quaker Foods North America, said that the company "must take a hard look at our portfolio of brands and ensure they reflect our values and meet our consumers' expectations." She said that as part of this initiative, Aunt Jemima would undergo a makeover as they "acknowledge the brand has not progressed enough to appropriately reflect the confidence, warmth and dignity that we would like it to stand for today."
Revealing the rebrand, Pepsi Co. said Quaker Oats "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." In addition to the rebrand, Pepsi Co also confirmed it would be announcing "details of a $1 million commitment to empower and uplift Black girls and women" in the coming weeks.