Need to know

Hours After Aunt Jemima Change Announced, Uncle Ben’s Rice Says It Will ‘Evolve’ Brand



Hours after Quaker Oats announced it would remove the image of Aunt Jemima from its packaging and change the name of the brand, Uncle Ben’s rice said it also plans to follow suit.

Uncle Ben’s owner Mars Inc. said in a statement Wednesday that “now is the right time to evolve the Uncle Ben’s brand, including its visual brand identity, which we will do.”

“We don’t yet know what the exact changes or timing will be, but we are evaluating all possibilities,” the company said.

Mars, a global manufacturer of confectionery, pet food and other food products based in Virginia, said it has “a responsibility to take a stand in helping to put an end to racial bias and injustices.”

“Racism has no place in society. We stand in solidarity with the Black community, our Associates and our partners in the fight for social justice,” Mars said. “We know to make the systemic change needed, it’s going to take a collective effort from all of us – individuals, communities and organizations of all sizes around the world.”

On its website, the company credits the “Uncle Ben” name to legendary Texan farmer, Uncle Ben, known for his high-quality rice. The face depicted in the logo is Frank Brown, the head waiter at a Chicago restaurant “who agreed to pose for the Uncle Ben’s portrait.”

But as a New York Times article from more than a decade ago pointed out, the brand name has been criticized considering how white Southerners once used “uncle” and “aunt” as honorifics for older black Americans because th… (Read more)

Comments are closed.