Uncle Ben's Is Changing Its Name To Ben's Original
Uncle Ben's rice has kept its promise to 'evolve' in a bid to 'help end racial injustices' by changing the name to Ben's Original.
On top of this, the brand will drop the logo featuring waiter Frank Brown posing as 'Uncle Ben', who is actually a potentially fictitious black rice farmer called, you guessed it, Ben. The company was named after him in the 1940s and later said it didn't know if he actually existed.
In a statement, Ben's Original wrote: "This change signals our ambition to create a more inclusive future while maintaining our commitment to producing the world's best rice.
"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."
The statement goes on to say that the company will work to make sure underserved communities have access to nutritious meals, culinary entrepreneurs of all colours will get educational opportunities, and it will partner with National Urban League to support aspiring black chefs through scholarships.
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Additionally, in Greenville, Mississippi - where the brand has been produced for more than 40 years - the firm will invest to address issues 'that have plagued this region of the US for generations'. This programming will focus on enhancing educational opportunities for more than 7,500 area students, as well as furthering access to fresh foods.
The statement goes on: "These initial steps are in addition to commitments from Mars, Incorporated to continue to improve racial equity throughout our business, from increased representation in our workforce, leadership and talent pipeline, to better utilizing our spend, specifically among our suppliers, to drive positive change.
"While implementing an evolution on this scale will be a complex process that will take considerable time, there is no better time than right now. We will begin production of our new brand identity immediately and Ben's Original will begin reaching store shelves early next year.
"We hope you continue to welcome us to your dinner table, as we work to ensure everyone is always welcome at ours."
The brand made the announcement to enforce change in the wake of worldwide Black Lives Matter protests.
Featured Image Credit: Ben's Original