This week, we bid Italy and our adventures with Skiro the Squirrel arrivederci as we depart to the United Kingdom for a one-on-one with the ever-grinning, ever-charming Fred from Homepride.
For those readers unfamiliar with Homepride, this British food brand is famous for their cooking sauces (owned by Premier Foods) and flour (owned by Kerry Foods). Fred has been the mascot on behalf of both products since his introduction in 1964 and has served as Mum’s special helper in the kitchen ever since. Our meet-up with Fred is a little bit due to the kick-off of #AWEurope, and a little bit to celebrate National Flour Month. But we’re mostly here for a retrospective that’s all about Fred through the decades. He might have gone through a few hiatuses, but Fred’s got flour power — coming back each time bigger and more loveable than ever before on a mission to share his delicious recipes with the next generation.
Fred was dreamed up for Homepride flour which was known as Spillers flour during the 1960s. Bob Geers and Bob Gross (both of whom would later become the founders of ad agency Geers Gross) were two copywriters who helped bring Fred to life as the brand’s “Chief Flour Grader.” In this early commercial spot, a reporter joins Fred for an exclusive look at how Fred & Co. make flour finer by grading every grain. Fred ends the commercial by noting, “Graded grains make finer flour.”
Little did Geers and Gross know at the time, but that tagline, and its character, was about to become an instant advertising icon!
A talkative fellow in commercials, Fred knew how to charm generations of families, even those with fussy eaters, with his winning smile and recipes. And speaking of recipes, he often encouraged any cooks with new sauce ideas to share them with fans hungry for more Homepride. Case in point: this 1991 spot starring a new white wine and cream sauce flavor, perfect for chicken.
However, despite celebrating his 40th birthday in 2004, Fred was actually on a hiatus that would last for 15 years. Ad agency McCann London helped bring him back to the dinner table in 2014 — just in time for his 50th birthday. This time around, Fred is no longer an animated chatterbox. He’s bigger and more loveable than ever at six feet tall with a painted on ear-to-ear grin, ready to cook up a crowd-pleasing meal with Mum for everyone.
What is Fred up to when he’s not making guest appearances in kitchens and during meals to share news of his irresistible new sauces? Why, he’s moderating his Twitter account! Fred loves to tweet with his fans about all things cookin’ up at Homepride while answering questions and helping out as much as possible. Feel free to follow along and join him for a seat at the dinner table!