A lot has changed in 90 years, but the Gerber baby logo hasn’t changed all that much. That alone is reason to respect the return of the first logo of the happy baby on new packaging that the baby food brand came up with for its anniversary, refreshing its logo to re-embrace the original sketch that was the cornerstone of the brand.
In 1927, Dorothy Gerber was inspired to make baby food, unwittingly creating what would become the global Gerber brand that today graces a life insurance provider and a baby apparel brand in addition to the iconic baby food company.
Unlike other iconic person-based logos, such as Aunt Jemima and the Brawny Man, that have been substantially changed and stylized over the decades for various reasons, the original sketch of “Gerber baby” Ann Turner Cook—who also recently celebrated her 90th birthday—didn’t undergo drastic changes. That’s because it did a great job of communicating to mothers traversing the grocery store aisles that eating Gerber products would make their babies as happy as the one on the logo.
“We brought back the (original) black and white sketch,” Gerber Chief Marketing Officer Aileen Stocks explained to MLive. “It’s not the word [Gerber] that [consumers are] looking at; it’s the healthy, happy baby.” (Read more in our interview with Aileen.)
Now owned by Nestlé, Gerber is celebrating the 90th birthday of its baby by using a version of the logo that celebrates the original, as well as a packaging update. Both could help Gerber compete in a baby-food market in which it still holds a dominant position—but where traditional rivals and better-for-you startups have gobbled up considerable share over the last ten years especially.
Company officials also trekked from Gerber’s New Jersey headquarters to the brand’s traditional and original home in Fremont, Michigan, for the National Baby Food Festival, a community celebration it sponsors featuring various contests. Gerber still employs about 1,000 people in the western Michigan city, where it retains a production plant, a call center and an R&D complex.
The anniversary fete was “a celebration of all the Gerber babies we’ve nourished in the past,” Stocks said. “It’s also a look forward. We’re celebrating what we hope will be the next 90 years.”