Talk about having a bad brand. Spinach has one of the worst brands ever. Growing up, as kids we never liked spinach. Yet, when we got older, most of us realized that spinach wasn’t that bad. Actually, it was pretty good.
So how did spinach get such a bad brand? I really hate to point fingers but I’m going to have to blame Popeye for this one. Who else eats cooked spinach out of a can? And if you’ve ever tried spinach that way, you’d know exactly why spinach got such a bad brand.
Yet, the popularity of Popeye actually helped boost sales for that leafy, green vegetable. Spinach consumption increased 33 percent in the United States between 1931 and 1936 as Popeye gained popularity, saving the spinach industry in the 1930’s.
Using Popeye as a role model for healthier worked very well. A 2010 study revealed that children increased their vegetable consumption after watching Popeye cartoons. The spinach-growing community of Crystal City, Texas, erected a statue of the character in recognition of Popeye’s positive effects on the spinach industry. There is another Popeye statue in Chester, Illinois, home of Popeye creator, Elzie Crisler Segar. And a third statue in Alma, Arkansas, which claims to be “The Spinach Capital of the World,” and is also home to Allen Canning, which markets Popeye-branded canned spinach.
So even though spinach has a bad brand, good advertising has helped counteract that, and, in the process, saved the spinach industry.