In the wake of recent nationwide protests for racial equality in America, many companies have decided to implement policy changes and make rebranding announcements. These decisions, made in solidarity with the movement, or perhaps just to save face against an increasingly apparent cultural shift, are seeming to become more and more frequent by the day.
After Aunt Jemima, the popular Quaker Oats syrup brand founded over a century ago, decided to finally abandon its racist name and logo, several other food products companies are now following suit. Most recently, the owners of Cream of Wheat, Uncle Ben’s and Mrs. Butterworth have all announced they will be reviewing their packaging.
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Congra, Mrs. Butterworth’s parent company, said in a statement that they now see why their packaging, based on a “mammy” stereotype, “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,” they stated.
Similarly, Cream of Wheat says they will review their packaging, which currently displays a smiling black man based on Rastus, an old blackface, minstrel show character. Uncle Ben’s has not yet announced a specific change, but a spokesperson for the company says their branding will “evolve.”