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The Fascinating Story of the Iconic Honey Bear Bottle

Ralph Gamber began selling Dutch Gold Honey in 1946 as a side business. He invented the now-famous bear-shaped bottle in 1957, The plastic, squeezable bottle of honey, first appeared on shelves. Due to the success of A.A. Milne's Winnie the Pooh books, bears and honey were associated.
Monday, Nov 21, 2022

How do you separate yourself from the pack? This article from Retail Brew highlights the importance of packaging design—and protecting your intellectual property.

In today’s terms, Dutch Gold Honey started as a side hustle. In 1946, a meat salesman named Ralph Gamber acquired three beehives at an auction and started making honey. For years after, the honey was flowing, but he was not selling enough to quit his meat gig.

It was a flash of inspiration that took the business to the next level: the now-iconic bear-shaped bottle. The association between bears and honey was due to the popularity of A.A. Milne’s Winnie the Pooh books, and, fearing legal action, the company took steps to make their bear as different from Milne’s shirt-wearing yet pantsless honey addict. And for the same reason, Gamber never patented the design. The plastic, squeezable bottle of honey first appeared on shelves in 1957. A year later, Gamber quit his day job.

The full article covers some of the repercussions of Gamber’s decision not to patent his design and some of the imitators it spawned, from Mr. Bubble to Mrs. Butterworth.

Read the full article from Retail Brew here.