Pepsico is rebranding its original pancake mix and syrup, which are both vegan, from Aunt Jemima to Pearl Miling Co.
As part of the rebranding, the product’s name and logo are being changed. The packaging will no longer reference “Aunt Jemima” or have her photo. Instead, the packaging features “Pearl Milling Company” with an industrial-looking photo.
According to a statement, the new products, which will include the vegan original pancake mix and vegan pancake syrup, will be rolled out in June 2021. According to that statement, Aunt Jemima products will be available until June 2021, but her photo will no longer be featured on the products.
Why “Pearl Milling Company”?
Pepsico decided on “Pearl Milling Company” as the new name because of its rich history with the brand. Pearl Milling Company, founded in 1888 in St. Joseph, Missouri, first created the self-rising pancake mix we know today as Aunt Jemima.
Quaker Oats, under Pepsico, then purchased the rights to that pancake mix.
Aunt Jemima’s Racist Origins
The decision to rebrand was a long-time coming, with the company under constant criticism for the racist roots of the branding.
“Aunt Jemima” is based on an enslaved “mammy” stereotype. “Aunt” was often used to refer to slave elders, since they weren’t granted the courtesy of proper titles, like mister or mistress.
Quaker Oats originally rebranded Aunt Jemima twice, the most recent in the 1970s, but they continued to face criticism.
Thankfully, the company made the decision to remove the racist packaging once and for all. By June of 2021, all of the “Aunt Jemima” products will officially be “Pearl Milling Company” products – though the actual products aren’t changing at all, just the packaging.
What do you think of the rebrand? Let us know!