‘Aunt Jemima’ Brand Faces Backlash Over New Name

PepsiCo, in response to last year’s Black Lives Matter protests, decided to replace the “racist” Aunt Jemima name for its pancake mix and syrup brand. They have now revealed the new name: Pearl Milling Company. The new packaging, resembling the previous design, will be seen in stores in June 2021, without the iconic character image.

Pearl Milling Company pays homage to the 1888-founded company in St. Joseph, Missouri, that originally created the pancake mix and later adopted the Aunt Jemima name. Critics argue the new name lacks appeal, with some comparing it to a “gravel mining company.”

While the change has faced resistance, many believe it was long overdue. The Aunt Jemima brand had a history steeped in racial stereotypes, despite efforts to revise its image over the years.

James O’Rourke, a professor at the University of Notre Dame’s Mendoza College of Business, noted that the brand’s reputation, built on a racial stereotype, was widely seen as offensive. The change reflects a broader