Call From Philip Morris

The cigarette giant buys the food giant for $5.7 billion

Maxwell House coffee. Log Cabin syrup. Oscar Mayer hot dogs. Jell-O. Birds Eye peas. From breakfast to dinner, millions of Americans eat General Foods products every day, never realizing that one company makes them all. While its products are household names, the firm, which had sales during its last fiscal year of $9 billion, is low-keyed, given to such simple boasts as "We sell more kinds of food and more of it." That tone may soon change. Last week General Foods was taken over by Philip Morris (1984 revenues: $13.8 billion), whose Marlboro man and Virginia Slims woman exemplify marketing pizazz.


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