No more Uncle Ben’s: Rice brand gets new name


The portrait of “Uncle Ben’s” is portrayed on a box of rice Thursday, June 18, 2020 in Jackson, Miss. The Uncle Ben’s rice brand is getting a new name: Ben’s Original. Parent firm Mars Inc. unveiled the change Wednesday, Sept. 23, 2020 for the 70-year-old brand, the latest company to drop a logo criticized as a racial stereotype. Packaging with the new name will hit stores next year. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)

NEW YORK (AP) — The Uncle Ben’s rice brand is changing its name to Ben’s Original.

Parent company Mars Inc. is the latest company to drop a logo criticized as a racial stereotype. Mars said the Ben’s Original packaging will hit stores in 2021.

Since the 1940s, the rice boxes have featured a white-haired Black man, sometimes with a bowtie. Critics have said the image evoke servitude.

Global President for Mars Food Fiona Dawson says the company is still deciding on an image to accompany the new name.

Pressure on brands to retire racial imagery have intensified amid the Black Lives Matter protests over police killings of unarmed African Americans.

Aunt Jemima and Eskimo Pie are among other brands that are retiring racial logos.


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April 24 2021 08:00 am

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