Legacy Brands to Experience Significant Change Amid Progress Toward Racial Equality
Aunt Jemima, Mrs. Butterworth and Uncle Ben’s are among the brands under review
Aunt Jemima, one of the long-time brands of The Quaker Oats Company, a subsidiary of PepsiCo, Inc., announced it will remove the image of Aunt Jemima from its packaging and change the name of the brand. Packaging changes without the Aunt Jemima image will begin to appear throughout Q4 of 2020. The name change will be announced at a later date and will quickly follow the first phase of packaging changes.
"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," Kristin Kroepfl, vice president and chief marketing officer, Quaker Foods North America, said in a statement. "We recognize Aunt Jemima's origins are based on a racial stereotype. While work has been done over the years to update the brand in a manner intended to be appropriate and respectful, we realize those changes are not enough."
The Aunt Jemima brand has existed for more than 130 years and has evolved over time with the goal of representing loving moms from diverse backgrounds who want the best for their families.
"We acknowledge the brand has not progressed enough to appropriately reflect the confidence, warmth and dignity that we would like it to stand for today," said Kroepfl. "We are starting by removing the image and changing the name. We will continue the conversation by gathering diverse perspectives from both our organization and the Black community to further evolve the brand and make it one everyone can be proud to have in their pantry."
PepsiCo was built on the foundation that we thrive because of our diversity and, when we embrace the full spectrum of humanity, we succeed together. In that spirit, the Aunt Jemima brand will donate a minimum of $5 million over the next five years to create meaningful, ongoing support and engagement in the Black community.
Conagra Brands Announces Mrs. Butterworth's Brand Review
Conagra Brands, Inc. announced the following statement on its Mrs. Butterworth's food brand:
The Mrs. Butterworth's brand, including its syrup packaging, is intended to evoke the images of a loving grandmother. We stand in solidarity with our Black and Brown communities and we can see that our packaging may be interpreted in a way that is wholly inconsistent with our values.
We understand that our actions help play an important role in eliminating racial bias and as a result, we have begun a complete brand and packaging review on Mrs. Butterworth's.
It's heartbreaking and unacceptable that racism and racial injustices exist around the world. We will be part of the solution. Let's work together to progress toward change.
Mars Accelerates Work on Racial Equity
The following is an excerpt from Mars Inc.
There is no room for discrimination in a healthy society. It’s the collective effort from individuals, communities and organizations all around the world that will replace discrimination and fear with humanity, empathy and caring.
It’s important we share our point of view. But words alone aren’t enough. Systemic change requires action.
We will be accelerating our work in several areas:
• Increasing diversity in our talent and leadership pipeline. This means setting meaningful targets and reporting our progress, and creating deeper recruitment partnerships with historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs).
• Investing in and partnering with organizations that fight for racial equity. We will support organizations that fight for equity, diversity and support Black-owned businesses.
• Expanding trainings and educational resources. This includes expanding our mandatory bias training for our 125,000 Associates globally, helping us make sure each Mars Associate knows they belong.
• Improving diversity across our marketing, advertising, sourcing and supplier communities. An example of this is our decision to evolve the UNCLE BEN’s brand.
Uncle Ben’s Brand Evolution
As a global brand, we know we have a responsibility to take a stand in helping to put an end to racial bias and injustices. As we listen to the voices of consumers, especially in the Black community, and to the voices of our Associates worldwide, we recognize that now is the right time to evolve the Uncle Ben’s brand, including its visual brand identity, which we will do.
We don’t yet know what the exact changes or timing will be, but we are evaluating all possibilities.
Racism has no place in society. We stand in solidarity with the Black community, our Associates and our partners in the fight for social justice. We know to make the systemic change needed, it’s going to take a collective effort from all of us – individuals, communities and organizations of all sizes around the world.
B&G Foods, Inc. to Review the Cream of Wheat Brand Packaging
The following is an excerpt from B&G Foods, Inc.
B&G Foods, Inc. announced that we are initiating an immediate review of the Cream of Wheat brand packaging. We understand there are concerns regarding the Chef image, and we are committed to evaluating our packaging and will proactively take steps to ensure that we and our brands do not inadvertently contribute to systemic racism. B&G Foods unequivocally stands against prejudice and injustice of any kind.