Mars Rebrands Uncle Ben’s Rice To The New Name Ben’s Original

Uncle Ben’s will become Ben’s Original Uncle Ben’s rice brand is getting and updated the name to Ben’s Original after 70 years. The parent company, Mars Inc., announced the...

(Photo: Getty Images)

Uncle Ben’s will become Ben’s Original

Uncle Ben’s rice brand is getting and updated the name to Ben’s Original after 70 years. The parent company, Mars Inc., announced the new brand change after heavy criticism that the logo was seen as a racial stereotype.

Mars Inc. disclosed that they will be changing the brand name and logo from Uncle Ben’s to Ben’s Original that is set to hit store shelves by next year. Global president for the Mars Food division, Fiona Dawson, explains the reason for changing the brand, “We listened to our associates and our customers and the time is right to make meaningful changes across society. 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.”

Dawson further explains that the company has had an open dialogue with employees, customer studies, and stakeholders for months to determine the best course of action for the brand change for Ben’s Original. Since the 1940s the Uncle Ben’s products have featured a white-haired Black man that critics claim the logo protrays servitude and Mars claims that they were inspired by a maitre’d from Chicago named Frank Brown.

More brands are considering rebranding due to racist criticism for the name and logos of certain products. Just a couple of months ago, parent company Quaker announced the rebranding of Aunt Jemima for its logo and name after racist criticism.

(Photo: Mars)

Quaker committed to changing the product by no longer featuring the Aunt Jemima logo to appear in stores by the end of the year but the company has yet to reveal the new logo. The owner of Eskimo Pie has also decided to rebrand the nearly century-old ice cream sandwich company.

Some companies are facing pressure for rebrandings like the Washington Redskins NFL team that was being pressured into a name change from affiliated sponsor brands including FedEx, Bank of America, and Pepsi. Though the Washington Redskins have previously been pressured for a name change but the pressure from its sponsors drove the team to retire the logo and name to become the Washington team.

Mars enected a couple of initiatives to give back to the local community of the production city of Greenville, Mississippi by investing $2.5 million for education and nutritional programs for students. Another new initiative for the brand is investing $2 million in partnership with the National Urban League to provide scholarships for asiring Black chefs.


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