Cream of Wheat executives are reviewing the brand’s packaging amid Black Lives Matter protests.
“We are initiating an immediate review of the Cream of Wheat brand packaging,” B&G Foods, which owns the brand, said in a statement.
“We understand there are concerns regarding the Chef image, and we are committed to evaluating our packaging and will proactively take steps to ensure that we and our brands do not inadvertently contribute to systemic racism.”
Boxes of Cream of What show a black chef. The man who served as the model for the smiling chef is believed to be Frank White, who died in 1938.
Jesse Lasorda, a family researcher, told the Lansing State Journal that White was born in 1867 in Barbados and went to the United States in 1875. He became a U.S. citizen 15 years later.
When White died Feb. 15, 1938, the Leslie Local-Republican described him as a “famous chef” who “posed for an advertisement of a well-known breakfast food.”
White lived in Leslie for about the last 20 years of his life, and the story of his posing for the Cream of Wheat picture was known in the city of 2,000 located between Jackson and Lansing and about 70 miles west of Detroit.
The chef was photographed in 1900 while working in a Chicago restaurant, according to the Jackson Citizen Patriot.
A number of brands said this week packaging was being reviewed or changed.
Colgate-Palmolive said in a statement it was reviewing Darlie, a Chinese toothpaste brand.