Cream of Wheat is a specially ground wheat porridge resembling semolina with a smooth texture. It is used as a quick hot breakfast and is designed for people of all ages. This silky texture was first achieved at the Grand Forks mill in North Dakota. The time of appearance of the product is 1893. That’s when it was first introduced to the general public. It happened at the World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago (Illinois). Until 2007, the brand belonged to the company Nabisco, which was part of the Kraft Foods corporation. In the winter of the same year, it was bought by B&G Foods, a food products holding company.
Meaning and History
In the year of the economic depression in Diamond Milling Company’s hometown (and it originated just in 1893), prices and demand for flour began to fall. The head miller suggested switching to ground grits for porridge, which his wife usually made from the unused portion of the wheat grains. The flour miller sent samples of semolina flour to all his regular customers and received an affirmative response. The telegram indicated agreement to receive a carload of such powder instead of regular flour.
Then Diamond Milling opened mass production of fine grits and eventually switched to it alone. As demand increased, the firm moved to Minnesota’s Minneapolis, establishing a new plant there. This event took place in 1897. At the same time, the company changed its name to Cream of Wheat Company and focused on quick brewing powders. In its assortment appeared products not only from wheat but also from other cereals.
Everyone admired the contents of the bags, but on the contrary, they were indignant about their appearance. The thing is that the original boxes had a picture of an African-American chef. They gave him the name Rastus and began to use it everywhere: on packaging, signs, and advertisements. For a long time, it was thought that the prototype for the character was Chef Frank L. White. There is even an engraving of his tombstone with the name and image of the man from the trademark boxes of wheaten cereal. But then, because of racist currents, the image had to be changed. There are three logos in the history of the Cream of Wheat brand.
1893 – 1998
One of the first logos shows a cook with a saucepan on a long handle. He has a bow tie, tunic, and cap. He touches a small tray with a deep smoking plate with one hand. On the other hand, it is held by a maid in a long white apron. The cook’s face is smiling, and the maids are focused but friendly. The characters are drawn in a realistic full-length style.
Behind them is a long vertical rectangle in red. It contains important information about the product and its manufacturer. The text is written in different fonts so that its parts are not perceived monotonously but stand out clearly. Because of the ornaments on the edges, the background rectangle looks like a kitchen towel.
1998 – 2020
The logo was simplified and redesigned. Everything except the African-American chef disappeared from it. He’s holding a dish with a plate with steam coming out of it with one hand: a sign that the food is hot and fresh. The dark bow tie has been replaced by a red one. But the cap and tunic remained the same. A pair of golden ears of wheat is depicted in front of the friendly smiling cook. Around him are gray shadows better to distinguish the white clothing on a white background. The foreground is occupied by the brand’s name, done in blue letters with a gradient. The characters are large, capitalized, outlined in white.
2020 – today
After the redesign, the logo was further simplified – the image of the chef disappeared from it. The developers also tweaked the letters but kept their original shape. The “R” and “A” have elongated and pointed feet, while the “W” has the right top. “EA” was split, and “AM” was left fused. The outlines were also removed, so the letters look thinner than before.
Font and Colors of the Emblem
For almost as long as the logo proposed by artist Edward V. Brewer, it has been condemned by the public. Many have demanded that the symbol of racism, Rastus’s character, be removed. Because of this, B&G Foods was under a lot of pressure from activists for a long time. The reason was the African-American Black Chef depicted on the product packages. In addition, the word “Rastus” is a derogatory term in the United States. In 2020, protests intensified, and most brands were forced to redesign to remove people with dark skin from the emblems.
The trademark consists of the words “CREAM,” “OF,” and “WHEAT” spaced separately. The first and third have the same garnishment – individual, stylized. A union connects them in the middle. It is made by an outline.
All logos feature white and blue in several shades. Early versions also had brown, yellow, and red.