23 June 2012

[logo] The Biggest Bimbo You've Never Heard Of

2846.One of the niftiest and funnest things in language as well as design is when a foreign firm or company translates itself into American English terms without changing the name that made them famous, even if that name picks up baggage in the translation.

For example.

If I asked you, without Googling, now, what the largest bakery in America would be, what would you say?


Guess again … Bimbo.

Portland newsie Kristi Turnquist peeped this on the back of a delivery truck, and it struck her as funny, presumably because the word bimbo has a historic association with women of a certain perceived character.

The real funny thing about it, though, is that the word Bimbo … pronounced in its native Spanish, "BEEM-bo" rather than the American English "BIM-bo", means nothing in that native tongue. Research indicates its a made-up word. In Latin America, however, it's a market titan, and in some countries, it's pretty much a synonym for bread itself.

Like many companies these days, it's a multinational; it has a huge subsidiary in the USA called Bimbo Bakeries USA which, during the last decade, has merged its way into becoming the single largest baked goods producer in the nation.

Had a Boboli pizza crust? Oroweat bread? Thomas' English Muffin? You're having a Bimbo for lunch, bucko.

Now, that's one big Bimbo. 


Alan Cordle said...

I think it's funny too, but I have not had a single comment on my shirt in Portland. In New Orleans, even strangers loved it. http://flic.kr/p/cg1btG

Samuel Klein said...

Well, here in Portland, we all know what a soccer jersey is, ya see. Now, if you got Darcelle to wear that …

Thomas514 said...

My father works for Bimbo in Texas. The bakery they bought out was Mrs. Bairds - one of the biggest bakeries in Texas - it did strike me as odd when I first heard the name, what's even funnier is that they put a HUGE emphasis on marketing to kids on their website :)

Samuel Klein said...

There doesn't seem to be a huge dominance in Oregon with Bimbo products though they aren't hard to find; the national brands - Boboli, Thomas' - can be had in every store, but here in Oregon, Franz (known elsewhere as Williams), Hostess, Wonder Bread rules. Franz is a favorite Northwest brand, made by the United States Bakery here in Portland and trucked all over the Western US, as far as I can tell.

There are considerable ethnic sections in supermarkets hereabouts, and you can get all the Bimbo and Gamesa you want in the Hispanic section of WinCo. I'd highly recommend the Gansito snack cakes - Mmmmm. Nom-worthy, And I adore pan dulce.