How did Carnation flower as a brand?

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Carnation Milk advertising

Don’t think you’re the first person to grumble about your boss. In the 1880s Johann Baptist Meyenberg worked for the Anglo-Swiss Condensed Milk Company in Switzerland. He came up with a new process for sterilising and manufacturing unsweetened condensed milk. “Isn’t this a great idea?!” he asked his boss. ‘No!’ his boss replied.

So like any self-respecting ideas guy, Johann struck out on his own. He moved to the States where, in 1899, he teamed-up with food retailers E. A. Stuart and Tom Yerxa to create the Pacific Coast Condensed Milk Company. They launched Carnation canned evaporated milk that year.

How did Carnation flower as a brand? Well, one day Stuart was strolling down a Seattle street when a cigar brand name caught his eye in a shop window. Using it in tandem with a flower logo and bold red and white colours, Pacific Coast started marketing their product as ‘milk from ‘contented cows’.

Carnation Milk advertising

They had this one in the can. Carnation’s popularity soared among US then global households in the 20th century. Today the brand – which we bought in 1985 – is used in baking and cooking for popular recipes, mostly in USA and Latin America.

Would Johann be proud of Carnation? You bet!

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