*We no longer have to suppress thoughts of racist minstrel shows when walking down the rice aisle at the grocery store.
Last September, Mars Food announced it would finally change the name and image of its Uncle Ben’s rice products because it was rooted in racial stereotypes. The rebranded rice has just become available in stores nationwide as Ben’s Original.
The new packaging keeps the same orange color and blue font but ditches the image of Uncle Ben. The name was borrowed from a well-known Texas rice farmer of the same name, according to an archived web page about the rice brand’s origins. The man who posed for image that has appeared on the packaging for decades was Frank Brown, the head waiter of an exclusive Chicago restaurant, the archive web page stated.
Some Uncle Ben’s products will remain on store shelves until they sell out.