Logo of Madison Vlasic Pickles.
|Owner||Pinnacle Foods, Bain & Company|
Franjo Vlasic emigrated from today's Bosnia (Livno) in 1912 and started a small creamery with savings from his factory job. His son Joseph acquired a milk route in 1922, which eventually grew into the state's largest dairy distributor. In 1937, Vlasic was approached to distribute a home-style pickle, later marketing their fresh-packed pickle in glass jars. The business rapidly expanded in the post-war years, corresponding with growth in per capita pickle consumption.
A child-bearing stork was introduced as a mascot in 1974, merging the stork baby mythology with the notion that pregnant women have an above average appetite for pickles. Vlasic marketed themselves as "the pickle pregnant women crave...after all, who's a better pickle expert?" The modern Vlasic Pickle Stork speaks in a style reminiscent of Groucho Marx, holds a pickle like a cigar, and is voiced by Doug Preis.
On April 13, 1999, the company introduced the Vlasic Hamburger Stackers, made from naturally grown but specially cultivated cucumbers 40 cm (16") long and over 8 cm (3") in diameter, which enabled a single pickle chip to cover an entire hamburger.
Today, Vlasic is owned by Pinnacle Foods since its name change in 2001. The Vlasic stork was shown in "Icons," a MasterCard commercial from 2005 where many famous advertising icons from food and cleaning equipment are shown having dinner together.
Contrary to popular belief the Vlasic family had no connection whatsoever with Poland. They are consistently listed in US censuses as coming from Yugoslavia. The surname Vlasic is Croatian. Franjo's father Joseph was born in Livno, Bosnia and his mother Iva Badrov was the daughter of Josip and Anica Vodopija. Although the company's website states that the family ethnicity is Polish
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- Vlasic's Holders Clear Concern's Acquisition By Campbell Soup Co.
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- Vlasic Unveils World's Largest Pickle
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- MasterCard website
- Made in Michigan: Vlasic WJRT-TV, April 24, 2013
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