Legacy Brands Have Their Day of Reckoning

Last month I wrote about Land O’ Lakes—the butter and dairy company based in Minnesota that dropped the American Indian maiden from its packaging after nearly a century. This happened before the global protests following the May 25th death of George Floyd. Now practically every brand with a racist name or image is making changes. PepsiCo eliminated the 130-year-old Aunt Jemima brand, which featured an illustration of a minstrel-styled black woman. Uncle Ben’s rice, Mrs. Butterworth’s pancake syrup, Cream of Wheat cereal, and Dreyer’s Eskimo Pie all are revisiting their names, logos, and packaging as well. Even the Washington Redskins, under fire since the 1960s for its clearly racist name, made an official statement on July 13th that the team would retire the Redskins name. As the late John Lewis once said, “Ours is not the struggle of one day, one week, or one year. Ours is the struggle of a lifetime, and each one of us in every generation must do our part.” Changing demeaning consumer products’ brand names and identities—some over a century old—is one small battle in the larger war of racial equality.

Taylor Design Blog

By Dan

President / Creative Director