RACINE, Wis. — Betty Crocker®, Aunt Jemima® and Quaker Oats© are common household names. In the 1950s, there was another popular name among rural families: Irma Harding®.
Irma served as the spokeswoman for International Harvester refrigerators and freezers and promoted the products to U.S. farm women.
“Irma Harding is a wonderful part of our International Harvester history,” says Sarah Pickett, Case IH Licensing and Merchandising Manager. “We are proud to introduce the Irma Harding name under our heritage International Harvester brand as well as a new line of products that evoke the American heritage Irma represents.”
The first product available will be Irma Harding peanuts, which will be sold at select retailers, including Tractor Supply Company. These peanuts are the first new licensed item in the food and food-related product category under the heritage International Harvester brand. Case IH is partnering with Whitley’s Peanut Company, a traditional nut and snack food company, to bring Irma Harding Peanuts to store shelves.
The peanuts are high-quality and slow-roasted, packaged with a unique look that connects with rural Americana.
“We are excited to be partnering with Whitley’s Peanut Factory to provide the finest nuts, chosen to meet strict size, quality and freshness criteria for our Irma Harding peanuts,” explains Pickett.
In 1947, International Harvester developed refrigerator and freezer lines and created Irma Harding as the character spokeswoman. Her authentic and rural “personality” appealed to U.S. farm women when these new products were introduced to them. International Harvester hired five home economists to answer inquiries and conduct cooking and testing experiments in company kitchens on Irma’s behalf. In addition, 70 home economists and sales women were hired throughout the U.S. to travel regionally and educate homemakers of the day about freezing and preserving food.
Through various sales tools, including advertisements and recipe booklets, Irma Harding also helped educate housewives about the health and financial benefits of using cooling and freezing techniques and food storage systems. Irma also appeared on packaging and “authored” many cookbooks.
With a persona that is deeply rooted in America’s rural history, the products Irma now represents invoke memories of all that was and still is good in American households and homemaking.
Case IH is a global leader in agricultural equipment, committed to collaborating with its customers to develop the most powerful, productive, reliable equipment – designed to meet today’s agricultural challenges. Challenges like feeding an expanding global population on less land, meeting ever-changing government regulations and managing input costs. With headquarters in the United States, Case IH has a network of dealers and distributors that operates in over 160 countries. Case IH provides agricultural equipment systems, flexible financial service offerings and parts and service support for professional farmers and commercial operators through a dedicated network of professional dealers and distributors. Productivity enhancing products include tractors; combines and harvesters; hay and forage equipment; tillage tools; planting and seeding systems; sprayers and applicators; site-specific farming tools and utility vehicles. Case IH is a brand of CNH (NYSE: CNH), a majority-owned subsidiary of Fiat Industrial S.p.A. (FI.MI).