Why Bumble Bee Tuna Got Rid Of Its Mascot Horatio

For years companies have used mascots to promote their brand, from the lovable Pillsbury Doughboy and Tony the Tiger to the unforgettable Ronald McDonald and Burger King's King. Some are almost impossible to separate from the brand's image, like the Michelin Man and the Morton Salt Girl. At the same time, some beloved mascots have been retired (think Taco Bell's chihuahua and Speedy Alka-Seltzer).

The Bumble Bee Seafood Company also felt it would be fine to remove its bumble bee mascot from its branding. According to IntraFish, Horatio was removed from the company's packaging and other items in 2020. Wearing a chef's hat and a striped shirt with an anchor image on it, the large-eyed bumble bee has been part of Bumble Bee's branding since 1950, according to the company. Bumble Bee was founded in Oregon in 1899, dedicated to catching and canning salmon. According to its website, during the 1930s through 1950s, the company's focus turned to tuna. In the years since, Bumble Bee has acquired other companies, including Clover Leaf in 1999. Several years later, Clover Leaf and Bumble Bee merged with Connors Bros.

A new logo

Gone from The Bumble Bee Seafood Company is Horatio, and in his place, there is a logo with a lighthouse and the words "Bee Well for Life." The new design was recognized in the 2020 American Package Design Awards by Graphic Design USA, according to IntraFish

Renee Junge, vice president of Corporate Brand Strategy and Communications, told IntraFish that the decision to remove Horatio from its branding was to focus on the quality and benefits of Bumble Bee's products. The "Bee Well for Life" logo is tied to Bumble Bee's consumer resources regarding the health benefits of tuna, which the company said is a selling point, per Packing World. The packaging has further been updated to use different typography, more strongly contrasting colors, and different package shapes. Like the new logo, the typography is intended to represent Bumble Bee's values, which includes sustainable fishing and innovation in seafood.

The company announced on April 8, 2022, that it will reduce plastic waste by about 23 million pieces annually after making its product packaging from readily recyclable paperboard cartons. It was also previously packaged using shrink wrap. As The Bumble Bee Seafood Company continues to look to the future, it is pledging to focus on sustainability.