Quaker Oats Company: Fashioning a Future for Aunt Jemima

Hennessey, H.; Marino, C.; O’Rourke, J. S. (editor)
March 17, 2021
North America
Marketing & Sales, Ethics & Social Justice
12 pages
negative backlash, rebranding, reputation management
Student Price: 
$4.00 (€3.76)
Average rating: 

The death of George Floyd sparked a cry for racial justice that infiltrated every aspect of American life in the summer of 2020, including business marketing and product branding. The racist history surrounding the Aunt Jemima pancake mix and syrup line compelled Quaker Oats Company to review their product portfolio. While Quaker wants to protect the reputation of the brand and comply with social change, re-branding presents serious complications for a categoryleading product.

Learning Outcomes: 
  1. To highlight the challenges that arise as a company attempts to protect their reputation and comply with social change with the potential financial risk from lost product recognition;
  2. To provide an example of how a company responds to public backlash regarding a brand whose name and logo is offensive;
  3. To encourage analysis of a company’s strategy to rebrand a market leader;
  4. To demonstrate how a corporation's actions will be viewed by both the media and the public;
  5. To encourage discussion regarding the level of responsibility companies have to promote racial justice and equality.