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FLEXO Magazine : April 2009
PLANTS & PROCESSES Peak of Packaging Perfection Green Giant Carries Consistent Message Across 80 Years, 130+ SKUs, Multiple Print Processes By Christian R. Bonawandt most of the 20th century. He is a protector, a symbol, and even a spokesman despite his limited vocabulary (with arguably the second-most famous “Ho, ho, ho!” in the world). Recently, the Green Giant was the subject of some discussion. Down at the Minneapolis,MN, headquarters of General Mills, which owns such names as Cheerios, Pillsbury, Betty Crocker and many others, there was talk of revamping the look of the brand. That’s exactly what happened, across the then 126 SKUs that bear his likeness. The story of the major endeavor is one of consis- tency: in terms of message, image and printing. H 1979 Green Giant Co. merges with The Pillsbury Co. 1999 General Mills adopts FIRST guidelines for its packaging. 2001 General Mills acquires Green Giant and Pillsbury. e’s in great shape for a man more than 80 years old. Of course, he’s no ordinary man—he’s the Green Giant. This iconic colossus has been synonymous with vegetables for GROWING UP GREEN The Green Giant’s roots go back to 1903, according to Neil Cowan, brand design manager, Meals division, with the founding of the Minnesota Valley Canning Co. “It was based in Le Sueur, which is about one hour southwest ofMinneapolis. The rich soil of the Minnesota valley was ideally suited to the growing of sweet corn and peas, and the company specialized in these two veg- etables for the fi rst 30 years. In 1925, the owners started packing a larger variety of pea, with a fl avor, sweetness, and tenderness that other peas couldn’t match. Private label customers refused to stock the big newcom- ers, so the Minnesota Valley Canning Co. decided to market them under its own label and have some fun bragging about the size. 2008 FTA honors General Mills’ Brand Design Prepress Organization with the President’s Award for its application and endorsement of FIRST. 2008-2009 General Mills redesigns its Green Giant packaging across the entire brand line. ? www. f le xography. org APRIL 2009 FLEXO 41