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Wednesday, June 17, 2020

Goodbye, Aunt Jemima; Uncle Ben Next?

Above, an earlier version of Aunt Jemima packaging.

First, it was Land o Lakes butter removing the beautiful Indian maiden from its packaging. Now, one (maybe two) other brand is doing the same

A brand that dates over 130 years is being "retired".

Fox News reported:
Aunt Jemima is being rebranded with a new name and image, parent company Quaker Oats has announced, acknowledging that the face of the brand was “based on a racial stereotype.”

It was announced on Wednesday morning that the line of pancake mix, syrup, and other breakfast foods will be debut a new look as part of Quaker’s push to “to make progress toward racial equality.” 
“We recognize Aunt Jemima’s origins are based on a racial stereotype," said Kristin Kroepfl, vice president and chief marketing officer of Quaker Foods North America, in a statement shared with Fox News. “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."

And, following suit by Quaker Foods' action (from Adweek):
Just hours after PepsiCo acknowledged its Aunt Jemima brand is based on a racial stereotype and it will change the name and packaging, rice brand Uncle Ben’s said it plans to follow suit by “evolving the visual brand identity.” 
In an email, Sara Schulte, external communications manager for Uncle Ben’s parent company Mars Food North America, said, “We have indeed been considering a more substantive change and have begun that work even before news of Aunt Jemima.” 
She did not specify what that “substantive change” will look like or what the timing will be, saying only, “We are evaluating all possibilities.”
 Soon, offended bald guys with earrings will be gunning for Mr. Clean!

To read more, go here.

For the story of the real "Aunt Jemima", Nancy Green, go here.

1 comment:

J.D. Lees said...

I don't get it! "Aunt Jemima" a.k.a. Nancy Green was by all reports a gifted, charitable, accomplished, and all-around worthwhile human being. She is someone deserving of being remembered, but now her image will disappear, no child (or adult) will think to look up her story, and she will be forgotten. Where is the good in this? Why would anyone object to her image on a nice and wholesome product? It's so sad that people are so filled with hate (and companies so filled with with cowardice) that this is happening!

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