Who Is the Pringles Man? The History Behind Pringles’ Mascot

The man on the can has a name you won't forget.

There is just something so satisfying about sliding your hand into that iconic long and lean Pringles container for a crisp. Maybe as a child, you even stuck two in your mouth at once to mimic a duck’s beak. Whether you grab BBQ-flavored, sour cream and onion, cheddar cheese, or even dill pickle-flavored, the man with the mustache on the Pringles container is one of the most recognizable brand mascots on an iconic logo that’s comparable to the Baskin Robbins logo or Starbucks logo. But who is this guy? There’s a story behind the Pringles man and we’re here to formally introduce you to him.

While we are addressing the Pringles mascot in this piece, it’s important to make a note of our language before we continue. While many of us call Pringles “chips,” Pringles are actually made with dehydrated processed potato (which is why Pringles aren’t really potato chips). The FDA decided in 1975 that Pringles could only be called “chips” if they provided a disclaimer on their products that they are not made with real potatoes. Pringles didn’t want to do that understandably, so they decided to rename their product “crisps.” When you’re done learning about the Pringles man, check out these hidden messages in company logos you see all the time and the story behind Target’s mascot, Bullseye.

What is the Pringles man called?

The man. The myth. The legend. The guy that has convinced you to shove your hand into that tubular container. The Pringles man is fairly easy to identify, right up there with other brand mascots like Chester Cheetah and Tony the Tiger. But this man is no zoo animal; he is a person like the rest of us—and his name is Julius Pringles. While embodying many looks over the years, Julius Pringles has always sported a recognizable bushy mustache that if you look closely enough has always resembled two Pringles crisps put together.

Julius Pringles has just been a floating head since 1967 and unsurprisingly had many crisp-eaters wondering what the body of this man looked like. Was he long and lean? Or short and stout from eating all those Pringles? Well, last year, Last Week Tonight host John Oliver announced that he would donate $10,000 to Feeding America if they revealed the mysterious body of Julius Pringles. The company posted a video on Twitter of a man in a costume, and Oliver delivered on his promise. Learn more about other brand logos and see why the 7-eleven logo looks like it does.

The history of the Pringles man

The history of the Pringles man is murky just like the name, but there are a few notable players in the story of Pringles. The first key contributor is Gene Wolfe, the science fiction writer, who actually helped establish the machine that makes Pringles. Another key player was chemist and food technician Fred Baur, who created the cylinder-shaped can after experimenting with chip storage so they wouldn’t break. And Alexander Liepa, from Montgomery, Ohio, brought the flavor to the crisps and is the name that appears on the Pringles patent. So while we don’t know exactly who came up with Julius Pringle, the men behind the product may have been some sort of inspiration.

When Julius Pringle was born, he had a plump black mustache, red eyes, eyebrows, and black hair parted down the middle. The Pringles logo proudly appears inside his bowtie. In 1979, the logo was altered to remove the red eyes and include a small smile. The next change happened in 1986, when the brand removed the apostrophe from “Pringles,” and changed the design of the eyes. The rosy cheeks that Julius sported disappeared in the 1990s. You likely know the 2000s logo best; you can see the “Pringles” logo was dropped from the bowtie and he was given a more stylish red one and floppy brown hair that finally sits on top of his round head instead of in it. If you look closely, you can even see the “i” is dotted with a chip in 2009’s logo. Like Pringles, learn why so many logos are red.

But now the most recent logo is the most modernized looking of them all. Drum roll, please!

Pringles Logo through historyrd.com

Pringles’ new logo

Julius Pringle has a crisp new appearance. First of all, let’s talk about the obvious. The man is now bald—sorry, Julius. His mustache is now a solid black and his eyes are a bit beadier as the pupils have been removed. Julius Pringles’ eyebrows are even more expressive and the bowtie looks a bit sharper.

If you were concerned about the taste, have no fear. Pringles still taste exactly the way they always have—and that’s delicious. Now that you can impress your friends will all this knowledge about the Pringles man, check out these old-fashioned snack food packages that will give make you nostalgic.

Sources

  • Inside Hook: “The Real and True History of Julius Pringles, The Man on the Can”
  • Mashed: “Does The Pringles Mascot Have A Name?”
  • Mental Floss: “12 Crispy Facts About Pringles”
  • Prezi: “Pringles Logo History”
  • Food Network: “Mr. Pringles Gets a Glow Up”

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