A Lesson From The Valley

On a cool evening in 1903, Carson Cosgrove called 14 businessmen together in his brother’s harness shop. The subject of the discussion: a new company being created to sell canned vegetables.

Operating as the Minnesota Valley Canning Co., the group worked to cultivate the American palate. A modicum of success followed, and in the first year the group sold about 12,000 cases of yellow corn.

But attempts at expanding the product line proved difficult. Private label clients refused to carry their newly imported English Giant peas, and the company faltered.

Not being totally green to the ways of success, however, the company name was changed to Green Giant and they packaged their own peas. An illustration of a green giant gave them a viable corporate symbol and completed the transition.

Over a period of years the Giant went through several transformations. In his last incarnation, he appeared as he does today: a tall, smiling, likable sort of fellow wearing a green leafy suit.

In time, the “Jolly Green Giant” and his Lilliputian friend in Le Seuer, Minnesota, helped sales to mushroom, employing almost eight thousand people.

Ho! Ho! Ho!