UNCLE BEN'S STORY
The makers of Uncle Ben's® have a long, rich history of producing premium quality rice. It all began with the development of the original Converted® brand rice by Eric Huzenand and Gordon Harwell. But it wasn’t until 1942, when Forrest E. Mars formed a partnership with the duo, that the pilot plant to produce Converted® brand rice launched. This plant exclusively supplied its high quality rice to the Armed Forces during World War II. In 1945, at the end of WWII, Mars & Huzenlaud opened the Houston rice mill.
Now, you’re probably curious how the name Uncle Ben's came to pass. That’s a bit of a story. In the late 1940's, Gordon Harwell, the first president of Converted Rice, Inc. (the predecessor of Uncle Ben's, Inc.) and his partner were having dinner in their favourite Chicago restaurant. As they were discussing marketing strategy, to bring their high quality rice to new customers, the connection to Uncle Ben's® quality arose in conversation. Uncle Ben was an African American Texan rice farmer known far and wide for producing high-quality premium rice.
Right there and then, they christened their product Uncle Ben's® Converted® Brand Rice. Although the original Uncle Ben had since passed away, both men wanted to recognize him as the symbol of their quality rice products. Today Uncle Ben's® rice is sold in over 100 countries.