Raisins went mainstream thanks to the classic California Raisins television claymation commercial in the 1980's featuring I Heard it Through the Grapevine as its signature anthem.
Fast forward to 2012 and raisins are raising interest once again with the Sun-Maid Raisin Girl’s launch on Facebook to help celebrate the brand's 100th anniversary. That's her doing yoga on the beach, above — she's presumably a pro at the sunrise salutation, too.
"While the process of making raisins and dried fruits has remained relatively unchanged over the past century, information technology and international commerce continue to close the distance between the grapevine and consumer," stated Sun-Maid President Barry Kriebel.
Having launched as the face of Sun-Made three years after the co-operative's founding, the Sun-Maid Girl's Facebook bio reads:
Worldwide icon since 1915 and quintessential California girl, my healthy lifestyle (and daily dose of raisins!) keeps me seeking out new adventures in the 21st century. I'm an elementary school teacher by day, and when I'm not at school, you can usually catch me cooking up a storm in my kitchen, watching a movie, or trying out the latest fitness fads, though my all-time favorites are yoga, surfing, and hiking. I'll grab my suitcase and travel any chance I get, though I always love coming back home to the California sunshine.
In addition to modernizing its mascot with a new Facebook persona, the brand is releasing a free eBook, Sun-Maid Raisins & Dried Fruits: Serving American Families & the World Since 1912, by Dorling Kindersley, is available for free download and through iTunes.
"Everything you ever wanted to know about raisins and dried fruits is there," said creative director Anna Palecek. "And while the book celebrates their history, people will also be surprised to learn how these simple, nutritious and naturally delicious foods have adapted to the times and remained relevant in today's rapidly changing world... we can instantly connect with consumers around the world, giving them information and recipes in a matter of seconds."
Founded in 1912, Sun-Maid Growers of California is a farmers' cooperative owned by 750 family farmers whose vineyards comprise approximately 50,000 acres in California's Central Valley. Sun-Maid is the leading consumer brand of raisins and dried fruits in the United States and distributes products to more than 50 countries worldwide.
"Sun-Maid's vision is to successfully build on our legacy and use the best available technologies to serve the world for the next 100 years," stated Kriebel.