An ice cream brand called Brigham’s Ice Cream quietly changed the name of one of its flavours after social media outrage over the use of a topping called “jimmies.” The woke-o-haram took offence at the term over its potentially racist origins.
Started in New England in 1914, Brigham’s Ice Cream previously included a flavour called “Just Jimmies.” It changed the flavour name to “Just Sprinkles” at some point in 2020, reports the Daily Wire.
The term “jimmies” is a New England area word for chocolate sprinkles, but it can also refer to all types of sprinkles. Urban legend would have it that the term has ties to the Jim Crow era because the sprinkles are brown in colour and could possibly be referring specifically to Jim Crow, the protagonist of the minstrel song that has become representative of anti-black racism.
Despite the urban legend surrounding the term, even Snopes has been unable to corroborate the claim, concluding that “No valid reason exists to suppose that ‘jimmies’ carries a racist meaning or had a racially-charged origin. However, it’s difficult to definitively disprove the claim because the term’s entry into the English language is downright murky.”
Contrary to claims of racism, the ice cream company says that “jimmies” were named after an employee James Bartholomew, who worked at the company in 1930.
“Bartholomew operated a machine that produced Born’s latest invention, tiny hot-dog shaped chocolate sprinkly things. But what to call them?” Brigham’s states, “[founder Samuel] Born briefly pondered that question before deciding to accredit the name to the producer, Jimmy Bartholomew. The new product was named JIMMIES, which is still a trademarked name, but no longer made by Just Born. The dictionary definition for JIMMIES used to be ‘decorative things.’ They have also been called toppettes, shots, fancies, trimettes and sprinkles.”
According to the Daily Wire, HP Hood, Brigham’s parent company, says that the name change was done to “ensure the brand reflects our values and meets our consumers’ expectations … Just Sprinkles remains the same flavor/recipe that Brigham’s fans know and love.”
The trend of renaming and rebranding classic consumer goods comes as a result of social media outrage and the rise of woke culture. Other products to receive radical rebranding include Aunt Jemima, Uncle Ben’s and Land O’Lakes butter.