Inside General Mills
June 17, 2010
Though you couldn’t tell by looking, the Green Giant turns 50 this year in France.
Vive ‘Le Géant’ en France
Of course, he’s better known there as Le Géant, an iconic character that most French consumers identify as a local. As France’s top-selling brand of sweet corn, asparagus, hearts of palm and artichokes, Le Géant has much to celebrate this year.
Various events and efforts are under way to commemorate the 50th anniversary in style.
- For the first time, a temporary Green Giant restaurant is opening in Paris. For 10 days, four respected French chefs will cook their own recipes inspired by Green Giant veggies. Consumers can drop in for lunch or reserve a spot at the private evening dinners. As part of this event, kids can take culinary design classes from a well-known French designer. And the first evening the restaurant opens, there will be a birthday celebration dinner with press and retailers.
- A new website highlights 50th anniversary festivities.
- The winner of the website’s “Ho, ho, ho” contest will replace the original Green Giant voice in an upcoming ad campaign.
Green Giant arrived in France in 1960, when it created a sweet corn market in the country. Then, in 1977, it opened its Seretram facility, which packs sweet corn and other vegetables and ships them throughout Europe. To this day, the corn is sourced 100 percent locally.
In the 1990s and 2000s, the brand began adding more variety to its veggie lineup, including green asparagus, hearts of palm, small red peppers, mini sweet corn cobs, mini hearts of palm, white asparagus tips and artichokes.
Last year, the packaging on the asparagus won the Oscars of Packaging Award, given by the Institute of French Packaging and Conditioning. The packaging stands out not only in form but also in function – a basket inside the glass jar allows consumers to easily lift out the number of stalks needed without breaking them while keeping the water in the jar.
Also recently, Green Giant received a certification for its best-in-class sustainable agriculture practices. Green Giant was the only sweet corn brand to receive the certification.
Inside General Mills