Is Aunt Jemima syrup the same as Pearl Milling Company?

The Short Answer

Aunt Jemima syrup and Pearl Milling Company syrup are the same product with different branding. In June 2020, the Aunt Jemima brand and logo were retired due to their origins being based on a racial stereotype. The syrup itself continued to be made, but was rebranded as the Pearl Milling Company. The recipe and manufacturing process did not change when the name changed from Aunt Jemima to Pearl Milling Company.

The History of Aunt Jemima and the Pearl Milling Company

The Aunt Jemima brand was first established in 1889 when Chris Rutt and Charles Underwood developed a ready-made pancake mix. They named it after the song “Old Aunt Jemima” and used a character named Aunt Jemima as a spokesperson. This was based on the mammy archetype, a racist caricature of a black woman who worked for white families.

In 1890, the Aunt Jemima Mills Company was formed and the brand was sold to R.T. Davis Milling Company in St. Joseph, Missouri. The Pearl Milling Company was the parent company of R.T. Davis Milling Co. and held the Aunt Jemima trademark. They hired Nancy Green, a black woman who had formerly been enslaved, to portray Aunt Jemima and market the pancake mix at the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago.

Over the years, different women portrayed Aunt Jemima in promotions and advertising. The image evolved over time but continued to be based on the mammy stereotype. The brand became known for its pancake mix, syrup, and other breakfast foods.

In 1925, the Aunt Jemima Mills Company was purchased by the Quaker Oats Company. They continued marketing the brand using the Aunt Jemima character and name. Criticism grew over the racial stereotype, but Quaker did not make significant changes.

The Rebranding

In June 2020, against the backdrop of the Black Lives Matter movement and protests over systemic racism, the Quaker Oats Company announced they would be retiring the Aunt Jemima brand and logo. There was agreement that the imagery was based on a racial stereotype that was inappropriate.

Quaker stated they were committing to change the name and provide a new image over the following few months. They acknowledged the brand’s origins were “based on a racial stereotype” and that it was time to make progress toward racial equality.

In February 2021, the new Pearl Milling Company name, logo, and packaging were unveiled. The new branding removed the Aunt Jemima image and the name of the company honored the company’s original founder. The Pearl Milling Company was the parent company that first created the Aunt Jemima mix in 1888.

According to Quaker, Pearl Milling Company was “founded in 1888 in St. Joseph, Missouri, and was the originator of the iconic self-rising pancake mix that would later become known as Aunt Jemima.” The Pearl Milling Company name connected back to the original milling company that created the famous mix.

The Same Great Taste?

When Quaker Oats announced the Aunt Jemima branding change, they assured customers that the actual products would not be altered. As they transitioned to the Pearl Milling Company name and packaging, they stated nothing else would change. The recipe and flavor of the syrup remained the same. The ingredients, manufacturing process, and distribution were unchanged.

The main difference was removing the image of Aunt Jemima from the packaging and changing the brand name to Pearl Milling Company. The recognizable red packaging and font remained, with the new Pearl Milling Company logo.

Quaker noted that the name change may take some getting used to for loyal customers who were accustomed to asking for Aunt Jemima. But they reassured that the great taste customers loved was there in the new Pearl Milling Company syrup. The change was primarily Visual – everything about the actual syrup stayed the same.

Reviews of the Pearl Milling Company syrup confirmed that it tasted identical to Aunt Jemima. Cook’s Illustrated conducted a side-by-side taste test of Aunt Jemima Original and Pearl Milling Company syrups. Their expert tasters found the flavors were indistinguishable and the syrups had the same texture and color. The only noticeable difference was the packaging.

Similarly, Serious Eats did a comparison tasting and found no discernible variation between Aunt Jemima and Pearl Milling Company syrup. They noted the two products were interchangeable in recipes requiring maple-flavored syrup. The flavor profile remained unchanged despite Aunt Jemima becoming Pearl Milling Company.

Nutrition Information

Since Aunt Jemima and Pearl Milling Company syrups are the same product, the nutrition information is identical between the two. The table below shows the nutritional facts panel data for a serving size of 2 tablespoons (30 mL) for both brands:

Nutrient Amount – Aunt Jemima Amount – Pearl Milling Company
Calories 60 60
Total Fat 0 g 0 g
Sodium 35 mg 35 mg
Total Carbohydrate 16 g 16 g
Sugars 15 g 15 g

As the data shows, the key nutrition facts are exactly the same when comparing Aunt Jemima to Pearl Milling Company. The recipe and ingredients did not change, so the nutritional profile remains the same. Customers can enjoy the familiar syrup flavor knowing the nutrition facts stayed consistent after the branding update.


The ingredients listing for Aunt Jemima Original Syrup and Pearl Milling Company Original Syrup is identical as well. The main ingredients are:

  • Corn syrup
  • High fructose corn syrup
  • Water
  • Cellulose gum
  • Caramel color
  • Salt
  • Natural and artificial flavor
  • Potassium sorbate (preservative)
  • Sodium hexametaphosphate

There were no changes made to the recipe when Aunt Jemima became Pearl Milling Company. The same formulations and ratios of ingredients are used to produce the consistent syrup flavor customers expect.

The ingredients list does indicate there are some natural and artificial flavors added. This likely helps enhance the maple taste profile, since maple syrup is not actually an ingredient. Both brands use essentially the same recipe to create the familiar syrup enjoyed for over 130 years.

Availability and Pricing

The Pearl Milling Company syrup is widely available at all the same major retailers that previously sold Aunt Jemima. Walmart, Target, Amazon, and grocery chains still carry the rebranded syrup.

Pricing is comparable as well. A typical 24 oz bottle of Pearl Milling Company syrup costs around $2.50 to $3.50 at most stores. This is inline with past pricing for the Aunt Jemima brand syrup. Promotional discounts are still offered periodically after the packaging change.

One difference is that some retailers no longer carry large sizes of the Pearl Milling Company syrup. For example, Sam’s Club discontinued their 128 oz jug after the Aunt Jemima name was retired. However, smaller container sizes are still readily available under the new Pearl Milling Company name.

Overall, the switch from Aunt Jemima to Pearl Milling Company did not impact the pricing or accessibility of the syrup. Consumers can still easily find it at supermarkets and big box chains at a comparable value. The distribution and market penetration remained stable after the rebranding effort.

Alternatives to Pearl Milling Company Syrup

For customers seeking an alternative to Pearl Milling Company syrup, there are several options:

Maple Syrup

Pure maple syrup offers an authentic maple flavor, though it tends to be more expensive than flavored corn syrups. Popular maple syrup brands include Maple Grove Farms, Butternut Mountain Farm, and Vermont Maple Sugar Company.

Maple-Flavored Syrups

Mrs. Butterworth’s, Log Cabin, and Maple Grove Farms make maple-flavored corn syrups similar to Pearl Milling Company. They provide a maple taste at a lower cost than pure maple syrup.

Other Flavored Syrups

Consumers can also try fruit-flavored syrups like strawberry, blueberry, or boysenberry syrup. Brands like Smucker’s, Hungry Jack, and Maple Grove Farms produce flavored syrups for pancakes and waffles.


Honey provides a sweet viscous topping for breakfast foods. Raw, organic honey offers unique flavor complexity. Popular brands include Nature Nate’s, Mike’s Hot Honey, and Wildflower Honey.

There are many alternatives that provide a flavor profile similar or superior to Pearl Milling Company syrup. Customers can choose a pure maple syrup or flavored syrup that aligns with their taste and budget preferences.


In summary, Pearl Milling Company syrup is the former Aunt Jemima syrup with updated branding. Apart from the name and packaging changes, it is the exact same recipe and product. The ingredients, nutrition, taste, pricing, and availability remain unchanged after Quaker Oats removed the Aunt Jemima name and imagery. Loyal customers can still enjoy the familiar flavor they love in the new Pearl Milling Company packaging. Those interested in alternatives can opt for real maple syrup, flavored syrups, honey, and other comparable products. But for those who grew up with Aunt Jemima syrup, the taste lives on in the new Pearl Milling Company bottles.

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