Saturday, August 13, 2011

How Rachel and Alison Help Make Up for Missing International Pickle Week.

Keeping an advertising blog while traveling is highlighted by happenstance. Today's post is powered by the appearance of a jar of Gedney State Fair Baby Baby Dills in our rooms here in New Prague. I had forgotten that Minnesota is so much of a “pickle state.” Wisconsin gets cranberries; the Land of 10,000 Lakes gets kosher dills.

Among many other varieties and circumstances. You can eat your way through the State Fair on pickles as Baking Junkie blogger Aimee demonstrates, “...a Pickle Dog. A pickle spear wrapped in cream cheese and pastrami. Absolutely fabulous and just like eating a giant pickle roll-up (another typically midwestern appetizer)”

International Pickle Week was last May, according to Minnesota Monthly writer Marie Flanagan, who also offered the classic Deep Fried Pickle Recipe...from Gedney. Which is why it's a pleasure to note that constant exploration and food purchasing by Rachel Baron and Alison Bond is such a great payoff for a marketing blogger like Signalwriter.

Not only didn't I remember the pretty darn famous Gedney Pickle Company from up here, but I didn't know that the...pickle giant...had been marketing a perfect peck of pickle products for this part of the world: its “State Fair” line-up.

Briefly, the first Gedney pickle factory opened in Minneapolis in 1881. A hundred or so years later, as a Minnesota State Fair sponsor, the company began packing and marketing top-prize-winning pickle recipes from ribbon winners there in 1991 with the Kosher Dills of Genevieve Spano and the Bread & Butter Pickles from Nita Schemmel. (The present jar of Baby Baby Dills is a prize-winner from Kathy Earnest, Lindstrom, MN.) And the locally famous jingle, “Get me a Gedney, it's the Minnesota pickle,” created by freelancer Sandy Buckholtz, grabbed hold up here.

Gedney has grown far beyond selling pickles from the back of horse-drawn wagons – it expanded by buying brands like Cain's to capture New England; and produces pickles for both Del Monte and Target's Archer Farms brand lines. Most important: Gedney's State Fair line maintains a resolute local focus, the “pickles here” of grocery marketing and promotion. For a company like this, thinking local continues to pay off, whether local equals Massachusetts or Minnesota.

Travel broadens one's view of advertising and promotion, alongside regional foods and events. Good to pick up a little fresh knowledge (and some pickles) while on the road. We'll be trying out these at the Slavik family reunion. Maybe I can tell you how Kathy's recipe has turned out.

PS: You betcha – that's Kathy right there on the label.


Rachel said...

Yet another insightful post from you, Richard. I had no idea Minnesota was such the pickle mecca (or should that be "mecka?") -- might have to pop in for a visit sometime.

Safe travels,

Richard Laurence Baron said...

Thanks so much, Rachel. We've had plenty of "local" this trip, Minnesota ring bologna to Wisconsin root beer. It is primarily make-a-little-sell-a-little, but strong local brands can be both fun and educational. The State Fair connection here, for example, is pretty intimate. Best for Sunday...