Rebranding : Is Aunt Jemima The First Of Many Stereotypical Brands That Will Be Changed?

First Aunt Jemima, then Uncle Ben... who’s next?

June 17, 2020
Aunt Jemima Rebrand


When I was a kid, I remember the extent of my breakfast conversations involved more of a which is better; bacon or sausage, pancakes or waffles, Honey Smacks or Golden Crisps? Literally the only syrup talk was which tastes better, Mrs. Butterworths or Aunt Jemima.

Never did I think that Aunt Jemima would lead to any kind of news-worthy discussion, yet here we are.

If you didn’t already hear, Aunt Jemima the brand image and name will be changed due to recognition that it was based on an outdated racial stereotype.

That in itself is a story that has a lot of history and complexities, that I won’t touch on but I will provide info for; including what seems like the catalyst that sparked this sudden change which is a Tik Tok that has gone viral and called attention to the topic (below, bottom).

Of course, you can find all that HERE, but I wanted to check on something else.

I was inspired today because of the Aunt Jemima change. And I instantly thought of other stereotypes that all over groceries we buy. So I decided to take a trip to the store. And just as I thought, they are everywhere.

Walk down any “ethnic” aisle in the store and you will see them. (And I didn’t even go to a store that has a diverse inventory - all monorities know the stroes that have all the goods).

Just the Latin-based products alone has sombreros and traditional dress FolkloricoJose Ole, Cholula, Rosarita, Tapatio, La Morena, Jaunita’s.

And I was actually born in Alaska, believe me when I say they don’t like the image associated with Eskimo Pies.

Funny thing is, even the Quaker from Quaker Oats (who is the parent-company of Aunt Jemima) is a strong stereotype in itself.

I also noticed plenty of other branding that doesn’t commit to an image or stereotype but seems to be ok. Using images WE associate with the culture the company is going for – Asian writing that the average person can’t read, or a panda that is a symbol associated with China specifically, or even the Zatarain’s box with a silhouette of someone playing what we assume is jazz and then associate with Louisiana and the surrounding culture. These don’t commit to a stereotype while still suggesting a culture behind the product, which one would think is the purpose of branding – especially since pretty much everything is made in America.

So my question this removal of brand stereotypes going to be a trend?

First Aunt Jemima, then Unlce Ben... and then? (I’d bet just about anything they won’t be the last - look out Mrs. Buttersworths).

Maybe we should stop there.

Or maybe this is just the beginning.

Maybe all brands are going to revisit the images they are selling.

Maybe we take away all stereotypes for all ethnicities.

Maybe that is a lot of maybes. Maybe not.

How To Make A Non Racist Breakfast. #blacklivesmatter #allblacklivesmatter #blm #auntjemima

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