Acknowledging ‘racial stereotype,’ PepsiCo to drop Aunt Jemima name, brand

NEW YORK: PepsiCo Inc will change the name and brand image of its Aunt Jemima pancake mix and syrup, it said on Wednesday (Jun 17), dropping a mascot criticised for a racist history.

The logo of the more than 130-year-old brand features an African American woman named after a character from 19th century minstrel shows. The offensive caricature is rooted in a stereotype of a friendly black woman working as a servant or a nanny for a white family.

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The brand has faced social media backlash and calls for a boycott in recent days, amid widespread protests over racism in the United States after the death of George Floyd, a black man, in police custody in Minneapolis.

"We recognise Aunt Jemima's origins are based on a racial stereotype," said Kristin Kroepfl, vice president and chief marketing officer, Quaker Foods North America, in a statement.

"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."

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