The 16 Most Popular Brands From Minnesota

green giantGreen Giant

Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Minnesota is home to a bunch of Fortune 500 companies — Target, General Mills, 3M, to name a few — which means the state is also where hugely-popular brands like Cheerios and Post-its originated.Earlier this year, the Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal ran a competition, Minnesota Brand Madness 2011, where the state voted on what brands they’re most proud of. We’ve highlighted the top 16.

#16 Wheaties

Score: 18

Location: Minneapolis

One of General Mills' many brands, Wheaties is the breakfast of champions. Wheaties Fuel, the hardcore brand of the famous cereal, was created by popular athletes such as Peyton Manning, Albert Pujols, and Bryan Clay.

Source: from a survey in the Minneapolis/St.Paul Business Journal

#15 TCF Bank

Score: 26

Location: Wayzata

TCF has 436 branches covering everywhere from Minnesota to Arizona. The bank is an affiliate of TCF Financial Corporation, also based in Minnesota.

Source: from a survey in the Minneapolis/St.Paul Business Journal

#14 General Mills

Score: 28

Location: Minneapolis

The cereal maker began in the 1860s with only two flour mills. Throughout its history, the brand has created popular characters such as Betty Crocker and the Pillsbury Doughboy.

Source: from a survey in the Minneapolis/St.Paul Business Journal

#13 Post-it Notes

Score: 35

Location: St. Paul

The tiny notepads first hit the consumer scene in 1980. Post-it Products, a division of 3M, now features more than 4,000 unique products.

Source: from a survey in the Minneapolis/St.Paul Business Journal

#12 Green Giant

Score: 40

Location: Minneapolis

The jolly Green Giant first made his appearance more than 100 years ago in the fields of Le Sueur, Minn. The company merged with The Pillsbury Company in 1979 and then the two were acquired by General Mills in 2001.

Source: from a survey in the Minneapolis/St.Paul Business Journal

#11 Buffalo Wild Wings

Score: 41

Location: Minneapolis

The wings restaurant started in 1981. The two founders had recently moved to Ohio from New York and were craving New York style chicken wings, thus the franchise was born. They later moved their operations to Minneapolis.

Source: from a survey in the Minneapolis/St.Paul Business Journal

#10 Edina Realty

Score: 41

Location: Edina

The realty company was started in 1955 by Emma Rovick, who lived in the Minneapolis suburb of Edina. She purchased a struggling real estate firm in her area with the hopes of making enough money to buy her daughter a piano.

Source: from a survey in the Minneapolis/St.Paul Business Journal

#9 Sleep Number Bed

Score: 43

Location: Minneapolis

The Sleep Number bed lets users set their mattress to customisable comfort labels. To date, the company, owned by Select Comfort, has nearly 7 million customers.

Source: from a survey in the Minneapolis/St.Paul Business Journal

#8 Land O'Lakes

Score: 59

Location: St. Paul

The company has been member-owned and directed since 1921. It offers cooperatives and agricultural producers a line of agricultural supplies, as well as produces dairy-based food products. The brand has a huge presence at the Minnesota State Fair.

Source: from a survey in the Minneapolis/St.Paul Business Journal

#7 Lunds/Byerly's

Score: 57

Location: Edina

The family-owned grocery store made its debut in 1964. Russell T. Lund, the founder, earned his grocer experience while working for Hoves, a small grocery store in Minneapolis.

Source: from a survey in the Minneapolis/St.Paul Business Journal

#6 Dairy Queen

Score: 59

Location: Minneapolis

The ice cream favourite began with the sale of an unnamed product in 1938 in Illinois. By 1947, there were 100 Dairy Queen stores nationwide.

Source: from a survey in the Minneapolis/St.Paul Business Journal

#5 Mall of America

Score: 60

Location: Bloomington

America's famous mall first opened its doors in 1992. It's best known for its huge, indoor amusement park. Since then it has grown to include a mall campus for local high school students and classes for adult basic education.

Source: from a survey in the Minneapolis/St.Paul Business Journal

#4 Malt-O-Meal

Score: 65

Location: Minneapolis

The company behind the grocery store's big bags of generic cereal was founded in 1919. The company originally manufactured hot wheat cereal, but expanded to ready-to-eat cereals in 1965.

Source: from a survey in the Minneapolis/St.Paul Business Journal

#3 Mayo Clinic

Score: 72
Location: Rochester

The Mayo Clinic is one of the best hospitals in the world. As of 2010, the worldwide non-profit medical organisation had 3,700 physicians and scientists on staff. Mayo Clinic served 1,050,000 patients last year.

Source: from a survey in the Minneapolis/St.Paul Business Journal

#2 Schwan's

Score: 74

Location: Marshall

The food delivery company began in March, 1952, when 23-year-old Marvin Schwan packed up the car with 14 gallons of his family's signature ice cream. The brand has grown to feature more than 350 products.

Source: from a survey in the Minneapolis/St.Paul Business Journal

#1 Creative Memories

Score: 82

Location: St. Cloud

Creative Memories was founded in 1987 and specialises in high-quality photo albums, scrapbooks, and photo books. To date, the company boasts more than 40,000 consultants.

How did this company win? We've never heard of it, and one of us is a Minnesota native. Which points to the fact that this company may have simply had the best social media strategy to get votes.

Source: from a survey in the Minneapolis/St.Paul Business Journal

If it were up to us ...

We'd bet the Minnesota Twins, Cheerios and Target would have made it to the finals.

These brands are loved too, but for a very different reason

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