BEN’S ORIGINAL™ Products Now Widely Available across Canada
By CNW Group Ltd.
New packaging arrives in Canada along with purpose-driven community and academic partnerships that create opportunities to offer everyone a seat at the table
BOLTON, ON, Nov. 17, 2021 /CNW/ – Today, Mars Food Canada announced that Ben’s Original™ products are now widely available at retailers across Canada. The arrival of the products on Canadian shelves follows last year’s announcement to rebrand to Ben’s Original™ with an ambition to create a more inclusive future while maintaining a 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 favourite rice. Inside the packaging, shoppers will continue to find a wide range of simple and tasty rice dishes with flavours and textures that serve as the cornerstone of so many favourite meals that invite people to gather around the table.
The brand is not just changing its name and image on the package. It is also taking action to enhance inclusion and equity, and setting out its new brand purpose to create opportunities that offer everyone a seat at the table.
“Everyone deserves to feel welcomed, heard and have access to nutritious food. Ben’s Original™ is not just a packaging change, it comes with a new ambition to actively create a more inclusive future,” said Eric Huston, Market Director, Mars Food Canada. “We knew when we pledged to evolve the Uncle Ben’s brand that it meant more than simply changing our name. Enhancing equity and inclusion means committing to actions that help deliver true equity to underserved communities across Canada.”
The brand is also launching the Seat at the Table™ Fund in Canada to create equal opportunities for people from under-represented and equity-deserving communities to pursue careers in the food industry
The Seat at the Table™ Fund helps students pursue careers in the food industry through financial awards and educational opportunities. The scholarship program will be rolled out nationally across Canada in 2022 with the goal of helping advance diversity and representation across Canada’s culinary landscape.
In the Canadian expansion of the program, which has also been announced in the US and UK, Ben’s Original™ will be partnering with four of the top culinary programs across Canada to provide $200,000 of funding over two years to students who identify as Black, Indigenous or Persons of Colour to help them successfully complete their education. The renewable, needs-based award is designed to help students overcome inequitable financial barriers and positively affect the pathway to employment and advancement within the food industry.
“Building a more inclusive future for Canada’s culinary industry requires investing in voices from underserved and underrepresented communities today, so they can be heard tomorrow,” said Damian Goulbourne, Dean, School of Hospitality, Tourism and Culinary Arts, Centennial College. “The Ben’s Original™ Seat at the Table™ Fund will help mitigate financial disadvantages and help a more diverse group of students take steps towards being Canada’s next food leaders.”
Ben’s Original™ Seat at the Table™ Fund awards will be available to culinary students at Vancouver Community College (BC), Humber College (ON), Centennial College (ON) and Institut de tourisme et d’hôtellerie du Québec (QC). The application process and criteria for the program will be released in 2022 and be administered directly through the schools. Interested applicants who would like to stay informed on future updates are encouraged to reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ensuring underserved communities have access to the nutritious meals we all deserve
In addition to the Seat at the Table™ Fund launch, the brand is also continuing to deliver on its commitment of ensuring underserved communities have access to nutritious meals. In Canada this year, the brand has donated more than $250,000 worth of food, including the first pallet of the new Ben’s Original™ product produced in Canada, to long-term local partner, Caledon Community Services, located in Bolton, Ontario where Ben’s Original™ rice is made.
These steps are in addition to Ben’s Original™ initiatives in other countries as well as commitments from Mars, Incorporated to continue to improve racial equity throughout its business, from increased representation in its workforce, leadership and talent pipeline, to better utilizing its spend, specifically among suppliers, to drive positive change.
The Canadian launch is supported by the first Ben’s Original™ global marketing campaign – “Everyone’s Original.” The first commercials from the new campaign, which are now airing nationally across Canada, feature a collection of six real families who gather around the table for their favourite meals featuring Ben’s Original™ jasmine rice. The families include a Black nuclear family, a pair of friends, three roommates, a single-parent family, a family that uses sign language and a multi-generational Pakistani family. The content shows the unique recipes, traditions and interactions that make each of the real families original.
For more information about Ben’s Original™ including images of the new packaging, visit: https://ca.bensoriginal.com/en-ca.
About Mars Food
Mars Food is a fast-growing dinnertime food business, making tastier, healthier, easier meals that bring the world to the dinner table. With North American headquarters in Chicago, Ill. and global headquarters in London, Mars Food US’s portfolio of leading brands includes BEN’S ORIGINAL™, SEEDS OF CHANGE™, and TASTY BITE®. Our purpose – Better Food Today. A Better World Tomorrow. – drives our business to be a leader in health & wellbeing and sustainability. Mars Food is a segment of Mars, Incorporated. For more information about the BEN’S ORIGINAL™ Brand and its purpose initiatives, visit https://www.mars.com/ or https://ca.bensoriginal.com/en-ca.