Uncle Ben’s rice has officially changed its name to Ben’s Original.
Parent company, Mars Inc. announced the news today following criticism that the brand name was rooted in racial stereotype.
Fiona Dawson, global president for Mars Food, multisales and global customers said: “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.”
In June, the brand announced they would be making changes, writing: “As a global brand, we know we have a responsibility to help put an end to racial injustices.
“One way we can do this is to evolve the Uncle Ben’s brand and visual identity, which we will do. We’re listening to the voices of consumers, especially in the Black community, and to our Associates worldwide.
“We don’t yet know what the exact changes or timing will be, but we are evaluating all possibilities.”
It comes after the brand faced criticism over the image on the packaging, too.
The brand said the image used is of “a beloved Chicago chef and waiter named Frank Brown” however many said the logo – which has been used since the 1940s – implies servitude.
Packaging with the new name will hit supermarket shelves next year.