Things You Didn’t Know About Pillsbury Slideshow

From the origins of this vast American food empire to the iconic Pillsbury Doughboy’s real name, we've got the lowdown

It Dabbled in Non-Food Products

cleaning

iStock / Thinkstock

Pillsbury made its first non-food company acquisition in 1960 with the purchase of Tidy House Products Company, which produced home cleaning supplies.

It Had an Empire of Products

 An Empire of Products

In the 1950s, the Pillsbury name was limited to five products, by 1963 the Pillsbury name appeared on 127 different products.

No Convenience Products Until WWII

No Convenience Products Until WWII

General Mills Inc. / ItemMaster

The Pillsbury Company ventured into manufactured food products in addition to its grains during WWII with the addition of soup mixes. By the late 1940s, they needed to offer more convenient options to keep up with the growing demand. In 1948, Pillsbury introduced its first cake mix.

Pillsbury and General Mills Were Rivals

General Mills, who is now the parent company of Pillsbury, was once one of its biggest rivals. Both companies were based out of Minneapolis. General Mills acquired Pillsbury in 2001.

Pillsbury and Grain Milling

Pillsbury and Grain Milling

Flickr / m01229 / CC BY 4.0

In 1869, Charles A. Pillsbury bought one-third of a Minneapolis flour mill for 10,000 dollars, and started the Pillsbury Company. By the 1890s Pillsbury-Washburn Flour Mills Company Ltd. was the world’s largest milling company.

Pillsbury and NASA

Pillsbury and NASA

Pillsbury developed the first solid food sent into space, which Scott Carpenter ate on the Mercury mission Aurora 7 in 1962.

Pillsbury Bought Burger King

It Once Owned Burger King

Radu Bercan / Shutterstock

In 1967 Pillsbury purchased the fast-food chain Burger King as a symbol of its focus on convenience foods in the post-war era. In 1988, Pillsbury was purchased by Grand Metropolitan, which would eventually merge with Guinness to form Diageo.

The Hand that Pokes the Dough Boy

The Hand that Pokes the Dough Boy

youtube.com / Shutterstock

The hand that famously pokes the doughboy’s stomach was computer-generated until technology in a 1989 campaign allowed a real hand to poke the little mascot’s stomach.

The Pillsbury Doughboy Has a Family

Throughout his many years on television and in print, the Pillsbury Doughboy has been joined by family members, including Poppie Fresh (his wife), Popper and Bun Bun (his sons), Grandpopper, and Granmommer, whose names correspond with Pillsbury ready-made baking products, like Gran Biscuits.

The Pillsbury Doughboy Has a Name

The Pillsbury Doughboy’s given name was Poppin’ Fresh because of the popping sound that Pillsbury biscuit cans make when opened.

The Voice of the Iconic Doughboy

The iconic Doughboy has only been voiced by two people during his lifetime. The first was Paul Frees who also voiced Boris Badenov in The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show. The second was JoBe Cerny who found fame as the face of the Cheer detergent campaign.