Cream of Wheat removing Black chef from packaging

Cream of Wheat removing Black chef from product packaging

Officials plan to remove the Black chef who has appeared for more than a century on Cream of Wheat packaging, company officials said last week.

“While research indicates the image may be based upon an actual Chicago chef named Frank White, it reminds some consumers of earlier depictions they find offensive,” B&G Foods Inc. officials said Thursday in a statement obtained by USA Today. “Therefore, we are removing the chef image from all Cream of Wheat packaging.”

The character depicted on Cream of Wheat packaging debuted in the late 19th century, according to The New York Times. Named “Rastus,” a derogatory term for Black men, the Times reported he “was once depicted as a barely literate cook who did not know what vitamins were.”

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Officials told Forbes new packaging is expected to roll out for the porridge brand beginning in the first quarter of 2021.

The decision comes three months after B&G Foods announced a review of the brand’s packaging in light of nationwide protests over racial injustice and police brutality.

Other brands have announced similar reviews and measures, including Mars Inc., which announced it is changing the name of its Uncle Ben’s brand of rice, and Quaker Oats, which announced it will do away with the image on its Aunt Jemima syrup.