Quaker Oats Company
Quaker Oats Company logo designed by Saul Bass in 1969. This logo is still used corporately.
|Founded||1877Quaker Mill Company)
Ravenna, Ohio, U.S.
|Founder||Henry Parsons Crowell|
|Headquarters||Chicago, Illinois, U.S.|
|John Compton (CEO)|
- 1 History
- 2 The Quaker man logo versus Quakers
- 3 Informed consent controversy, research on children
- 4 US brands
- 5 UK brands
- 6 References
- 7 External links
Quaker Oats was founded in 1901 by the merger of four oat mills:
- The Quaker Mill Company of Ravenna, Ohio (founded 1877), which held the trademark on the Quaker name and was acquired in 1901 by Henry Parsons Crowell, who also bought the bankrupt Quaker Oat Mill Company, also in Ravenna. He held the key positions of general manager, president and chairman of the company from 1888 until late 1943. He was called the cereal tycoon. He donated more than 70% of his wealth to the Crowell Trust.
- A cereal mill in Cedar Rapids, Iowa owned by John Stuart, his son Robert Stuart, and their partner George Douglas;
- The German Mills American Oatmeal Company, owned by "The Oatmeal King", Ferdinand Schumacher of Akron, Ohio;
- The Rob Lewis & Co. American Oats and Barley Oatmeal Corporation. Formally known as "Good For Breakfast" instant oatmeal mix.
The company expanded into numerous areas, including other breakfast cereals and other food and drink products, and even into unrelated fields such as toys.
In 1968, a plant was built in Danville, Illinois. This plant currently makes Aunt Jemima pancake mixes, Oat Squares, Life Cereals Quaker Oh's, Bumpers, Quisp, King Vitamin Natural Granola Cereals, and Chewy granola bars, as well as Puffed Rice for use as an ingredient for other products in other plants.
In 1969, Quaker acquired Fisher-Price, a toy company and spun it off in 1991.
In the 1970s, the company financed the making of the film Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory, obtaining in return a license to use a number of the product names mentioned in the movie for candy bars.
In 1982 Quaker Oats formed US Games, a company that created games for the Atari 2600. It went out of business after one year. That same year, Quaker Oats acquired Florida-based orange juice plant Ardmore Farms, which it would own until selling it to Country Pure Foods in 1998.
Quaker bought Snapple for $1.7 billion in 1994 and sold it to Triarc in 1997 for $300 million. Triarc sold it to Cadbury Schweppes for $1.45 billion in September 2000. It was spun off in May 2008 to its current owners, Dr Pepper Snapple Group.
In 1996, Quaker spun off its frozen food business, selling it to Aurora Foods (which was bought by Pinnacle Foods in 2004).
In August 2001, Quaker was bought out by Pepsico because Pepsi wanted to add Gatorade to its arsenal of beverages and thus break into the isotonic sports beverage market. The merger created the fourth-largest consumer goods company in the world. Though the main prize for PepsiCo was Gatorade noncarbonated sports drink, Quaker's cereal and snack food division serves as a seemingly healthier complement to the existing Frito-Lay division of salty snacks.
Since the late 1980s, actor Wilford Brimley has appeared in television commercials extolling the virtues of oat consumption, typically to a young child, as to introduce the concept of oatmeal consumption as a long tradition.
The major Canadian production facility for Quaker Oats is located in Peterborough, Ontario. The factory was first established as the American Cereal Company in 1902 on the shores of the Otonabee River during that city's period of industrialization. On 11 December 1916, the factory all but completely burned to the ground. When the smoke had settled, 23 people had died and Quaker was left with $2,000,000 in damages. Quaker went on to rebuild the facility incorporating the few areas of the structure that were not destroyed by fire. When PepsiCo purchased Quaker Oats in 2001, many brands were consolidated from facilities around Canada to the Peterborough location—which assumed the new QTG moniker (Quaker Tropicana Gatorade). Local production includes Quaker Oatmeal, Quaker Chewy bars, Cap'n Crunch cereal, Aunt Jemima instant pancake mixes and pancake syrups, Quaker Oat Bran and Corn Bran cereals, Gatorade sportdrinks and the Propel fitness water sub-brand, Tropicana juices, and various Frito-Lay snack products. Products are easily identified by the manufactured by address on the packaging. The Peterborough facility exports to the majority of Canada and limited portions of the United States. The Quaker plant sells cereal production byproducts to companies that use them to create fire logs, pellets and janks.
Land giveaways in cereal boxes
Starting in 1902, the company's oatmeal boxes came with a coupon redeemable for the legal deed to a tiny lot in Milford, Connecticut. The lots, sometimes as small as 10 feet by 10 feet, were carved out of a 15-acre, never-built subdivision called "Liberty Park". A small number of children (or their parents), often residents living near Milford, redeemed their coupons for the free deeds and started paying the extremely small property taxes on the "oatmeal lots". The developer of the prospective subdivision hoped the landowners would hire him to build homes on the lots, although several tracts would need to be combined before building could start. The legal deeds created a large amount of paperwork for town tax collectors, who frequently couldn't find the property owners and received almost no tax revenue from them. In the mid-1970s, the town put an end to the oatmeal lots with a "general foreclosure" condemning nearly all of the property, which is now part of a BiC Corporation plant.
In 1955, Quaker Oats again gave away land as part of a promotion, this one tied to the Sergeant Preston of the Yukon television show in the United States. The company offered in its Puffed Wheat and Puffed Rice cereal boxes genuine deeds to land in the Klondike.
The Quaker man logo versus Quakers
Today, the company states that "The 'Quaker man' does not represent an actual person. His image is that of a man dressed in Quaker garb, chosen because the Quaker faith projected the values of honesty, integrity, purity and strength." However, early Quaker Oats advertising dating back to 1909 did, indeed, identify the "Quaker man" as William Penn, the 17th-century philosopher and early Quaker, and referred to him as "standard bearer of the Quakers and of Quaker Oats." Resembling classic woodcuts of Penn's likeness, starting in 1877 the figure was depicted full-length, sometimes holding a scroll with the word "Pure" written across it.
In 1946, graphic designer Jim Nash created a black-and-white head-and-shoulders portrait of the smiling Quaker Man, and Haddon Sundblom's now-familiar color head-and-shoulders portrait (using fellow Coca-Cola artist Harold W. McCauley as the model) debuted in 1957. The monochromatic 1969 Quaker Oats Company logo, modeled after the Sundblom illustration, was created by Saul Bass, a graphic designer known for his motion picture title sequences and corporate logos. In 2012, the company enlisted the firm of Hornall Anderson to give the 'Quaker man' a slimmer, somewhat younger look. The man is now sometimes referred to as "Larry" by insiders at Quaker Oats. And in 1965, a new advertising slogan was introduced: "Nothing is better for thee, than me". The company has never had any ties with the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers). When the company was being built up, Quaker businessmen were known for their honesty (truth is often considered a Quaker testimony). The Straight Dope writes "According to the good folks at Quaker Oats, the Quaker Man was America's first registered trademark for a breakfast cereal, his registration taking place on September 4th, 1877." 
Members of the Religious Society of Friends have occasionally expressed frustration at being confused with the Quaker Oats representation. In recent years, Friends have twice protested the Quaker name being used for advertising campaigns seen as promoting violence. In 1990, some Quakers started a letter-writing campaign after a Quaker Oats advertisement depicted Popeye as a "Quakerman" who used violence against aliens, sharks, and Bluto. Later that decade, more letters were sparked by Power Ranger toys included in Cap'n Crunch cereal.
Informed consent controversy, research on children
In the 1950s, researchers from Quaker Oats Company, MIT and Harvard University carried out experiments at the Walter E. Fernald State School to determine how the minerals from cereals were metabolized. Parents of mentally challenged children were asked for permission to let their children be members of a Science Club and participate in research. Being a member of the Science Club gave the children special privileges. The parents were told that the children would be fed with a diet high in nutrients. However, they were not told (and the consent form contained no information indicating) that the food their children were fed contained radioactive calcium and iron. The information obtained from the experiments was to be used as part of an advertising campaign. The company was later sued because of the experiments. The lawsuit was settled on 31 December 1997.
Trans fat content and litigation
In 2010, two California consumers filed a class action lawsuit against the Quaker Oats Company. Plaintiffs allege that Quaker marketed its products as healthy even though they contained unhealthy trans fat. Specifically, Quaker's Chewy Granola Bars, Instant Oatmeal, and Oatmeal to Go Bars contained trans fat, yet their packaging featured claims like "heart healthy," "wholesome," and "smart choices made easy."
In 2014, Quaker agreed to remove trans fats from its products at a cost of $1.4 million, although they deny false or misleading labelling.
As of 2005[update], these are the product brands marketed under the Quaker Oats name in the US:
- Cap'n Crunch
- Life cereal
- Mother's Natural Foods
- Quaker 100% Natural Granola
- Kretschmer Wheat Germ
- Mr. T Cereal
- Muffets ("The round shredded wheat")
- Quaker Oatmeal Squares
- Quaker Toasted Oatmeal
- Quaker Oh's
- Quaker Corn Bran
- Quaker Oat Bran
- Quaker Puffed Rice
- Quaker Puffed Wheat
- Quaker Oatmeal with Dinosaur Eggs
- Graham Bumpers
- Coco Bumpers
- King Vitaman
Other breakfast foods
- Quaker Oatmeal
- Quaker Oatmeal To Go (re-branded from Breakfast Squares in 2006)
- Quaker Grits
- Aunt Jemima Syrups and Mixes (Aunt Jemima frozen breakfast foods is owned by Pinnacle Foods, who use the Aunt Jemima trademark under license from Quaker Oats Company)
- Quaker Breakfast Cookies
- Quaker Instant Oatmeal
- Quaker Crispy Minis (Rice Chips and Rice Cakes) (known as Snack-a-Jacks in the UK)
- Quakes Rice Snacks
- Quaker Soy Crisps
- Quaker Snack Bars
- Chewy Granola Bars
- Quaker Mini Delights
- Yogurt bars
- Greek Yogurt
- Quaker Tortilla Mix
- Pasta Roni
- Near East
- Milk Chillers
- Tropicana fruit Juices
- Sunbolt (defunct)
- Moneng Refreshing Drinks
- Moneng Oat Power (Isotonic Drink)
- Quaker Oats
- Oatso Simple (various flavours)
- Scott's Porage Oats
- Scott's So Easy
(the Scott's brand, previously a rival, is now also owned by Quaker)
Ready to eat cereal
- Harvest Crunch
- Oat Bars (Original with golden syrup or Mixed berry flavors)
- Snackajacks bags
- Snackajacks Jumbos
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- Adams, Janky. "The Strait Dope Mailbag - Is the guy on the Quaker Oats Box John Penn?". Retrieved 15 August 2007.
- Washington, Booker T. "Cereal Tycoon: The Biography of Henry Parsons Crowell: Joe Musser: Books". Amazon.com. Retrieved 18 January 2012.
- Generous Giving: Store Archived 12 September 2007 at the Wayback Machine.
- "The Crowell Trust". The Crowell Trust. Retrieved 18 January 2012.
- Quaker Oatmeal -Our History Archived 17 June 2008 at the Wayback Machine.
- The Legacy of Henry Parsons Crowell, Founder of Quaker Oats - Christian Business Daily
- "Cereal Tycoon: The Biography of Henry Parsons Crowell: Joe Musser". Amazon.com.
"Streaming Video (Stories & Testimonies: Givers) Any Man: The Story of Henry Parsons Crowell".
- "The Quaker Oats Company - Company History". Fundinguniverse.com. Retrieved 18 January 2012.
- "Quaker Oats Sells Snapple At A $1". Morevalue.com. 28 March 1997. Retrieved 18 January 2012.
- Brian Graney (18 September 2000). "Triarc Sells Snapple to Cadbury Schweppes [Breakfast With the Fool] September 18, 2000". Fool.com. Retrieved 18 January 2012.
- "American Cereal Company". Ohio Historical Society.
- Juliano, Frank, "Oatmeal lots gave officials indigestion", pp 1, A12, 3 October 2010, Connecticut Post
- "Quaker Oats Company Web Site - Quaker FAQ". Retrieved 22 January 2009.
- "If it walks like William Penn, talks like William Penn and looks like William Penn . . .". 18 March 2013. Retrieved 3 January 2015.
- Quaker Oats box label, circa 1920s
- "The Quaker Oats Guy Gets a Slimmer New Look". Time. 31 March 2012. Retrieved 3 January 2015.
- Website showing six versions of Quaker Oats' logo
- Nassauer, Sarah (29 March 2012). "'Larry,' Quaker of Oatmeal Fame, Gets a Makeover". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 1 April 2012.
- Adams, Cecil. "The Strait Dope Mailbag - Is the guy on the Quaker Oats Box John Penn?". Retrieved 15 August 2007.
- Mendoza, A.J. "Beyond the Oatmeal Box".
- Satterthwaite, Taylor Mary. "Quaker Problems".
- "Tough on Quaker Oats", Friends Journal, p. 37, May 1990
- Deming, Victor (June 1995), "Mightier than a Megazord", Friends Journal, p. 2
- "Chapter 7: The Studies at Fernald School". ACHRE Report. Retrieved February 7, 2016.
It is clear that the doses involved were low and that it is extremely unlikely that any of the children who were used as subjects were harmed as a consequence.
- "MIT and Quaker settle cereal suit". Sun Journal. 1 January 1998. Retrieved 3 January 2014.
- Hussain, Zareena (7 January 1998). "MIT to pay $1.85 million in Fernald radiation settlement". The Tech. 11 (65). Retrieved 9 June 2009.
- "Complaint against Quaker Oats" (PDF). PacerMonitor. PacerMonitor. Retrieved 22 June 2016.
- "First Amended Complaint for Violations of the UCL, FAL, and CLRA", 19 August 2011
- "Quaker Oats Class Action Lawsuit"
- Dariush Mozaffarian et al, "Trans Fatty Acids and Cardiovascular Disease", New England Journal of Medicine, 2006.
- Frank B. Hu et al, "Diet, Lifestyle, and the Risk of Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus in Women", New England Journal of Medicine, September 2001.
- Veronique Chajes et al, "Association between serum trans-monounsaturated fatty acids and breast cancer risk in the E3N-EPIC Study", Am J Epidemiology, 2008 June.
- "Quaker settles trans fat labelling suit"
- Quaker: UK Trade Site. Quaker. Archived from the original on 15 November 2006. Retrieved 29 June 2009.
- D'Antonio, Michael. The State Boys Rebellion. New York: Simon & Schuster, 2004.