Mars Inc. has unveiled the new name of its 70-year-old brand Uncle Ben's Rice: Ben's Original.
In addition to the new name, the company is removing the image on the packaging and is replacing it with a "more equitable iconography." New packaging with the new name will be in stores next year.
“We listened to our associates and our customers and the time is right to make meaningful changes across society,” said Fiona Dawson, global president for Mars Food, multisales and global customers. “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."
The company is making good on a promise it made earlier this year when it and other major brands acknowledged their use of racial stereotypes and committed to making changes.
That promise came amid a wave of reactions from businesses and corporations following nationwide protests in the wake of the police killing of George Floyd in the U.S. in May.