Mars Food Wednesday announced Ben’s Original™ products are now available in new packaging at retailers throughout the United States. The new packaging is the brand’s next step in its ambition to create a more inclusive future while maintaining its commitment to producing the world’s best rice.
The Ben’s Original™ packaging includes the new brand name featured on a familiar orange background and same navy blue font to help shoppers easily find their favorite rice. Inside the packaging, shoppers will continue to find a wide range of simple and tasty rice dishes with flavors and textures that serve as the cornerstone of so many favorite meals that invite people to gather around the table. 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 CMO and R&D Officer, Mars Food. “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.”
“Today is a big moment for Ben’s Original™,” said Denis Yarotsky, 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.”
Ben’s Original™ community outreach programs will ensure underserved communities have access to the nutritious meals we all deserve – and 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, towards the completion of either a food science or culinary arts certificate, Associate or Bachelor’s degree.
The renewable, need-based scholarship is designed to reduce and help eliminate the disproportionate debt Black students face, as well as positively affect the pathway to employment and advancement within the food industry.
Black high school seniors and those already enrolled in two- or four-year programs, as well as Black adults interested in specialized certifications in the food industry can apply at scholarships.UNCF.org until June 30, 2021. Candidates should have a GPA of 2.5-4.0, or a completed GED, be admitted to an approved institution that offers culinary arts and/or food science degrees, as well as have a demonstrated, unmet financial need. The first round of scholarship recipients will be announced at the end of the Summer 2021, with future application windows planned over the next four years.
Additionally, the brand is investing $2.5 million over the next five years in Greenville, Mississippi – where the brand has been produced for the U.S. for more than 40 years – to enhance educational opportunities for area students, as well as further access to fresh foods.
These steps are in addition to Mars, Incorporated’s commitments to continue improving racial equity throughout its business – from increased representation in its workforce, leadership and talent pipeline, to better utilizing its spend, specifically among its suppliers, to drive positive change.