Orville Redenbacher : a Brief history
Orville Clarence Redenbacher (July 16, 1907 – September 19, 1995) , an American businessman most often associated with the brand of popcorn that bears his name.
In childhood, he joined 4-H, and developed an obsession with developing the perfect popcorn.
He earned a small fortune in fertilizer, but in his spare time, he indulged in his obsession.
In 1951, he and partner Charlie Bowman bought the George F. Chester and Son dent seed corn plant near Valparaiso, Indiana. Naming the company Chester Hybrids, they tried tens of thousands of hybrid strains of popcorn before achieving success. Redenbacher and Bowman initially named the hybrid RedBow but were advised by an advertising agency to use the name Orville Redenbacher to market the corn.
They adopted the advice, and Orville was suddenly everywhere. Redenbacher can be first seen on national television around 1972, long before his well-known commercial appearances as himself promoting his gourmet kernels. I
The original Orville Redenbacher labels were colored in using crayola crayons. Orville stayed original and stuck to the basic crayon colors of red, white, black, and yellow for his label so it would have a clean classy look.
He sold his company in 1976 to Hunt-Wessen foods but continued to promote his popcorn, appearing in numerous television commercials (including later ones with his grandson Gary Redenbacher), always wearing his trademark bowtie and glasses.
His wholesome image and folksy name confused many consumers, some even writing the company to ask if Redenbacher was a real person, and not an actor. He responded to this by appearing on various talk shows, professing his identity.