In the past few months, products like Aunt Jemima and Uncle Ben’s, whose branding is based on racial stereotypes, have pledged to change their imagery and logos. Mars, the parent company to Uncle Ben’s, is now giving us a preview of what that will look like for the rice brand.
The products will now go under the name Ben’s Original, and will be used to attempt to “create a more inclusive future,” according to a press release. While the orange and blue colors will stay the same, the imagery on the packages, as well as the name, are officially retired.
“We understand the inequities that were associated with the name and face of the previous brand, and as we announced in June, we have committed to change,” said Fiona Dawson, Global President of Mars Food, Multisales and Global Customers, said in the press release.
Mars isn’t just changing its packaging in response to the current global Black Lives Matter protests. The company has also partnered its new brand with the National Urban League to create a scholarship fund for aspiring black chefs. They will also work together to support other underserved communities globally.
One of those communities is in the hometown of Ben’s Original, Greenville, Mississippi. Mars is pledging to invest in the local community by increasing food accessibility and security while enhancing educational opportunities for students in the area.
As for the rice products themselves, they will have the new packaging and brand name starting in 2021 as Uncle Ben’s branding is phased off of shelves.