As someone with special dietary needs, Uncle Bens Instant Long Grain Rice has been a staple of my diet for years - until now. Last month I discovered it was out of stock at my nearest grocery store and they were "having a problem getting more in stock". Attempts to find it at other grocery stores in the province were to no avail. I finally called Uncle Bens consumer affairs hotline, were I was informed that their instant rice (as well as Long Grain Perfection, which I also bought) had been discontinued. I asked why this was so, and was given what sounded like a scripted answer basically saying that "Our customers wanted a healthier alternative". I also asked why these products were still on their website, and was told the site would "soon be updated".
That was a month ago, their site hasn't changed nor can I find this instant rice anywhere in stores. I ordered the last box of it from Walmart's online grocery shopping, but that was the last I could find of it. I believe their Instant Brown Rice has also been discontinued as it too has disappeared.
There are two things about this that have me puzzled: why Uncle Bens would discontinue one of their best-selling and oldest products (if it's sold out across the country, it MUST have been popular), and why they did not announce it nor inform any of their retailers, most of which still have empty slots on their shelves waiting for new stock which will apparently never arrive. I suspect there's something more to this but I can't figure out what - can anyone shed some light on this?
I strongly encourage all who are affected by this product change to write to Uncle Bens via the comment form on their site, and politely express their frustration at no longer being able to buy these products.
There are lots of other brands of instant rice out there, but Uncle Bens was always the best - hopefully there will be enough outcry over this to make them come to their senses.
I should also note that the Long Grain Perfection Rice has been replaced with a very similar product, the cooking time has been shortened from 10 minutes to 8 but in my opinion it is not as good as its predecessor.