It looks like “Uncle Ben’s” rice is a thing of the past, and is now being called “Ben’s Original’s.” The company announced the name change, and also showed that they removed the image of the older black man from its packaging.
According to the New York Times, this comes after widespread anti-racism protests placed the focus back on companies that have used racial images to sell their products for decades.
Ben’s Originals released a statement, and said, “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. We will change our name to ‘Ben’s Original’ as well as remove the image on our packaging to create more equitable iconography. This change signals our ambition to create a more inclusive future while maintaining our commitment to producing the world’s best rice.”
The statement continued, “We are not just changing our name and the image on the package, but also taking action to enhance inclusion and equity—and that comes with a new brand purpose to create opportunities that offer everyone a seat at the table. Our community outreach programs will ensure underserved communities have access to the nutritious meals we all deserve. We will also help culinary entrepreneurs of all colors get educational opportunities so their ideas and voices can be appreciated by all. This work will begin in the U.S., where we will partner with National Urban League to support aspiring Black chefs through scholarships, and we will then expand our efforts to support other underserved communities around the world.”
As we previously reported, back in June Quaker Oats announced that they were changing the name and image of their “Aunt Jemima” brand due to racial stereotypes. Their decision led to the discussion of other brands, such as Uncle Ben’s, making a change to their names and imagery.
We listened. And we learned. Moving forward, Uncle Ben's will be known as Ben’s Original™. Read our full statement to find out more about our brand's new purpose to create opportunities that offer everyone a seat at the table: https://t.co/0tSE0lnMa1 pic.twitter.com/741JQU1qTI
— Uncle Ben's USA (@UncleBens) September 23, 2020
Want updates directly in your text inbox? Hit us up at 917-722-8057 or click here to join!
TSR STAFF: Jade Ashley @Jade_Ashley94