Uncle Ben's Is No More: Brand Name Will Be 'Ben's Original' Starting in 2021

Old Uncle Ben's logo Old Uncle Ben's logo. Image credit: Wikimedia Commons

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.

Bens Original Logo

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.

Written by Constantine Spyrou. Reproduced with permission from FoodBeast.com

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2 Comments

  1. That’s awful, he’s just a fictional character and a wonderful one at that. I have used Uncle Ben’s rice all my life and it’s the best rice on the maket and i always gave him credit and looked for his face instead of the name when i went to the grocery store. The reason i switched was because i had invited an indian couple for dinner as they were just moving in, and i was using another brand , the kind that lumps together and her husband asked her what it was but ate it. After dinner she told me to use Uncle Ben’s as it was always fluffy, and she was right. The next time they ate with us he didn’t have to ask. Thank you Uncle Ben you will always be on my table.

    • Your comment shows how deeply ingrained racism is in American culture, making it easy for some to justify a wrong that should never have happened. The character of Uncle Ben is based off of actual men who didn’t work for the company nor were they paid any restitution. This is another example of said group using blacks as property that they can use as they see fit. The image should have never been used. The company could have used a simple logo. And if you are not able to recognize the colors blue and orange, just read the package. You know it’s the correct package because the name Ben is still there.

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