Aunt Jemima's new name Pearl Milling Company panned after PepsiCo scrapped 'racist' pancake brand during BLM protests

FANS of Aunt Jemima's pancake mix and syrup have panned the "bland" new name unveiled by food and drinks giant PepsiCo.

It will now be called the Pearl Milling Company after the "racist" 130-year-old name and logo were ditched in the wake of Black Lives Matter protests.

The new name will appear on supermarket shelves from June, PepsiCo said.

The red packaging will stay, but the logo has been changed from a middle-aged black woman to an old-style picture of a factory.

Existing Aunt Jemima products withe the controversial image removed will continue to be sold until then.

“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 in a press release.

But fans were outraged by the new brand name, which some claimed "sounds like a gravel mining company".

One fumed on Twitter: "Totally ridiculous!! It will always be #auntjemima."

Another said: "I’m not writing Pearl Milling Company on my grocery list."

And another said: "Anyone feel like the new #auntjemima syrup will just taste worse because of the name change?"

One black fan called Darren insisted: "I'm still calling it Aunt Jemima."

But others supported the update. One Twitter user said: "Glad to see protest eventually awakens conscience…and it only took a little over a century!

"That's progress, American-style! well done!"

Aunt Jemima's has been an American favorite since it launched in 1889.

The brand got its name from the minstrel song Old Aunt Jemima, composed by African American comedian Billy Kersands, according to the Associated Press.

Critics have long said the picture evokes the old “mammy” character, a racial stereotype of a slave happy to please her white masters.

Quaker Oats, which bought Aunt Jemima's in 1925, has updated the character's image several times to “remove racial stereotypes that dated back to the brand origins.”

Last June, Quaker Oats – now a subsidiary of PepsiCo – announced it was ditching the name altogether and donating millions to support black causes.

The company said at the time: "We recognize Aunt Jemima's origins are based on a racial stereotype.

"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."

It is the latest household name to make changes to outdated brands after following similar criticism.

Last year butter producer Land O Lakes removed the Native American character from its logo and packaging after calls for racial sensitivity.

Uncle Ben's rice changed its brand name to Ben's Original and removed the African American character in the wake of BLM protests.

Mrs Butterworth's syrup and Cream O Wheat cereal said were reviewing packing said to include racial stereotypes.

Last month Australian dairy brand Coon Cheese finally changed its name after defending it for 80 years.


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