Pickles and the Power of Word-of-mouth


Did any of you have a firey-tongued, occasionally grumpy grandpa to tell you stories as a kid?

When I was a little girl my grandpa would stop by our house and talk for hours. He told my sisters and I stories of his time in the military during World War 2. All my grandpas were WW2 vets. We always had some black and white movie running on TV. The retelling of machine gun fights, boxing matches, and imitations of airplanes going down in the “drink” were common back then.


So, how does my grandpa tie in with that catchy title mentioning pickles? Well, I’ll tell you. One day Grandpa stopped by, after a trip to the grocery store, with a jar of pickles. I remember in detail, him sitting at our orange vinyl kitchen-island. He twisted off the lid to the pickle jar then took out his big pocket knife and fished out a pickle for each of us girls.
I crunched down on my pickle and surveyed the glass jar with its blue paper and picture of a stork eating a pickle. They were the first non-homemade pickles I’d ever eaten.

Grandpa, in between crunches, looks at me and says, “Vlasic. The best pickles ever. That’s all I buy. After the war, when all the boys was getting out, we were talking about what we’d do back in the states. I looked at Vlasic and said, ‘Hey, Vlasic, what you gonna do when you get back home?’ He says, ‘Work at my uncle’s pickle factory.'”

Grandpa took a big bite out of his dill pickle and nodded. “Since then, all I eat is Vlasic.”


My grandpa has been gone for a long time now, but I still think of that story when buying Vlasic pickles. I even share the story with a teller if my introverted side is on a hiatus. I wonder if the occasional teller remembers my grandpa’s WW2 pickle story…

They tell us writers to get exposure on social media, blog regularly, start a newsletter, and…share by word of mouth. It’s been 74 years since my grandpa started buying Vlasic Pickles. Sure he was only one man and I am only one woman, but let’s do some math. My grandpa lived 66 years after WW2. That’s approximately 3,432 weeks, and if Grandpa liked pickles as much as I do, he probably ate 1 per week. That’s 3,432 pickles from WW2 until his death. According to The Real Dill, the average quart jar has 16 pickles in it. So Grandpa ate approximately 214.5 jars of pickles. That’s a fair number of jars bought, and next time you buy pickles maybe you’ll think of my story and try Vlasic too. 🙂

The moral, every little bit helps. You don’t have to be a marketing guru to make an impression, but you do need to reach the people in your sphere. So reach and enjoy some pickles.

The professionals say I should ask a question at the end of my blog to engage readers, so, here we go. 😉

What is your favorite kind of pickle?

What kind of stories did your grandparents tell you when you were a kid?

Is there a brand or item you are loyal to like Grandpa was to Vlasic? Any special reason why?

I’d love to hear your stories!

Image credit: Homeward Bound; Keystone/ Getty Images

2 thoughts on “Pickles and the Power of Word-of-mouth

  1. I don’t actually like pickles, but if I eat one, it will be a sweet baby pickle. My grandpa did share stories, but he did take us for rides in his army Jeep. 🙂 As far as brands, there’s a local soda called Ale-8-One. The only way to drink it is in a glass bottle, and I always know I’m home when the gas stations have a separate case for them. They should be colder than any other drink so that when you open it a must rises out of it. 🙂 I always bring some on driving trips. In fact there are 12 (two cases) waiting in the RV.

    Liked by 1 person

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