Rapper and former basketball player Master P wants to increase diversity in the packaged food space, so he launched his own Black-owned brand.
Over the spring, there was an uproar after food brands Aunt Jemima and Uncle Ben's announced they would be rebranding in order to remove "racial stereotypes" from their packaging. While consumers await the revised branding on these products, rapper and former basketball player popularly known as Master P has introduced a new Black-owned brand to replace your Aunt Jemima and Uncle Ben's products, CNN reports. He announced the launch of the brand, Uncle P's, via Instagram. The brand is from the PJ Foods Company, Master P and his partner James Lindsey's brainchild. He said he hopes this would open the door for other Black-owned brands to come forward.
"My partner and I, James Lindsey, created PJ Foods Company to give the world a taste of Louisiana’s authentically seasoned white rice, yellow rice, brown rice, dirty rice, and red beans and rice, while adding diversity in the packaged food shelving space," he announced on Instagram. "We are opening the doors for other Black-owned companies to produce their own products and brands to change the narrative." In an interview with CNN, he shared that he always thought brands like Aunt Jemima and Uncle Ben's were Black-owned. When he realized that they were indeed not, the rapper wanted to do something about it.
Master P explained, "When you look at Aunt Jemima and Uncle Ben, a lot of those products are mockeries of African-American people and couldn't even feed our communities. With Uncle P, the more we make, the more we give. And the only way to give is by owning these products." A portion of the profits made from the sales of Uncle P's products will be donated towards educating inner-city children in addition to assisting elderly people in Black communities across the United States. Further to this, the brand aims to create more career opportunities with upward mobility for Black people. In the future, Master P wants to develop real estate in Black neighborhoods through a portion of the profits as well.
"Right now we're burning down our blocks and our communities while protesting injustice, but if we are able to own products and put money back in our community, we could buy those blocks back instead of burning them down," he stated. "If they made billions of dollars off Aunt Jemima and Uncle Ben, imagine how much we'll make to give back to our own community. It'll be us helping us without having to wait for the government. We can actually change the world." Master P truly believes in his cause. As a self-made millionaire who created his music and business empire using a relatively small $10,000 malpractice settlement he received following his grandfather's death, there is merit in his business vision.
Uncle P's was launched in March, but not too many consumers took notice until the resurgence of the Black Lives Matter movement later in the summer. As more and more brands began retiring their controversial packaging, Master P's products gained more recognition. Now, their products are trying to keep up with demand from major stores. "I'm grateful that I'm in a position to add some diversity in packaged foods," the founder said. "It's not just about having the Uncle P products, but also having a good cause behind it. I'm happy that I can make a difference in my communities." You can purchase Uncle P's products at grocery stores across the country.