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THE GERBER BABY

GERBER-BABY
Gerber Products Company is a purveyor of baby food and baby products. A former American-owned company, Gerber is now a subsidiary of Nestlé, and is currently located in Fremont, Michigan, USA.

The company was founded in 1927 in Fremont, Michigan, by DANIEL FRANK GERBER, owner of the Fremont Canning Company, which produced canned fruit and vegetables. At the suggestion of a pediatrician, Gerber's wife DOROTHY GERBER began making hand-strained food for their seven-month-old daughter, SALLY. Recognizing a business opportunity, Gerber began making baby food. By 1928, he had developed five products for the market: strained peas, prunes, carrots and spinach, and beef vegetable soup. Six months later, Gerber's baby foods were distributed nationwide.

The brand eventually became a major company in the baby food industry; it offers more than 190 products in 80 countries, with labeling in 16 languages. The main competitors are Beech-Nut and Del Monte Foods, but Gerber controls 83 percent of the baby food market in the United States.

According to Gerber, ANN TURNER COOK (pictured) is the famous GERBER BABY, whose portrait is featured prominently on all Gerber product packaging. Cook is now a retired teacher and mystery writer. She was depicted in a charcoal sketch by neighbor DOROTHY HOPE SMITH. Smith submitted the sketch as an entry for the company's logo contest.

A few interim Gerber babies were selected to appear on Gerber products in the mid '70s including babies known only as Hogg and Murray.

Numerous urban legends have incorrectly identified the Gerber baby. Some legends claim that the baby is Sally Gerber herself, the reason why the company itself was established.



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