Owner Mars said it will also remove its long-time logo of an elderly white-haired black man “to create more equitable iconography”.
The Uncle Ben’s rice brand is being renamed Ben’s Original, making it the latest product to be revamped after facing criticism for racial stereotyping.
Critics have said the image along with the term “Uncle” evoke servitude and the era of slavery in the United States.
The new packaging will hit stores next year, the food giant said in a press release.
“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,” said Fiona Dawson, global president Mars Food, multisales and global customers.
Mars is the latest among several companies to recently commit to retiring or rebranding products with racial overtones, including Aunt Jemima and Eskimo Pie.
US companies have faced heightened scrutiny over such branding amid a protest movement against systemic racism and police brutality sparked by the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis.
Unrelated but so relatable! Listen to our fave moment from Jase & PJ this week here: