Ann Turner Cook was the original face of Gerber in 1928. 90 years later, Lucas becomes the next in 2018. He is the first baby with Down's Syndrome to be chosen for the role.
If you didn't know about the history of the Gerber baby, then you are in for a treat! It takes us back to 1927 when Dorothy Gerber was weary from hand straining the solid food for her seven-month-old daughter, Sally. She then made a suggestion to her husband, Daniel (the owner of the Gerber family business) that this tedious work of prepping the baby food could actually be done rather easily by the Fremont Canning Factory that produced canned fruits and vegetables. This is where the idea germinated and after "extensive research and testing, the first Gerber baby food batch was ready for distribution in late 1928."
I knew I had this somewhere... pic.twitter.com/0QxaHu5iJ6— Timmy Beaverhausen🏳️🌈 (@tbeaverh) June 5, 2018
Now, all they needed was an adorable baby picture that would be the perfect face of their latest product. Several artists were invited to submit their very own renditions of Gerber babies. While some came up with elaborate oil paintings, there was one who decided to keep it rather simple. Dorothy Hope Smith submitted a charcoal portrait of Ann Turner Cook, then a four-month-old baby, and it was chosen instantly for the company's advertising campaign. Today after 90 years, this cute role has been taken up by Lucas Warren who was carefully chosen from 140,000 entries.
While Cook created history by becoming the original face to be seen all across this product in 1928, Lucas too achieved a milestone by becoming the first baby with Down's Syndrome to be bag this role in 2018. The internet was understandably excited when the two uploaded an adorable picture on Twitter. Bernadette Tortorella, the Gerber spokeswoman, told USA Today that the Warren family went on a vacation which happened to be near Cook's place. So, the family asked the company (Gerber) if they could possibly arrange a meeting with her.
The company was only happy to do so, and it was arranged. When they met, Lucas and Ann bonded immediately, said mother, Cortney, and dad, Lucas. "Lucas walked right up to her, flashing his signature smile and waving, and we could tell he loved her right away," they exclaimed. "He even grabbed two cookies and offered her one, which she accepted!" Fortunately, Cook's grandson Chris Colin was there to capture this adorable moment between the two.
He later uploaded it on social media with the caption: My grandmother was the Gerber baby. It was a funny bit of trivia, never made her rich or got us free strained peas or anything. But last week she got to meet the company's newest spokesbaby, named Lucas. Pretty pretttty cute. Previously, Cook took to Instagram to congratulate the little one on being crowned the Gerber baby of 2018. This was posted by the brand who shared the heartfelt message on their Instagram page.
My grandmother was the Gerber baby. It was a funny bit of trivia, never made her rich or got us free strained peas or anything. But last week she got to meet the company's newest spokesbaby, named Lucas. Pretty pretttty cute. pic.twitter.com/u7ddWaM1Ed— Chris Colin (@chriscolin3000) June 4, 2018
It read: Our original Gerber baby, Ann Turner Cook, welcomes Lucas to the family! "Let me offer my warmest congratulations to Lucas, our newest Gerber spokesbaby, and to his parents. I know you will take great pride in representing Gerber this year, as I have for the past 90 years. There is no greater privilege than to be a universal symbol for babies all over the world. I am delighted to take part in this celebration. Lucas is precious and I look forward to watching him grow this year!" -Ann Turner Cook
Lucas being chosen to be the face of Gerber was indeed an incredible and monumental moment for his parents. Cortney said, "We hope this opportunity sheds light on the special needs community and educates people that with acceptance and support, individuals with special needs have the potential to change the world – just like our Lucas!" She further added that she had "never met anyone to come into contact with Lucas and not smile ... he's got that twinkle in his eye."
Even the CEO of Gerber, Bill Partyka said in a statement, "Lucas’ winning smile and joyful expression won our hearts this year, and we are all thrilled to name him our 2018 Spokesbaby." Emphasizing why Lucas was the perfect face for the product, he said, "Every year, we choose the baby who best exemplifies Gerber’s longstanding heritage of recognizing that every baby is a Gerber baby, and this year, Lucas is the perfect fit." And rightly so, the tiny tot's angelic smile is infectious.