Here in the U.S. it’s nearly Thanksgiving, my favorite holiday. I thought it would be interesting to explore some famous branded food items often seen around a typical American holiday table. Any guess as to which brand is the oldest? I’ll admit even I was surprised. Let’s have some fun!
Let’s talk turkey. Butterball turkey has been a U.S. registered trademark since 1962.
Everyone has their own version of stuffing – or some might call it dressing. For those of us who do not make it from scratch, Stove Top stuffing and Pepperidge Farm stuffing have been helping us stuff our turkeys since 1972 and 1937, respectively. The Pepperidge Farm logo below came on the scene in 1998 and has been associated with the brand ever since. The current Stove Top stylization was adopted in 1978.
How do you like your cranberries at Thanksgiving? Do you make them fresh or eat them out of a can? My mom loves jellied cranberry sauce, but my personal favorite is to make fresh, whole cranberry sauce. It’s so easy to make prepare and tastes great with leftovers. Either way, Ocean Spray has you covered. They have been a staple of Thanksgiving meals since 1921.
Does your family still make a green bean casserole? The one with the French-fried onions on top? In my family, we eat so much rich food on Thanksgiving, that we tend to make our vegetables very simple to help balance out the meal. Whatever you do, perhaps Birds Eye frozen vegetables are on your Thanksgiving table or in your casserole dish. They’ve been around since 1930.
Let’s not forget dessert. Pumpkin pie is one of my favorite desserts. I could eat it after every meal, year-round. Most of us don’t have the time to make a pie crust from scratch like our grandmothers did. For those of us who like convenience, Pillsbury makes a great ready-made pie crust. When you combine it with Libby’s canned pumpkin, you can make a great pie in no time flat. For me, I like my pie smothered in Reddi-wip whipped cream. One of these three dessert trademarks is the oldest Thanksgiving trademark on our list. Can you guess which one? I’ll put the dates below the logos so you can guess. Are you thinking about it?
Do you have a guess as to which one? Here are the dates: Reddi-wip has been in use since 1948 (the stylization above since 1949), Libby’s date of first use is 1894, and Pillsbury has a date of first use of 1873 (so it’s the oldest). The Pillsbury logo above came into use in 1975 when the Pillsbury Doughboy came on the scene. Even I was surprised by Reddi-wip’s age, I must admit.
I hope this fun exercise demonstrates how important it is to protect your brands, and how through proper use, brands and trademarks can become incredibly valuable assets to their companies.
I want to wish you and your families a very Happy Thanksgiving, and hope you’ve enjoyed this stroll through all the well-known brands that help make the food we eat so enjoyable at the holidays. Have a restful and relaxing Thanksgiving weekend!
Stacey C. Kalamaras is the founding partner of Kalamaras Law Office, LLC. She has extensive intellectual property experience with a particular focus on trademark prosecution and enforcement. She has protected some the world’s largest brands in more than 150 countries and specializes in helping small and medium sized businesses grow and protect their brands. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Stacey is also the founder and lead instructor of Trademarkabilities®, an online trademark academy for lawyers, whose mission it is to prepare lawyers to be confident and effective practitioners before the USPTO. To learn more, please visit https://www.trademarkabilities.com/.