Hamburger Helper

Friday June 25thMeals Category

I can honestly say that I’ve never had Hamburger Helper. I almost feel like it’s too late to start trying it now because it seems like something that should be experienced as a kid but I guess that’s just because that’s when I first became aware of it.  I was very familiar with their commercials though and everyone knows the helper hand (does he have a name? I always think he’s just called “Hand”).  I always wondered why he’s missing a digit – maybe he was helping out too  much and lost it in some sort of kitchen accident?

The old box has a flat white background and simple, flat, black text.  They want to emphsise that this is a one skillet meal by displaynig the product in a skillet and include the text “One Skillet method”.  The Betty Crocker spoon is involved in the action of the layout and almost looks like it’s mixing the meal in the skillet.
“Hand” is behind the pan and looks happy but there’s something about his eyebrows that makes him look slightly unsure.   Kind of like he’s saying “Here you go, I hope you like it.  Looks good, right?”

The new box has a silhouette of what looks like a house with one of those Amityville attic windows at the top.  In this area is the title text which has been changed to white and s beveled and shaded.  Cheeseburger Macaroni has been changed to Double Cheeseburger Macaroni, which might explain why you used to be directed to “add to 1lb. hamburger”  and now you just “add hamburger” so I guess you can add as much as you want?  I’m sure the directions on the back must say how much but maybe 1lb doesn’t seem like a lot these days and they don’t want you to think it won’t be enough for your family(?).
Hand looks like he got a modern day digital makeover and lost the claymation look.  He does look more happy though.
The product has moved from the skillet onto a plate and there is no mention of how this is a one skillet meal.  The overall design looks lighter and more fresh than the old. I’d say the only thing I’m really not crazy about is the house shape and the window.

Hamburger Helper" Old or New?

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  1. Joshua
    June 25, 2010

    I pick the new one. By the way, my dad makes great homemade Hamburger Helper. :)

  2. A
    June 27, 2010

    Double Cheeseburger Macaroni is just a variation of the original, which is still readily available everywhere. There’s also a “Wholesome Helper” version out there.

  3. ima420r
    June 27, 2010

    I usually go with the old, but this time I went with the new. I never noticed the house before, but now everytime I see a box I will think of Amityville Horror! Perhaps the hand is a restles spirit.

  4. Phil Collins
    August 1, 2010

    In the ’70’s the economy was bad and money was very tight (remember stagflation?). That’s why Hamburger Helper came about. You could feed your whole family with 1 pound of hamburger. That was the selling point – it was cheap. The old packaging reflects the times. Food is much less expensive these days (in relative terms) and people are looking for quality and good taste so the “add one pound” isn’t important. Also, the house in the new package has an obvious connotation to home – perhaps the people buying it will remember their childhoods and home (where they ate hamburger helper). We don’t have to remember that they ony ate it because dad got laid off and money was tight.

  5. Paul Duca
    December 26, 2010

    Phil…even you’ve forgotten that Hamburger Helper originally was a soy product that you mixed with the ground beef to make it go farther. The new version simply jazzes up the meat you already have (along with Chicken and Tuna Helper).

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