Quaker Oats drops over a century-old Aunt Jemima brand for racial stereotypes


“Black Lives Matter’ protest brings an end to the 131-years old breakfast brand that has been unputdownable in the US. Quaker Oats announced that they are dropping the iconic Aunt Jemma branding over racial stereotyping issues – a bold step by a company.

The Chicago-based Pepsico-owned Quaker Oats Company announced on Wednesday that the company recognizes the Aunt Jemma branding’s origin from racial stereotypes, Associated Press reports. Now, they’re dissolving the over-a-century old breakfast brand.

For the uninitiated, Quaker Oats first filed the trademark of Aunt Jemima in 1937. However, the original trademark of Aunt Jemima is older, dating back to 1893 and their first pancake mix was made available even older in 1889.

AP notes, the branding of Aunt Jemima indeed arrives from racial stereotyping. The character is based on the American stereotype of ‘mammy’ also called ‘Mammie’ who’s essentially a black woman with a pearl-white smile, wearing a scarf, with polka dot dress, and serves a white family and nurse their children.

Image courtesy of Martin Saxx via Commons (Image of Jemima’s Wedding Day: Cake Walk – a music cover in 1899)

The logo was derived from the face of Nancy Green, a slave in the 1890s. Since then she has been the face of the brand. Kristin Kroepfl of Quaker Foods North America told: “while work has been done over the years to update the brand in a manner intended to be appropriate and respectful, we realize those changes are not enough.”

The rebranded products will reportedly ship in the last quarter of 2020 and the new name will be announced later. The company has also announced a $400 initiative to increase the representation of Black communities in Pepsico and uplift them.

The Quaker oats Aunt Jemima rebrandings like this just go on to prove the power of the Black Lives Matter movement ushered by George Floyd’s death last month. Many other American brands like Land O’Lakes, Geechie Boy Mill, Uncle Ben’s among others have either changed or have announced doing so in the coming future in sync with the modern.

(Cover image courtesy of @ajplus via Twitter)