Cream of Wheat will remove the Black chef that has appeared on its packaging since 1893, the brand’s parent company announced three months after launching a review on the packaging. 

The parent company of Cream of Wheat, B&G Foods, confirmed to The Hill on Monday that the packaging will change.

"For years, the image of an African-American chef appeared on our Cream of Wheat packaging. 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," the company said in a statement. "Therefore, we are removing the chef image from all Cream of Wheat packaging.”

ADVERTISEMENT

The announcement comes after B&G Foods declared in June it would review its packaging to ensure “our brands do not inadvertently contribute to systemic racism.” 

It was not immediately clear when the Cream of Wheat adjustments to the packaging would be made, The New York Times noted

The company follows several other brands that announced changes to their names or imagery after George Floyd’s death in Minneapolis police custody sparked Black Lives Matter protests and pushed companies to confront controversial branding. 

In June, Quaker Oats announced it would no longer use the Aunt Jemima name and character for pancake mix and syrup. Conagra Brands Inc., which makes Mrs. Butterworth’s pancake syrup, also said it would review its products, and the creator of Eskimo Pie said its “derogatory” name would be retired

Ben’s Original, which sells rice products, changed its name from Uncle Ben’s and will remove its logo, Mars Food announced last week. 

B&G Foods also said it would start a drive to recognize “the importance of diversity and inclusion in the culinary community” and support and aid African American and Latino candidates at leading culinary schools, including through scholarships. 

The character on the Cream of Wheat packaging was originally named “Rastus,” a pejorative term for Black men, and was portrayed as a slightly literate cook. The picture changed in the mid-1920s after a Chicago waiter posed in a chef hat and was given $5 and none of the royalties, Gregory Smithers, a professor of history at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, told the Times.