“Nomen Est Omen”? Uh, not always…

Family names often turn into brand names, sometimes becoming strongly associated with the products involved. Play word association with “MacDonald” or “Ford”, and odds are you’ll pop up with “hamburger” and “car”.

Sometimes family names can be a bit more problematic. Today, Hellman’s is strongly associated with a top-of-the-line mayonnaise. But it must have been tough to sell the first jar of Hellman’s. (Maybe some reverse psychology at work: people figure that there had to be a real Mr. Hellman somewhere along the line, because the name “Hellman’s” couldn’t possibly be the product of some corporate marketing meeting. Unlike, say, “Best Foods”…)

naming food productsWell, if you read this blog, you probably got that joke. However, at Mariposa’s High Country Health Foods, I recently ran across the results of a decision re a family brand name that’s a lot weirder than the Hellman’s-Best Foods one. The store was running a special on a variety of Middle Eastern foods, sold under a family name brand name…which happens to be “Haig”.

Sometimes, the slogans just start writing themselves: “When ye crave a wee taste o’ the Highlands, ye canna gae wrong with Haig’s Tabbouleh Salad!”; or maybe “Haig’s Hummus? Hoot mon!”

So now I’m curious about the Levantine imperial adventures of some ancestral Haig, and I go to the web site…where I find that this is indeed a family business…run since its founding in 1956 by…wait for it…the Takvorian family.

Okay, how much would you give for the minutes of the meeting where they decided that no one would ever buy Takvorian’s Baba Ganoush…”I know! Let’s call it ‘Haig’s’ instead!”

For what it’s worth, I’ve been very pleased with every item of theirs that I’ve tried; you can get more information (except for how they landed on that name) at HaigsDelicacies.com.

—  Greg Marus

Posted in Branding, Consumer Goods, Food Names