Some brands are beginning to change their names and logos as they face increasing pressure to diversify and combat racism.
More than three months after Cream of Wheat’s parent company, B&G Foods, said it had “initiated an immediate inspection” of the brand’s packaging, a decision was made – the chef would be removed.
In a quick sequence in mid-June, several companies announced that they would withdraw racial images from their brand from Aunt Jemima to Ms. Butterworth after new calls for racial equality.
Experts say the branding reports are an exciting effect of the Black Lives Matters protests over the police murder of George Floyd and other African Americans.
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Mars Inc. also announced this week that his 70-year-old Uncle Ben’s rice brand will be renamed Ben’s Original and the logo will be dropped.
The packages with the new name of rice will appear in stores next year, and the new packages of wheat cream are expected to be presented early next year.
Pursuit of Pimento cheese: Costco announces pulling Palmetto cheese after founder calls Black Lives Matter a “terrorist organization”
Uncle Ben’s new name: The popular rice brand will soon be known as Ben’s Original
“For years, the image of an African-American chef has appeared on our wheat cream packaging,” B&G Foods told USA TODAY. “While research shows that the image may be based on an actual Chicago chef named Frank White, it reminds some users of earlier images that they find offensive. Therefore, we remove the image of the chef from all packages of Cream of Wheat. “
Enriched farina breakfast cereal has long been criticized for using a smiling black chef on its packaging, which has appeared there since the 1890s. The talisman of the early boxes was known as Rastus, a racial caricature of a black man who is considered humiliating.
“We understand that there are concerns about the chef’s image and we are committed to evaluating our packaging and will take proactive measures to ensure that we and our brands do not inadvertently contribute to systemic racism,” B&G Foods said in a statement. news release in June. “B&G Foods unequivocally opposes prejudice and injustice of all kinds. “
The company said in a statement to the US TODAY that it has “a new philanthropic initiative in recognition of the importance of diversity and inclusion in the culinary community” and “has started developing relationships with several of the leading culinary schools to help support and help in the development of African-American and Latinx candidates through various scholarships and other initiatives. “
Palmetto, which is called the best-selling pimento cheese in the United States, has also begun rebranding to remove the image of Vertrela Brown, a black chef who promoted the product.
The news of the rebranding came after Brian Henry, the founder of the cheese brand and mayor of Paulis Island, South Carolina, posted a public post on Facebook on August 25, calling the Black Lives Matter a “terrorist organization.”
Costco reportedly removed the pimento cheese from store shelves after Henry’s post, but a wholesale club spokesman said they had no comment when USA TODAY reached out on Tuesday.
Contribution: Associated Press
Follow USA TODAY reporter Kelly Tyko on Twitter: @KellyTyko
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