Happiness Is...

Say Cheese

Taking a bite out of a nationwide craze.

By Heather Page

Now that the Christmas decorations have been put away and the smell of cookies is fading, you may once again spy a rather unusual sight when you look around . . . cheese. Or, to be more precise, Cheeseheads. Reaching epidemic proportions last year after the Green Bay Packers won the Super Bowl, the Cheesehead craze sweeping the nation hasn't slowed since.

Bob Fruchter is one entrepreneur getting a slice of the Cheesehead pie. In conjunction with Milwaukee-based Foamation Inc., the company that developed those cushy foam Cheesehead hats that you see at all the Packers games, Fruchter is marketing a Cheesehead soap-on-a-rope and fragrance (which, by the way, doesn't smell like cheese). "People just like funky, neat things and want to get caught up in the fun," says Fruchter, 45.

While moving into the national spotlight only recently, the craving for everything Cheesehead actually began 11 years ago when the first Cheesehead hat was worn at a Milwaukee Brewers baseball game.

Since then, people around the nation have been saying cheese by donning Cheesehead baseball hats, neckties, cuff links and earrings. Just like the pungent smell of Limburger, it looks like the Cheesehead craze will linger--at least for a while.

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This article was originally published in the January 1998 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: Happiness Is....

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