Quaker Oats has announced that the Aunt Jemima brand of products, which includes syrup and waffle and pancake mixes, will be rebranded because it’s based on a racial stereotype.
NBC News reports: “The 130-year-old brand features a Black woman named Aunt Jemima, who was originally dressed as a minstrel character. The picture has changed over time, and in recent years Quaker removed the ‘mammy’ kerchief from the character to blunt growing criticism that the brand perpetuated a racist stereotype that dated to the days of slavery. But Quaker, a subsidiary of PepsiCo, said removing the image and name is part of an effort by the company ‘to make progress toward racial equality.'”
Said Kristin Kroepfl, vice president and chief marketing officer of Quaker Foods North America: “We recognize Aunt Jemima’s origins are based on a racial stereotype. 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.”
Credit for Quaker Oats’ decision is being given, at least in part, to a TikTok video that went viral this week.