We all knew that Aunt Jemima was undergoing a full on transformation. But we finally know what the plan is…
You may still see Aunt Jemima on shelves for a bit until they sell through the old branding. But within a few months, it’ll be pretty non existent.
Last year, Quaker Foods announced that they would be removing both the image and name from their pancake mix, due to racial allegations. They also admitted that the image and name were derived from racial stereotypes. In a press release, Kristin Kroepfl, the Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer of Quaker Foods North America, explained, “We recognize Aunt Jemima’s origins are based on a racial stereotype. 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.”
So what is this new, exciting name to replace the old racist one? Pearl Milling Company. Um. Ok. No ring to it, sounds like an off-brand dollar store name that no one is going to want to actually buy.
Why Pearl Milling Company? It has to do with the company’s history. According to the Aunt Jemima website, “Aunt Jemima is now Pearl Milling Company. Though the Brand is new to store shelves, the name itself has been a part of our story for over 130 years. Pearl Milling Company was a small mill in the bustling town of St. Joseph, Missouri. Using a pearl milling technique, they produced flour, cornmeal, and, beginning in 1889, the famous self-rising pancake mix that would go on to be known as Aunt Jemima. Our pancakes have been bringing smiles to the breakfast table ever since.”
Like me, most are unimpressed. This most definitely doesn’t sound like the brand of a pancake mix company, but I get why they took the safe route.
‘What kind of pancakes do you want?’ ‘Oh, Pearl Mining Company, please! They’re my favorite’…I think it’s going to take all of us a moment to get used to.