What Happened to the General Foods Brand?

General Foods, the company founded by Clarence Birdseye, inventor of frozen foods, and C.W. Post, creator of Postum, is no longer around.

When General Foods merged with Kraft, the General Foods got lost. That is too bad. Because Kraft is a fine name, but we associate that with dairy foods. We love the little dots that graced the old General Foods logo. And what a great shade of blue!

The other thing critical was that for generations, General Foods was a brand, and not just a company name. So much was lost by not having the General Foods logo associated with the company’s products. What a great logo it is; a classic designed by Walter Dorwin Teague in 1962.

All of these General Foods food brands are still around, though some, like Log Cabin, have been sold to other companies who have tried to extract some value out of the brands. But they lack something without the General Foods logo on the back.

Here is the great list of General Foods brands. Please add more if you know of more:

  • Tang
  • Log Cabin
  • Sanka
  • Kool-Aid
  • Jell-O
  • Great Shakes
  • Maxwell House
  • Calumet
  • Hellman’s
  • Oscar Mayer
  • Postum
  • Post Cereals
  • Birds Eye Frozen Foods
  • General Foods International Coffee

Below, some General Foods brands from back in the day.


  • Garland Pollard

    J. Garland Pollard IV is editor/publisher of BrandlandUSA. Since 2006, the website BrandlandUSA.com has chronicled the history and business of America’s great brands.


  1. I have many packages if Kool aid. Is there an expiration date on them somewhere. Have had many pkgs awhile. Thank you

  2. Yes My Husband Found A 1 Ounce Glass Bottle It Has Safeway On The Neck Twice And On The Bottom It Has 7071 , SAFEWAY , G-15146 , REG. CAL. And In The Center On Bottom It Has 4- . Could You Tell Me Something About It ? It Has No Label . I Would Sure Appreciate Any Information You Could Provide . THANKS

  3. Follow-on. Waldo Clarke Butler also put together the deal that created Lawry’s Seasoned Salt. At the time, Lawry’s was (and I think still is) a prime-rib restaurant on La Cienega Blvd. in Los Angeles. In those days, they would roll the prime ribs in rock-salt, garlic and pepper before roasting them. Then, after cooking, they would scrape the salt (infused with cooked juices juices), and serve it in little bowls as a seasoning salt. Again, Butler saw the connection and put he deal together with General Foods.

    1. John..thank you for this detail. Sounds like Lawry’s was the place to be. And I didn’t know the highest and best use for Lawry’s Seasoning Salt.

  4. Good Seasons has an interesting history… The dressing recipe came from Robert Kreis, chef at the Brown Derby restaurant in Hollywood, but the person who put the ‘deal’ together was Waldo Clarke Butler a food broker, working primarily with General Foods. (later partnered with Lloyd Clark to form Butler-Clark Foods). Butler, (who was known as “Clarke”) was interested in packaging and General Foods had just started their paper envelope packaging process (for Kool-Aid). He saw the possibility and ‘brokered’, the deal to produce what we know see as Good Seasons Salad Dressing.

    1. Correction: That Brown Derby was the original one on Wilshire, about a block from the Butler Clark offices.

  5. What with the recent news of Kraft Foods planning to split into two companies (U.S. Grocery and Global Snacks), here’s an interesting idea. They could revive the General Foods name for the grocery business, while keeping the Kraft name alive for their cheese and salad dressing products. The snack-foods unit could take the Nabisco name.

  6. Sanka was a huge money-maker for General Foods. Those little orange single-serve packets were ubiquitous!

    Also, while I worked at GF, they acquired Entenmann’s.

    Pop Rocks were originally developed by GF.

  7. I loved the General Foods logo, the GF with the four dots, used from 1962 to December 1984. In January 1985 they introduced a new short lived logo. It was a depressing stylized black and grey thing resembling a G. In November 1985 GF was acquired by Phillip Morris and in December 1988 they acquired Kraft. They tried to brand all food products as Kraft General Foods but this only served to confuse the buying public. In January 1990 the words General Foods was entirely removed. So technically, General Foods was officially defunct as of January 1990. There is a section of General Foods corporate brick buildings that still existed in 2008 though vacant and awaiting demolition for condos in White Plains, NY and the faint GF could still be seen on the brick where the letters were removed. I have a 2008 photo. Even Phillip Morris, the 1985 acquiring company of GF is no longer Phillip Morris but as of 2005 Altria Group. And that new forthcoming flowery Kraft Foods logo is silly and will eventually destroy the bold lettered KRAFT logo. It’s sad that so much has changed and for no good reason. All in all, the beginning of the end was in November 1985 when GF was acquired by Phillip Morris.

  8. Does anyone know what advertising company/executive came up with the Shake ‘n Bake commercials in the 1970s?


  9. Oops! I forgot that GF also used to own Gainesburgers, Gravy Train, and Cycle dog foods. I also forgot Good Seasons salad dressing and Yuban coffee.

    1. Do you know what General Foods stock symbol was before Philip Morris bought them?

  10. Hellman’s was not a GF brand (it was Best Foods/CPC International), but here are some from GF not listed thus far: Certo, Sure-Jell, Dream Whip, Max-Pax, Maxim, Brim, Crystal Light, and D-Zerta. General Foods was the best!

  11. Have you ever noticed how the “G” in the General Foods logo was as round and smooth as a baby’s face? Perhaps if General Foods would have used the photo of Indianapolis comedian Tom Griswold’s baby and puppy as its logo for the 1990s, the company would still be in business.

  12. In the 1980s, General Foods owned Frito-Lay in Canada, thanks to a partnership with PepsiCo, Frito’s parent company in the US. If only General Foods could have added Doritos, Lays, Ruffles, Fritos, Rold Gold and the entire Frito-Lay product inventory to its lineup, the beloved GF logo would likely have been seen on Frito’s snack food packages as well as those of Jell-O, Shake n Bake and Country Time. Too bad GF dropped the ball on Frito-Lay, which led to the demise of a great food company that would become absorbed by a corporation that is best known for dairy foods and little else while Frito lives on as a Pepsi flagship.

  13. Post, Jell-O, Baker’s, Calumet Baking Powder, Cool Whip, Stove Top, Shake N’Bake now bear the Kraft logo after removing General Foods moniker for Kraft. The addition of Nabisco put the Kraft label on Jet Puffed and Easy Cheese.

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