How Were "Vlasic Pickles" Named?
Frank Vlasic, the creator of Vlasic Pickles, moved to America in 1912 to build a better life for his family. He was a cheese maker. After saving every dime from his $2 a day car foundry job, Frank established a creamery business in Detroit. He eventually turned it over to his son, Joe.
Joe expanded the family milk and cheese business into selling Polish pickles spiced with garlic and dill. During World War II, however, his supply of pickles dried up, so Joe started testing a new idea: selling Polish pickles in glass jars. Joe couldn't keep up with demand and the Vlasic Pickle brand was born.
Joe's son, Bob, joined the company after World War II ended and became general manager of the entire Vlasic operation, which still included the creamery. Its first plant was built in Imlay City, Michigan. Together, over the next 20 years, Joe and Bob grew Vlasic into America's number one pickle.
It's said they also played an important role in shaping American eating habits with their glass-packed pickles. In 1933, per capita pickle consumption was 2.09 pounds. By 1974, consumption grew to 8 pounds. Joe and Bob became so successful at pickles that they finally dropped the milk and cheese entirely.
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