Uncle Ben’s rice products rebrand with new name

Mars is rebranding Uncle Ben’s rice products to make them more inclusive.

The updated line, revamped as Ben’s Originals, will appear in stores in 2021, CNN Business reports.

The new logo will still include the signature blue font on an orange background.

Mars, the parent company of Uncle Ben’s, previously announced plans to “evolve” the brand in June, writing on their website that “now is the right time to evolve the Uncle Ben's brand, including its visual brand identity, which we will do.”

The move comes after a summer during which other products received heightened criticism for branding with origins in racial stereotypes. These products include Aunt Jemima, Cream of Wheat and Mrs. Buttersworth.

The Uncle Ben’s brand was established by Mars in the 1940s. An archived page from the Mars website explains that “Uncle Ben” was named for a legendary, possibly fictitious Texas farmer who was known for his high-quality rice. The face of the brand was Frank Brown, the head waiter at a Chicago restaurant who posed for a portrait for the company.

In a comment, Mars told CNN Business that it does not want its brand to represent anything that could be construed as non-inclusive.

"For some, it clearly had overtones of servitude, and that is not the brand that we want to represent," Fiona Dawson, Mars Food’s global president, told the outlet.

"There's no place for anything in this world that hints at social injustice," she added.

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