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The History of Hamburger Helper

Hamburger Helper was introduced by General Mills in the early 1970s in response to America’s beef crisis. It was designed to help Americans struggling to find and afford beef use just one pound of it to make a hearty meal, thus stretching their dollar and supply. Another bonus? Unlike Better Crocker’s boxed meals that had been introduced in 1967, Hamburger Helper could be prepared in just one pan. When the product was introduced nationally in 1971, there were five flavor options: Beef Noodle, Potato Stroganoff, Hash, Rice Oriental, and Chili Tomato. It quickly became a staple, with 27% of American households adding it to their pantry within its first year on the market. In 2013, the brand was revamped with a new name (“Helper”), new options for enhancing chicken and tuna as well as beef, new packaging, and a new marketing campaign aimed at single men. Today, there are 24 options of Helper for hamburgers, 5 for tuna, and 3 for chicken. And despite its high sodium content, the product continues to be a fan favorite among consumers today.

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