America’s Favorite Pickle is Made in Michigan’s Thumb
OK, technically Vlasic Pickles, located in Imlay City, is at the extreme southern portion of the Thumb. Area growers supply cucumbers for America’s #1 pickle and scores of workers work at the plant and distribution.
In 1974 the pickle company had a bit of marketing genius with the introduction of the stork mascot. This baby-delivering stork is linked to the old story that pregnant women have an appetite for pickles. Vlasic marketed themselves as; “the pickle pregnant women crave…after all, who’s a better pickle expert?” The spekticled bird had a voice like Groucho Marx and held the pickle like a cigar, taking a bite and uttering the punch line, “Now that’s the best tasting pickle I ever heard!”
Madison Avenue loved the Vlasic spokesbird and added the stork to the Madison Avenue Advertising Walk of Fame. The iconic stork is now alongside other mascots like the Pillsbury Doughboy and Mr. Peanut. In the days of social media, the iconic stork took on the name of Jovny and can be found on YouTube.
Frank Vlasic moved to America in 1912. Just after World War II Frank’s son grandson Bob built its first plant in Imlay City, Michigan. Over the next 20 years, the family grew Vlasic into America’s number one pickle.