How General Foods Used Content Marketing To Make German Chocolate Cake Popular












I stumbled onto this story and had to share it with you, because it’s a great example of how content marketing has been used in the past to help businesses succeed.


The True Origins Of German Chocolate Cake

Back in 1852, an Englishman named Sam German developed a sweet baking bar for Baker’s Chocolate Co.

In order to honor him they named the product “Baker’s German’s Sweet Chocolate.”

The first published recipe of the cake that’s now known as German’s Chocolate Cake showed up in a Dallas newspaper in 1957.  It was sent in by a Texas homemaker.

After the recipe was published something interesting happened.  General Foods, which by then owned Baker’s Chocolate, noticed a spike in sales that correlated with the time the article was in the paper.  

General Foods decided to see if they could repeat the results.  The company quickly sent copies of the recipe and photos of the cake to newspapers across the nation.  (By the way, somewhere along the way the “s” in “German’s” was accidentally dropped in the reprints, which caused people to later incorrectly believe the cake had a German origin.)

The Results?

Everywhere the recipe was published, food editors were suddenly swamped with requests for information on where to buy the chocolate.

How effective was it?

In a year, sales jumped 73%. Not only that, readers who missed the recipe asked that it be reprinted.  

In no time at all, German Chocolate Cake was on almost every table in America.

Not only that,  more than forty years later it continues to be a favorite dessert of many.


3 Content Marketing Lessons

1. Discover the type and form of content your prospects want.  (Recipes were wanted in this case.)

2. Uncover “channels” who need that type of content and who already reach your prospects. (General Foods found that newspapers were the perfect channel.)

3. Provide those “channels” with the type of content they need. (General Foods sent copies of the recipes and photos to newspapers across the U.S.)


Can You Think Of Any Current Examples?

If you know any modern day examples, then please feel free to post them in the comments below.


Photo by cuttlefish

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[author] [author_image timthumb=’on’][/author_image] [author_info]Scott Aughtmon is a “business recession solution expert“, a “content creation expert” , and a speaker. He’s spent over 12 years studying effective marketing and business methods (both online and offline).
You can read some of his content marketing articles for “Content Marketing Institute” here.
He’s the author of two e-books called “How Your Business Can Survive And Prosper In A Recession” in which he interviewed 38 top business, marketing and sales experts and got them toreveal their methods to help business owners survive and prosper in a recession. Scott has also been interviewed on radio shows and asked to share his wisdom to help business owners survive and prosper in a recession.  Read more of Scott’s insights on his blog. Follow Scott on Twitter @rampbusinesses or on Google Plus at +scott aughtmon+content creation methods, or [/author_info] [/author]


Scott Aughtmon
I’m author of the book 51 Content Marketing Hacks. I am also a regular contributor to and I am the person behind the popular infographic 21 Types of Content We Crave.

I’m a business strategist, consultant, content creation specialist, and speaker. I’ve been studying effective marketing and business methods (both online and offline) since 1999.

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