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PepsiCo renames Aunt Jemima pancakes, syrup as Pearl Milling Company

Aunt Jemima syrup – about to disappear from grocery store shelves. Image: @spacehalide via Twenty20

PepsiCo says its pancake mix and syrup products would be sold under the new name “Pearl Milling Company” after the company dropped the “Aunt Jemima” brand logo last year, acknowledging its roots in a racial stereotype.

The more than 130-year-old brand logo, which featured an African-American woman named after a character in 19th-century minstrel shows, came under fire amid a national debate over racism and racial inequality in the US.

“Pearl Milling Company-branded pancake mixes, syrups, cornmeal, flour, and grits products will start to arrive in market in June,” PepsiCo said in a statement.

PepsiCo’s decision was part of a nationwide corporate response to protests over the treatment of African Americans and police brutality after the death of George Floyd, a Black man, in police custody in Minneapolis last May.

PepsiCo said in the coming weeks, Pearl Milling Company will announce details of a $1 million commitment to support Black girls and women.

PepsiCo last year said it would invest more than $400 million over five years to support black communities and boost black representation at the company.

  • Reporting by Rama Venkat in Bengaluru; Editing by Sonya Hepinstall, of Reuters.

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