A discussion was sparked on social media Tuesday afternoon after the brand formerly known as Aunt Jemima revealed a new name and a new logo and packaging. Under the Aunt Jemima rebrand, all products will now be named Pearl Milling Company products, a nod to the company that created the self-rising pancake mix that would later become a breakfast staple.
Although current Aunt Jemima products continue to be sold under that name without the Aunt Jemima logo, come June, both the pancake mixes and syrup bottles will look a little different. The logo will be replaced with a watermill used to grow flour. Meanwhile, the packaging will look relatively unchanged, as it will maintain the red, white, and yellow color scheme.
As shoppers got their first look at the products they will soon be searching for down the breakfast aisle come June, many took to social media to react. Although many welcomed a rebrand, many felt the name and packaging missed the mark, some believing that Pearl Milling Company didn’t sound like a very appetizing breakfast product. Keep scrolling to see what people are saying about the Aunt Jemima rebrand.
That's what I was thinking, too. I probably would have gone with something invoking home & hearth, like Grandma's Old Fashioned Syrup. Pearl Milling Company sounds like a grain product.— Teresa Rothaar (@trothaar) February 10, 2021
"We are starting a new day with Pearl Milling Company," a PepsiCo spokesperson told CNN of the rebrand. "A new day rooted in the brand's historic beginnings and its mission to create moments that matter at the breakfast table."prevnext
So Aunt Jemima syrup is now called the Pearl Milling Company syrup? I'll forget that name by the morning. Lolz.— MzFightDiva40 (@MzFightDiva40) February 10, 2021
"This name is a nod to where our delicious products began before becoming a family-favorite breakfast staple," the spokesperson said. "While the Aunt Jemima brand was updated over the years in a manner intended to remove racial stereotypes, it has not progressed enough to appropriately reflect the dignity, respect and warmth that we stand for today."prevnext
I think we can all agree, regardless of our thoughts on their previous branding, that Pearl Milling Company is a pretty bad name for a high-profile rebrand.— Munsi (40s in Calgary Zone with comorbidities) (@munsimunsi) February 10, 2021
Aunt Jemima drew inspiration for its name and logo from the song "Old Aunt Jemima" from a minstrel show performer. The logo, which featured a smiling Black woman, was created around 1890 and was based on Nancy Green, a "storyteller, cook and missionary worker" who had formerly been enslaved. Although the logo underwent minor changes throughout the years, it had been criticized for depicting a racist stereotype dating back to slavery.prevnext
whos really saying "yo we need to go to the store and get some pearl milling company syrup"— Morgan (@itsallmorgann) February 10, 2021
In June, Quaker Oats, a subsidiary of PepsiCo, announced it would be doing a complete rebrand of Aunt Jemima products. The decision, which came amid Black Lives Matter protests across the country, was made because "Aunt Jemima's origins are based on a racial stereotype."prevnext
Aunt Jemima was very problematic. But Pearl Milling Company sounds like something undelicious that needs to be cleaned off the factory floor. Think I'll stick with maple syrup. 🇨🇦#rebrandingsyrup pic.twitter.com/UUgFjJ9LjN— Jim Maxwell (@1jcmaxwell) February 10, 2021
"We recognize Aunt Jemima's origins are based on a racial stereotype," Kristin Kroepfl, vice president and chief marketing officer of Quaker Foods North America, said in a press release. "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."prevnext
They couldn’t come up with anything better than Pearl Milling Company??— Traci Love (@tnl21) February 9, 2021
Kroepfl added, "we acknowledge the brand has not progressed enough to appropriately reflect the confidence, warmth and dignity that we would like it to stand for today." Shortly after, Aunt Jemima products hit store shelves without the logo.prevnext
Pearl Milling Company be sounding like a mining company 😭😭— Dawkness 🎮 TLOU2 (@XxDarkness157xX) February 10, 2021
Aunt Jemima was the first of many brands to announce a re-brand. Shortly after the announcement, Uncle Ben's brand of rice announced the brand would "evolve" in response to concerns about racial stereotyping. Mrs. Buttersworth and Cream of Wheat also announced rebrands.prev