Mrs. Butterworth’s syrup says it will review branding due to racial bias concerns

·2 min read

Mrs. Butterworth’s syrup says it will review its brand and packaging after two other popular products announced changes to their products due to racial bias concerns.

“The Mrs. Butterworth’s brand, including its syrup packaging, is intended to evoke the images of a loving grandmother,” the company said in a news release Wednesday. “We stand in solidarity with our Black and Brown communities and we can see that our packaging may be interpreted in a way that is wholly inconsistent with our values.”

Conagra Brands said it has “begun a complete brand and packaging review on Mrs. Butterworth’s.”

“It’s heartbreaking and unacceptable that racism and racial injustices exist around the world,” the company said. “We will be part of the solution. Let’s work together to progress toward change.”

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The announcement comes at a time when several companies have spoken out in support of the Black community. The comments follow the death of George Floyd, a Black man who died after a now-charged Minneapolis police officer knelt on his neck for 8 minutes and 46 seconds.

Aunt Jemima, another popular syrup brand, and Uncle Ben’s, known for its rice products, announced earlier in the day that they would be changing over concerns about racial imagery. The Aunt Jemima brand said it will remove its logo of a Black woman from products while Uncle Ben’s plans to “evolve” the brand identity and visuals without providing specifics.

Mrs. Butterworth’s, which debuted in 1961, is believed to be based on Thelma “Butterfly” McQueen, who played a maid to Scarlett O’Hara in “Gone with the Wind,” reported. The image of the bottle and its dark color when filled with syrup has led it to be seen as a Black stereotype, the news outlet reported.

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