A New England ice cream maker has changed the name of one of its signature flavors after several people claimed the name “Just Jimmies” is rooted in racism.
Brigham’s Ice Cream quietly scrubbed the name of its “Just Jimmies” flavor to “Just Sprinkles” in response to the pushback.
New Englanders have used the term “jimmies” for about a century to call what most Americans say are sprinkles.
Some activists claim that “jimmies” is a derogatory term related to the Jim Crow Era, when discriminatory laws and segregation became commonplace after the Civil War.
“While the origins of the word ‘jimmies’ is unclear, Brigham’s made the decision to change the name to ensure the brand reflects our values and meets our consumers’ expectations,” company spokesperson Lynne Bohan told Lynnfield Patch Tuesday in an email. “Just Sprinkles remains the same flavor/recipe that Brigham’s fans know and love.”
Although news of the ice cream brand’s name change broke this week, the actual name change took place last summer when brands such as Uncle Ben’s and Aunt Jemima were going through their own name changes over accusations that their brands had racist undertones.
Conagra Foods, the parent company of Mrs. Butterworth’s pancake syrup, also announced at that time that its “matronly-shaped bottle” would undergo a “complete brand and packaging review.”
Land O’ Lakes butter and Eskimo Pie ice cream also quietly changed their packaging, with the former removing the Indian woman from its packaging after 92 years and the latter changing the name because the parent company found it to be “derogatory.”