The company was incorporated in 1977 and is based in Greenville, the Mississippi. It has operations in Canada, Germany, and the United Kingdom. Uncle Bens operates as a subsidiary of Mars, Incorporated.
Uncle Ben’s is a brand name for parboiled rice and other related food products. The brand was introduced by Converted Rice which was later bought by Mars It is based in Houston, Texas. Uncle Ben’s rice was first marketed in 1943 and was the top-selling rice in the United States from 1950 until the 1990s.
In the 1910s, the German-British scientist and chemist Erich Huzenlaub (1888–1964) and the British scientist and chemist Francis Heron Rogers invented a form of parboiling designed to retain more of the nutrients in rice, now known as the Huzenlaub Process. The process entailed vacuum drying the whole grain, then steaming, and finally vacuum drying and husking. Besides increasing rice’s nutritional value, it also made it resistant to weevils and reduced cooking time.
In 1932, Forrest Mars, Sr., moved to the United Kingdom with the goal of growing the Mars food company internationally. While in the United Kingdom, Mars learned of Erich Huzenlaub’s work with rice. Huzenlaub’s London based company was Rice Conversion, Ltd. The two eventually formed Mars and Huzenlaub in Houston, Texas, which gave Forrest Mars partial ownership of the Huzenlaub Process rice conversion patent. In 1942, through Mars’s guidance and sponsorship, Huzenlaub created, together with Houston food broker Gordon L. Harwell, the company Converted Rice, Inc., which sold its entire output to the U.S. and British Armed Forces. The advantage of this product was that it could be air-dropped to troops in the field without risk of weevil infestation, and it could be cooked more quickly than other rice products. Additionally, the converted rice product would retain more nutritional value. In 1944, with additional financing from the Defense Plant Corporation and an investment by Forrest Mars, it built a second large plant. In 1959, Forrest Mars purchased Erich Huzenlaub’s interest in the company and merged it into his Food Manufacturers.