PepsiCo, Inc., today announced the debut of Pearl Milling Company, the new name of the pancake mix and syrup varieties previously found under the Aunt Jemima brand.
Pearl Milling Company-branded pancake mixes, syrups, cornmeal, flour, and grits products will start to arrive in markets in June 2021. Pearl Milling Company will offer people all their favorite pancake mix and syrup varieties in the same familiar red packaging previously found under the Aunt Jemima brand. Products will continue to be available under the Aunt Jemima name without the character image until June.
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 Quaker Oats Company signed the contract to purchase the Aunt Jemima brand in 1925. It updated its image over the years in a manner intended to remove racial stereotypes that dated back to the brand origins. In June 2020, the company announced it was transitioning from the Aunt Jemima name and likeness on packaging and pledged a $5 million commitment to support the Black community.
Throughout the effort that led to the new Pearl Milling Company name, Quaker worked with consumers, employees, external cultural and subject-matter experts, and diverse agency partners to gather broad perspectives and ensure the new brand was developed with inclusivity in mind.
Family members of the two women who portrayed Quaker Oats’ Aunt Jemima have expressed their displeasure concerning the change feeling it is an injustice and erasing the family’s history.
In the coming weeks, Pearl Milling Company will announce the details of a $1 million commitment to empower and uplift Black girls and women, inviting the community to visit its website and nominate non-profit organizations for an opportunity to receive grants to further that mission. This is in addition to PepsiCo’s more than $400 million, five-year investment to uplift Black business and communities, and increase Black representation at PepsiCo.