PepsiCo has drawn widespread attention by rebranding Aunt Jemima to remove ties to a racial stereotype, but the move is not poised to move the sales needle by a lot either way—at least, not yet.
According to a new Ad Age-Harris poll, 66% of consumers are aware of the name change to Pearl Milling Company, but only 23% said the overhaul would make them more likely to buy from the brand. More consumers, 28%, said the update would make them less likely to buy products from the brand, which markets pancake syrup and mix products. And 43% said it would have no impact on their purchasing decision.
PepsiCo’s Quaker division revealed the new look last week, after spending several months consulting with internal and external advisers while considering a list of 300 potential names. Pearl Milling Company is a return to the name of the company founded in 1888 in St. Joseph, Missouri that introduced self-rising pancake mix in 1889. New packaging is set to appear in June.
The consumer reception to the overhaul will be closely watched inside the food industry as multiple brands redo their branding to erase racist imagery. Cream of Wheat is removing the Black man from its packaging, for instance, and Mrs. Butterworth’s is in the midst of its own review.