Uncle Ben's rice to change name and branding in racism row

Mars foods is to change the name and branching of its Uncle Ben’s rice range amid increasing sensitivity to racial issues.

The packaging currently features the name Uncle Ben and the image of an older black farmer – in branding that has been in use since 1946.

The name is that of a fictional African American farmer and the image is one of a chef from Chicago, called Frank Brown.

A Mars spokesman said: “We recognise that now is the right time to evolve the Uncle Ben’s brand, including its visual brand identity, which we will do.

“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 gave no details of how or when- the changes will be made, saying it is “evaluating all possibilities”.

It’s not the only brand changing it’s look in the current climate.

Aunt Jemima pancake mix and syrup, owned by Quaker Foods, is looking at changes too.

Quaker’s Kristin Kroepfl said: “We recognise Aunt Jemima’s origins are based on a racial stereotype.”

“As we work to make progress toward racial equality through several initiatives, we also must take a hard look at our portfolio of brands and ensure they reflect our values and meet our consumers’ expectations.”

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