After media mogul Oprah Winfrey announced she was co-launching a line of packaged foods with Kraft Heinz (HNZ), the internet rejoiced.
The "Oprah effect," by which a product explodes in popularity after getting an endorsement from the celebrity, is so real that some business gurus' entire service consists of showing small businesses how to manage an Oprah endorsement.
The names she has catapulted into popularity run the gamut. There's the natural beauty company Carol's Daughter, which started in a Brooklyn apartment in 1995, won millions of dollars in celebrity funding after an appearance on the Oprah Winfrey Show in 2002 and was eventually bought by L'Oreal.
There are the TV personalities -- Dr. Oz, Suze Orman, Dr. Phil -- whose many appearances on Oprah paved the way for them to launch their own shows.
Books chosen for Oprah's book club routinely make the bestseller list. According to USA Today, Oprah's continued selection of Toni Morrison's books for the club did more for Morrison's sales than being awarded the Nobel Prize for literature.
Among Oprah's own products are flip-flops and hats, totes, mugs, keychains and hoodies. Of course, there's O: The Oprah Magazine, which Forbes called the most successful startup in the magazine industry's history. The TV network OWN, had a rocky start in 2011 but was profitable two-and-a-half years later (although the recent departure of a high-profile star Tyler Perry raises some questions).
Oprah's foray into food began a few years ago, when she announced in 2012 she was buying a farm in Hawaii to grow and sell organic produce for the island. In October 2015, she bought a 10 percent stake in Weight Watchers (WTW), sending the stock soaring. Last year, she filed paperwork to trademark the name "Oprah's Kitchen," having previously trademarked "Oprah's Organics" and "Oprah's Harvest."
With an ad campaign for the Kraft Heinz line set to roll out this fall, this could be just the beginning of an entire new line of O-cuisine.
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