From Uncle Ben's to Aunt Jemima, brands undergo a re-evaluation after George Floyd tragedy

Some brands already changing names, others undergoing review.

Updated: June 17, 2020 - 11:21pm

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As the nation's attention has recently turned to racial issues following the death of George Floyd, several major brands including Aunt Jemima, Uncle Ben's and Mrs. Butterworth's are either implementing or considering changes.

The Quaker Oats Company's Aunt Jemima brand on Wednesday announced plans to rename its Aunt Jemima products and take the Aunt Jemima graphic off of the packaging. 

"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," Quaker Oats Company, a subsidiary of PepsiCo, Inc., said in its press release.

"We recognize Aunt Jemima's origins are based on a racial stereotype," Quaker Foods North America Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer Kristin Kroepfl said. "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."

Mars, the company behind the well-known rice brand Uncle Ben's, has also pledged that the brand will undergo some changes. 

"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," the Mars announcement said. "We don’t yet know what the exact changes or timing will be, but we are evaluating all possibilities."

And Conagra Brands announced that it is evaluating its Mrs. Butterworth's 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," Conagra Brands announced

"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," the company stated.

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