Have I posted here before about Bimbo? From time to time there is Bimbomania in groups that come down. A few times we have gone hunting Bimbo signs for people to take back as souvenirs, not to mention the pictures of the billboards, the buying of the snacks and such just to see what the fuss is about (not to mention that the awesome whole wheat with nuts and granola bread we use for PB&J for groups is from Bimbo), the asking of me to go into "mexican grocery stores" in the US to see if they have Bimbo products (uh, of course they do) and then there is the chuckling and the mischievousness of myself wearing my Bimbo sponsored Club America (or newly acquired Monterrey) jersey in the US just because I know it must people wonder. Then I wonder what they wonder, or if they wonder at all. (I am missing only two more jerseys from Bimbo sponsored clubs....Chivas also in Mexico, and oddly Saprissa in Costa Rica)
So, what is up with Bimbo? Why is it named Bimbo? Did they not know the connotation involved? I mean...should not every business check to see if their product or brand is going to sound odd in another language? (enter the Mazda "Laputa", Gerber in French, Nissan's Moco, etc.)
Supposedly the name Bimbo originates back in the 1940s, when the company switched names from Super Pan S.A. and was chosen because it would compete (and plagiarize really) from the other two big bread brands in Mexico at the time...Bambi and Dumbo. The bear is reported to have its origins from a postcard sent to a relative in the organization. I personally like the fact that there the bear has a chef's hat and apron, but not other clothing.
I won't give a long exposé, but Bimbo is known in the Americas, Europe and Asia...and there is a division called Bimbo Bakeries USA which has been operating for about 10 years (HQ in...where else?...Horsham Pennsylvania) and total there are over 5,000 products and 100 known brands....such as those in the US might know: Boboli, Brownberry, Entenmann's, and Thomas'. As a consequence of owning all those other brands...it is the largest bakery in the USA, not counting all the operations, factories, delivery trucks and salesmen and women all over the rest of the world...even if you have never heard of it.
So which came first? The use in American English slang wins...in the 1930s...but arguably, when most of the rest of the world thinks Bimbo...they are thinking of tarts, cupcakes, cookies...oh, and bread I suppose as well.