Ben’s Original: Rice company changes name from Uncle Ben’s

Uncle Ben’s rice is no more.

The rice brand is now Ben’s Original.

Mars Inc., the owner of the 70-year-old brand, made the announcement of the new name Wednesday, The Associated Press reported.

The change came after its logo was criticized as being a racial stereotype after protests following the death of George Floyd and other African Americans. Earlier this year company officials said the brand would “evolve," the AP reported.

“We listened to our associates and our customers and the time is right to make meaningful changes across society,” Fiona Dawson, global president for Mars Food, multisales and global customers, told the AP. “When you are making these changes, you are not going to please everyone. But it’s about doing the right thing, not the easy thing.”

The former logo of the rice brand had featured an older Black man, sometimes wearing a bow tie, and was modeled after Chicago maitre d' Frank Brown.

Only the new name has been released, the new logo has not.

The company is also investing $2 million in culinary scholarships for Black chefs, and $2.5 million in nutritional and educational programs for Greenville, Mississippi, the town where the rice brand has been made that has a majority African American population, the AP reported.

Other brands also are changing names and logos.

Quaker Oats is doing away with Aunt Jemima’s image on the syrup and pancake brand, NBC News reported.

Eskimo Pie is changing its name, The New York Times reported.

Finally, the Washington Redskins are now the Washington Football Team, dropping the Indian head logo in the process.



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