Uncle Ben’s rebrand will appeal to 43% of socially conscious millennials, says GlobalData

Following today’s news (23 September) that Mars has renamed the 70-year-old Uncle Ben’s rice brand, which has been criticized as a racial stereotype;

Carmen Bryan, Consumer Analyst at GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company, offers her view:

“The rebrand will help set a new standard in the fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) community based on inclusion and diversity. By retiring old racial archetypes, major players will be able to tap into an increasingly globalized market and reinforce a positive brand message.

“In fact, according to GlobalData’s latest COVID-19 recovery tracker (published 23 September), 43% of millennials globally are always or often influenced by how socially responsible a product is, and this trend shows no signs of slowing. What’s more, a further 38% of global respondents admit that their purchasing decisions are always or often driven by how the world around them is changing, such as economic or social developments. This is even more prevalent in the US (41%), which birthed a number of social movements such as ‘Me Too’ and ‘BLM’. It is no surprise that the current BLM activity is what has helped fuel these changes among major FMCG players, and will continue to do so.

“Rebranding is risky, however, and can make or break a product. By largely maintaining the same essence – that is the blue font on an orange background, as well as the memorable ‘Ben’s’ name – Mars’ iconic rice brand is able to maintain its familiarity and original customer base while still adapting to a modern audience.”

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