CHICAGO — Mars Foods on May 12 introduced new packaging for its Ben’s Original products, the company’s next step in its ambition to create a more inclusive future.
The Ben’s Original packaging now includes the new brand name featured on a familiar orange background and same navy blue font. Ben’s Original is available in a variety of white, whole grain brown and flavored rice that range in cook times from 90 seconds to 30 minutes.
“Ben’s Original is not just a name and packaging change – we believe everyone deserves to feel welcome, heard and have access to nutritious food,” said Rafael Narvaez, global chief marketing officer and R&D officer at Mars Foods. “That’s why we’ve committed to taking actions based on insights from thousands of consumers, as well as our own associates, that are designed to enhance inclusion and equity in service of our new brand purpose to create meals, experiences and opportunities that offer everyone a seat at the table.”
Mars first announced it would evolve the Uncle Ben’s rice visual brand identity in June 2020 after a push from its consumers and associates to do so. In September, the company announced the brand would be known as Ben’s Original.
“Today is a big moment for Ben’s Original,” said Denis Yarotskiy, regional president, Mars Food North America. “Getting to this point on our brand evolution journey has been the result of our continuing commitment to listen to consumers, as well as the support and dedication of our Mars Food associates. But it is just another marker on our journey. We recognize we have much more work to do as we bring our new brand purpose to life to offer everyone a seat at the table; we remain committed to delivering this ambition.”
In addition to the new packaging, Mars said Ben’s Original will participate in community outreach programs geared toward ensuring underserved communities have access to nutritious meals. The brand’s Seat at the Table Fund will create equal opportunities for people from those communities to pursue careers in the food industry so their ideas and voices can be appreciated by all.
The first Ben’s Original Seat at the Table Fund scholarship, which was created to support Black students interested in food industry careers in the United States, is now accepting applications. The scholarship was developed in partnership with the National Urban League and United Negro College Fund and covers education-related expenses up to $25,000 per scholarship, per year, toward the completion of either a food science or culinary arts certificate, associate or bachelor’s degree.