Sept. 23 (UPI) -- Mars Foods on Wednesday announced the change it will make to the name of its Uncle Ben's rice brand, due to its racial imagery.
The London-based company said the brand will now be known as Ben's Original. It first announced the change in June, but said at the time it didn't know what the new name would be.
The company has joined several others in removing or renaming racially insensitive brands, including The Quaker Oats Company, which changed the name of its Aunt Jemima brand earlier this summer.
"Over the last several weeks, we have listened to thousands of consumers, our own associates and other stakeholders from around the world," Fiona Dawson, Mars Foods global sales president, said in a statement.
"We understand the inequities that were associated with the name and face of the previous brand, and as we announced in June, we have committed to change."
For decades, the Uncle Ben's product line featured the logo of a servant-type Black man in a bow-tie. The company previously said the face on the Uncle Ben's box was that of Frank Brown, the head waiter at a Chicago restaurant who posed for the portrait.
The new branding removes the word "Uncle" and Brown's likeness, and will be seen in stores next year.
Mars said the hope is the rebrand will "create more equitable iconography," connect with underserved communities and aid culinary entrepreneurs of all colors.