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This Beloved Breakfast Food Is Changing Its Iconic Packaging

Parent company B&G announced it was looking at changing it in June.

Boxes of Cream of Wheat hot cereal are about to look a little different after a recent announcement. Back in June, the brand's parent company, B&G Foods said they were going to look into changing the image on the front of the box after calls to analyze racial stereotypes in food were made. The packaging currently features a Black man wearing a chef's hat and coat holding a steaming bowl of Cream of Wheat.

The man's name reportedly is Rastus, which is a derogatory name for a Black man. The character is said to be a former slave who could barely speak English, CNN says.

The new packaging will make its way onto grocery store shelves by early 2021, according to Reuters. The company acknowledged that while the picture has a historical aspect, it is time for it to change. (At least this grocery item is in stock — here are 8 Grocery Items That May Soon Be in Short Supply.)

"For years, the image of an African-American chef appeared on our Cream of Wheat packaging," B&G Foods says in a statement. "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. Therefore, we are removing the chef image from all Cream of Wheat packaging."

The image has been on the front of the box for over 120 years. However, it used to take up a lot more room and the chef hasn't been used in any advertisements in a while, according to Food Dive.

Other companies have announced similar changes to their grocery products. Aunt Jemima, Mrs. Butterworth's, and Uncle Ben's are all set to remove the racial stereotypes from their branding, as well. In fact, Uncle Ben's is now simply Ben's instead.

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Amanda McDonald
Amanda has a master's degree in journalism from Northwestern University and a bachelor's degree in digital journalism from Loyola University Chicago. Read more about Amanda
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