Uncle Ben’s Rice Is No More
After months of intense pressure, America's most famous brand of rice has changed its name. The Mars Company, which owns Uncle Ben's announced the name change Wednesday morning.
Uncle Ben's Rice has been in production for nearly 80 years. In 1943 Uncle Ben's began production and quickly took off in popularity. By 1950 it was the top-selling brand of rice and held that title for over 40 years. Although the brand has gone through several rebranding efforts over the decades, changing its name and logo was never seriously brought into consideration. That all changed this past summer.
On June 17th, after extreme criticism on social media, the company announced they would be "evolving" the identity of the brand, and also the logo. The brand has featured an elderly African American with a bow tie on its logo since 1946. The move came after many called out the company for contributing to racial inequality and stereotypes.
The rice isn't disappearing altogether though and the new name won't be that different. Mars Inc. has announced the new name for the brand. will now be called Ben's Original.
The company also announced they will be partnering with the National Urban League to help aspiring African-American Chefs, and they will be donating 2.5 million dollars to educational services in Mississipi, where many of their plants are located.