Uncle Ben’s Unveils New Name & Logo To Step Away From Racist Stereotypes
By Mikelle Leow, 24 Sep 2020
Image via George Wirt / Shutterstock.com
Uncle Ben’s is going against the grain of its 70-year-old branding. After Black Lives Matter protests and years of criticism about perpetuating racial bias, the packaged rice company has now dropped the tired “Uncle” and will go by Ben’s Original.
The overhaul also includes the removal of the Uncle Ben mascot, who was modelled after a Chicago chef and waiter named Frank Brown. As it seems, the redesigned logo will simply feature the Ben’s Original name.
The “Uncle” title has been a feature of controversy, as it refers to one of the ways white Southerners would call Black men so as to avoid using their last names or honorifics like “Mr.”
In an announcement posted to the Uncle Ben’s website, parent company Mars said the change will hopefully help “create more equitable iconography” and drive the brand towards “a more inclusive future.”
The new identity is the culmination of insights from “thousands of consumers, our Associates and other stakeholders from around the world,” Mars explained.
Apart from the visual transformation, Ben’s Original shared that it has adopted a new corporate vision to “create opportunities that offer everyone a seat at the table” in hopes of bringing more inclusion.
A full transition will, however, take time. The company still uses the old branding on its digital channels, possibly to allow customers to look it up first, and says it will take on the Ben’s Original name “moving forward.”
Meanwhile, the Ben’s Original packaging will start appearing on shelves early 2021.
We listened. And we learned. Moving forward, Uncle Ben's will be known as Ben’s Original™. Read our full statement to find out more about our brand's new purpose to create opportunities that offer everyone a seat at the table: https://t.co/0tSE0lnMa1 pic.twitter.com/741JQU1qTI— Uncle Ben's USA (@UncleBens) September 23, 2020
[via AP News, images via various sources]
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