The brand formerly known as Aunt Jemima finally has a new name: Pearl Milling Company.
In a statement released Tuesday, PepsiCo, which owns the Quaker Oats brand, explained the orgins of the new name.
“Though new to store shelves, Pearl Milling Company was founded in 1888 in St. Joseph, Missouri, and was the originator of the iconic self-rising pancake mix that would later become known as Aunt Jemima,” the company said.
The longtime brand announced in June that it would rebrand because “Aunt Jemima’s origins are based on a racial stereotype.”
The new logo is slated to appear on store shelves this summer.
For years, the 130-year-old brand featured a Black woman named Aunt Jemima, who was originally dressed as a minstrel character, on its products.
The image changed over time, and in recent years, Quaker removed the “mammy” kerchief from the character in an attempt to address criticism that it perpetuated a racist stereotype dating to the days of slavery. In announcing plans to remove the image and name, Quaker last summer said it wanted “to make progress toward racial equality.”
“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 statement then. “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.”
The rebranded Pearl Milling Company said in a statement that the new name was workshopped with “consumers, employees, external cultural and subject-matter experts, and diverse agency partners,” and “developed with inclusivity in mind.” It also plans to make a $1 million “commitment to empower and uplift Black girls and women.”