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And Now a Word From ... Blue Bonnet Girl

Julian Zeng

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A Q&A with the official mascot for Blue Bonnet margarine

What is your origin story? How did you come to represent Blue Bonnet margarine?

My likeness was inspired by a woman named Jeni Freeland, who was selected in 1948 as Miss Blue Bonnet. Jeni was a former Miss Florida, competing in the 1945 Miss America Pageant. After making public appearances on behalf of the brand, she became so popular that her likeness began appearing on packaging.

What are some of your favorite recipes that use Blue Bonnet products?

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Baking is one of my favorite hobbies. I love muffins, cakes, brownies and cookies. This time of year, pumpkin treats are especially popular, so I have a pumpkin cake recipe that is one of my favorites.

What gives Blue Bonnet its signature taste?

There’s a creamy, fresh taste to Blue Bonnet that’s been enjoyed by generations of fans. And Blue Bonnet bakes like butter, but without the cholesterol!

A recent survey by Crestline showed that you were the most recognizable brand mascot among baby boomers. Why do you think that is?

Good food is warm, inviting and makes you smile. I’d like to think the iconic Blue Bonnet logo has those same qualities. And besides, you can’t mistake my signature headgear for anything else!

Since becoming the face of the brand, how have you seen people’s tastes change?

Margarine continues to be a popular baking staple, and what’s been fun over the years is to see the breadth of creative ways people use it—as a topping, a spread, an ingredient and more. Its versatility is truly amazing.

Has anyone ever confused you with the bluebonnet, the state flower of Texas?

A lot of consumers do think we have Texas roots, but the brand was actually founded in New York City in the mid-1940s.

A number of celebrities have donned your iconic blue bonnet in TV commercials. Who have been some of the most notable ones?

Some of the most notable Blue Bonnet ads were from the early 1980s and featured “M*A*S*H” star Jamie Farr, Georgia Engle from the “Mary Tyler Moore Show” and baseball hall of famers Mickey Mantle and Willie Mays.

If you had the choice, what would be your alternate headwear?

I think I’d have to choose something that provided optimal coverage in the sun. A straw hat wouldn’t be quite as distinct, but it would no doubt fulfill my needs.

Julian Zeng is assistant managing editor at the American Marketing Association. He may be reached at jzeng@ama.org.