Land O’Lakes butter’s packaging will no longer feature the American Indian “Butter Maiden” on its packaging. The new-look packaging arrived in stores this month after the company announced the change earlier this year.
The change, which comes ahead of the brand’s 101 anniversary, was announced in February with Land O’Lakes explaining, “We’ve recognized we need packaging that reflects the foundation and heart of our company culture.”
“The new packaging will show up in a variety of ways, including through a new front-of-package design that features the phrase ‘Farmer-Owned’ above LAND O LAKES brandmark, ‘Since 1921,” the company said in its release.
“Some products, including stick butter, will also include photos of real Land O’Lakes farmers and co-op members and copy that reads ‘Since 1921’ and ‘Proud to be Farmer-Owned: As a farmer-owned co-op, we stand together to bring you the very best in dairy.”
Land O’Lakes did not explicitly state their reason for removing the American Indian woman named, Mia, who has long been seen on the packing holding the butter box. The illustration was painted in 1928 by Brown & Bigelow illustrator Arthur C. Hanson. The image was later updated to only show her face.
Instead, the dairy brand’s President and CEO Beth Ford explained they felt showing “our farmer-owners whose milk is used to produce Land O’Lakes’ dairy products” better reflects what they stand for.
“As a farmer-owned co-op, we strongly feel the need to better connect the men and women who grow our food with those who consume it. Our farmer-to-fork structure gives us a unique ability to bridge this divide,” Ford said.
While the new design, which shows a scene of water in between a valley of trees, has already appeared on tub butter spreads, Land O’Lakes announced the updated look will soon be seen on products like deli cheese and stick butter beginning in spring/summer 2020.
The original design has long been criticized for being racist.