(NEW YORK) -- At age 135, the man on the Quaker Oats label has never looked better. The plump, beaming, white-haired man known as “Larry” recently got a makeover, making him look slimmer and a little bit younger. It’s a very subtle makeover that is not obvious to shoppers. He still has his hat and his snowy white hair.
Designers at Hornall Anderson, the Seattle-based firm charged with Larry’s new look, took away his double chin and some of the plumpness from his face and neck, Michael Connors, the firm’s vice president of design, told the Wall Street Journal. “We took about five pounds off him,” Connors said.
They also shortened his hair slightly and revealed more of his shoulders, making his neck look longer. “It’s the same neck,” Connors said, but the haircut “makes him look thinner.”
Larry has been the symbol of Quaker Oats since 1877 and has been revamped a few times throughout the decades. His latest redesign is part of a wider effort by Quaker’s owner PepsiCo to keep things “fresh and innovative,” Justin Lambeth, Quaker’s chief marketing officer, told the Wall Street Journal.
As more consumers have the urge to make their diets healthier, many companies are responding by making changes to their packaging and advertising. Jennifer Harris, director of marketing initiatives at the Yale Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity, said research shows that even subtle changes are effective in roping in consumers.
“There’s a growing demand among consumers for healthy products. They’re just trying to tweak the logo to conform to this healthy image, so it seems,” Harris said.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio