Mars Rebrands Rice to Ben’s Original After Racial Review

Mars Inc. is renaming its Uncle Ben’s rice brand as Ben’s Original in an effort to remove racial stereotyping.

Mars will also change the design of the packaging, which had featured an illustration of a Black man, the company said in a statement Wednesday. The new look will be available from 2021.

The move comes after U.S. protests against racism and racial inequality spurred numerous companies to rethink their brand names and logos. Food companies including Nestle SA and PepsiCo Inc. have been reviewing thousands of brands in their portfolios and identifying products to change, including Red Skins raspberry-flavored candy and Aunt Jemima pancake mix and syrup.

Mars Rebrands Rice to Ben’s Original After Racial Review

“We understand the inequities that were associated with the name and face of the previous brand,” Fiona Dawson, head of Mars’s multisales and global customers, said in the statement. “We have committed to change.”

Mars said it’s also implementing community outreach programs to provide nutritious meals to underserved communities and to support educational opportunities for culinary entrepreneurs.

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