About Ben’s Original™ Rice History
The rich history and health benefits of rice and grains.
Like we have for more than 70 years, our simple tasty foods continue to serve as the cornerstone of many cultural favorites. We also ensure underserved communities have access to the nutritious meals we all deserve, create equal opportunities for people from underserved communities to pursue careers in the food industry and continue to bring people across cultures, generations and backgrounds together at the table to share meaningful meals.
BEN’S ORIGINAL™ the number one rice brand in the world, is proud to offer a wide range of rice dishes with flavors and textures that will help bring more to your meals, both for savory main courses and convenient side dishes.
BEN’S ORIGINAL™ products are manufactured by Mars Food, part of Mars, Incorporated.
Mars Sr. and Huzenlaub brought this new technology to the US and licensed the patents to Gordon L. Harwell in Houston (Texas), who later became a partner with Mars Sr.
Leveraging this new patented parboiling process the company began producing UNCLE BEN’S CONVERTED™ Rice at a new factory in Houston that changed the way people cooked and served rice–promising that rice "cooks up white and fluffy without steaming".
Later, the company began using photoelectric grading to guarantee that only the most superior rice made it into every box.
In six short years, the brand became the #1 packaged long grain rice in the United States. Today, it has the largest share among branded rice in the United States and it’s the #1 rice brand in the world.
Long Grain & Wild Rice Original Recipe was introduced.
We introduced a variety of new cultural flavors, including Curried and Spanish rice.
Another great year for rice lovers: Select Brown Rice joins the portfolio.
We open a state-of-the-art plant in beautiful Greenville, Mississippi.
The trend toward convenience takes an innovative turn when we introduce the Boil-In-Bag line.
As the trend toward healthier diets gained speed, we acquired the largest market share of branded rice in the United States. Health-conscious consumers realize what our ancestors have understood for thousands of years: Rice plays an important role in eating well.
For those who simply couldn’t wait to enjoy a meal with rice, we introduced READY RICE™ pouches, which microwave to perfection in just 90 seconds. This was a major innovation in making delicious rice easier and more convenient.
For those who were looking for healthier rice options at dinner, we introduced Boil-In-Bag Natural Whole Grain Brown Rice.
We introduced Ready Cups to help a fast-moving world eat better in less time. They cooked quickly and were great as side dishes, snacks and recipe ingredients. Varieties included Brown, White, Chicken and Vegetable.
We launched BEN’S BEGINNERS™, a program designed to encourage families to spend quality time cooking meals together. When kids learn how to cook, they develop healthier eating habits. The BEN’S BEGINNERS™ Cooking Contest drew more than 700 video submissions in its first year in the US and received heavy community support by way of votes. This showed the power of cooking together and how the brand brings families & communities together.
Basmati and Jasmine rice varieties made their debut. Our aromatic basmati rice brings a touch of India to dinner tables across America. And our jasmine rice lets families make the same type of rice that’s served in their favorite Southeast Asian restaurants.
We kicked off the second BEN’S BEGINNERS™ Cooking Contest in the US by setting a world record for the most parents and kids cooking together! Celebrity Chef Marcus Samuelsson joined families in New York City to make this a truly inspirational and exciting event.
We launched Flavored Grains, our flavored specialty rice & grains portfolio. These six tasty varieties included unique blends of grains, such as quinoa, couscous, orzo, basmati rice, whole-grain red rice & wild rice, combined with delicious flavors.
Our facility in Greenville, Mississippi became the first in the state to achieve Zero Waste to Landfill status! We are proud that all of our Mars, Incorporated manufacturing facilities around the world send zero waste to landfills, bringing us closer to achieving our Sustainable in a Generation (SiG) goal.
We’re also taking action to enhance inclusion and equity inspired by our new brand purpose to create opportunities that offer everyone a seat at the table.
This work began in the U.S. where we partnered with National Urban League and the United Negro College Fund to create the SEAT AT THE TABLE™ Fund scholarship to support aspiring Black students interested in careers in the food industry and we are expanding our efforts to support other underserved communities around the world.
In Greenville, Mississippi – where our brand has been produced in the U.S. for more than 40 years, we also announced a $2.5 million investment over 5 years in the local community to help address local needs in education and access to healthy foods.