The Black Lives Matter movement that followed the death of George Floyd in Minnesota has led to many changes not only in terms of rules and regulations but also in how people see branding. Many dramas glorifying cops have come to an end and in the same way companies that have packaging of their products with racist roots are forced to revisit their designing and brand if they want to survive in a society that is demanding equality.
Accordingly, four brands including PepsiCo and Mars that came under fire for using images depicting racist roots have decided to change their packaging design and branding. Public ire over stereotyping black people in advertisements has made four brands undergo changes within a day.
PepsiCo's Aunt Jemima Causes Stir
PepsiCo announced on Wednesday morning that it will replace its Aunt Jemima pancake mix and syrup packaging. Henceforth the product will be sold with a completely new brand as the caricature used in the package was alleged to be racist.
The logo has been in use for the last 130 years. It shows an African-American woman, named Jemima after a character from the 19th century minstrel shows. It is being criticized as it depicts a stereotype of a black woman working as a nanny for a white family.
Cream of Wheat Under Fire
The latest in the brands to promise change is B&G Foods for its product Cream of Wheat. It is under criticism for using the mascot of Rastus in the packaging of cereal under the name Cream of Wheat.
The company assured it would initiate an immediate review of the packaging of Cream of Wheat brand that is in use since 1980. This brand is being criticized for depicting chef Rastus as this name is considered derogatory by the black community.
Uncle Ben's Rice, Mrs. Butterworth's Brands Rejected
Another company facing public ire is Mars, for its Uncle Ben's brand. The brand packaging shows parboiled rice. The package carries the image of an elderly African-American man dressed in a bow tie. This image is said to be based on a Chicago waiter named Frank Brown.
The fourth company to announce a change in its packaging is Conagra Brands for its pancake syrup brand Mrs. Butterworth's. The company stated that the image was based on the concept of a loving grandma. But it has been criticized by the public who said that the image is rooted in presenting the stereotype of an obedient nanny.