LOUISVILLE, Kentucky – It has been nearly a generation since Morton Frozen Foods products graced the shelves of grocery store freezers. The venerable brand was phased out in the late 1990s by its current owner ConAgra after a storied 60-plus year history. This was done reportedly as part of a corporate streamlining effort to increase efficiency and avoid redundancy of similar brand offerings within the ConAgra product line.
However, while the Morton brand is gone, fond memories of it remain. A simple internet search for Morton quickly reveals legions of consumers who are desperately trying to find its famed pot pies, honey buns, mini donuts, and other once related products. In fact, some claim that Morton Frozen Foods is one of the most searched for “dead brands” on the internet. Why not bring Morton back?
A group of Morton Frozen Foods product enthusiasts are attempting to do just that. Comprised largely of former Morton employees, descendants of Morton employees, and fans of the brand, the group is embarking upon a multi-pronged campaign to put Morton back on the map. The first phase of this campaign involves an effort to re-introduce Morton and its fascinating story to the public through social media as well as through print and online media articles. In time, a website and perhaps even a book showcasing Morton’s history and legendary product offerings may also come into being.
Once enough interest has been generated, the group would plan to enter the second phase of its plan – to launch a lobbying campaign to convince ConAgra to resume production of select Morton products.
Such a move could be made on a trial basis, with ConAgra reintroducing Morton’s most popular products – perhaps the honeybuns and/or mini donuts – in selected areas to gauge consumer interest. Should the products prove popular enough, ConAgra could then resume production of Morton products on an even wider scale. Should ConAgra not be interested in relaunching Morton itself, its executives could perhaps be persuaded to license or even sell the rights to another company. The possibilities are endless.
Want to help? Here are three ways you can get involved:
- Join the Morton Frozen Foods Facebook page www.facebook.com/pages/Morton-Frozen-Foods/167651973266093 – it has nearly 500 followers now and is THE current online source for great Morton-related pictures and information.
- Sign this petition – http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/bring-back-morton-frozen-foods to request that ConAgra resume production of selected Morton products. Once the petition passes 1,000 signatures, the leaders of this group will begin a dialogue with ConAgra executives about reviving the Morton brand.
- Get in touch – contact us at email@example.com if you have questions, would like to offer assistance, share Morton-related photos and memorabilia, etc.
Working together, we can bring back Morton Frozen Foods!
About the Author: Dr. Sean Heuvel is a faculty member at Christopher Newport University in Newport News, VA, and holds degrees from the College of William and Mary and the University of Richmond. A historian by trade, Sean is proud of his close familial ties to Morton Frozen Foods. He is the great-grandson of Jean D. Patton (1898-1956), who helped establish the Morton Packing Company with his family friend Harold Morton in 1938. Patton went on to serve as the company’s vice president of production as well a member of Morton’s board of directors. Further, Sean is the grandson of Gene Liberati (1922-2011), who was also a longtime Morton executive. Sean lives with his wife and two children in Williamsburg, Virginia.