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Packers Acquire Cheesehead Manufacturer Foamation

In 1987, a Milwaukee Brewers fan named Ralph Bruno was reupholstering his mother’s couch and got an idea. He took some yellow foam cushioning, burned cavities into it to simulate the holes in Swiss cheese, and fashioned himself a wedge-shaped hat, which he then wore to a Brewers game. Bruno’s DIY brainstorm was a hit with other fans, and thus the Cheesehead was born.

Bruno and his wife, Sue, soon formed a Milwaukee-based company, called Foamation, to manufacture and sell official Cheeseheads and related products. One of their biggest customers, unsurprisingly, was the Green Bay Packers’ team shop. Now the Packers have eliminated the middleman by acquiring Foamation. Terms were not disclosed, but it seems safe to say that the move will provide the Brunos with some financial security for the next phase of their lives.

The move was announced yesterday at the Packers’ annual shareholders’ meeting. Bruno’s original homemade Cheesehead, preserved in a plastic case like the precious artifact it is, was on display:

Photo by Kelsey Tehan, Green Bay Packers

The team said all Foamation products will continue to be manufactured in Wisconsin.

(My thanks to Miles Cliatt, who was the first to bring this news to my attention.)

Comments (18)

    We Packer fans rarely bring this up, but the Packers are owned by their fans. Which means I now own a small chuck of Foamation as well. The only bigger accomplishment is our 13 NFL Championships, which we also rarely bring up. Now if you excuse me, I’ve got to prepare my child’s bike so it can be shared with a player at training camp, a tradition we Packer fans rarely bring up.

    Maybe it is not brought up locally as you all know and would be like preaching to the choir. I have good friends that are Packer fans living in other parts of the U.S. that get great thrill of reminding everyone of your first 2 points (especially when a discussion of # of Super Bowl wins comes up…). Your last point is different and pretty cool.

    Only two championships in the last 54 years for a city nicknamed “Titletown” is something Green Bay also conveniently rarely bring up.

    The Packers immediately started selling official merchandise with the Cheesehead pictured (i.e. “Owner” with a cheesehead over the O). Exciting day for us Cheeseheads and Packers shareholders!

    Fixed, although it’s not entirely inappropriate in this context.

    As a Vikings fan, I don’t like the Packers or their cheeseheads, but I do have a legitimate question. Do Packer fans ever flip it over and use it as a cup holder and snack holder? When you flip it over, there are three “cup holders” and a “center bowl?”

    Is that a thing?

    Yes. That is a thing that can and has been done. Preferably by putting a bowl in it and not pouring the chips or dip directly into the foam.

    I’m far from a cheese expert, but i always thought Swiss cheese was white. I always believed those hats were cheddar cheese, which would mean the holes don’t make sense. Is there yellow Swiss cheese, or is there cheddar cheese with holes? It doesn’t really matter, it’s just for fun, I know. But I’m genuinely curious about this.

    I don’t think it was supposed to necessarily be cheddar. That was just the color of the foam from the couch. But that shade is used for a lot of holey cheese images including the cheese emoji

    Just a guess but I always assumed that they wanted it to be like cheddar, which WI is by far the leading producer of but then the hat looked like a weird foam triangle. Adding holes made it immediately identifiable as cheese while the yellow color made it seem more American due to our preferences towards yellow cheddar and American cheeses and not being named for a foreign country. Many classic cartoons, like Tom and jerry did this as well

    Logistical question: The Packers are supposedly a non-profit public corporation.

    I assume Foamation was a for-profit company.

    How does that work when a not-for-profit company buys a for-profit company?

    Makes sense and lots of dollars as I like to think Foamation makes the chessehats for the other Wisconsin teams (Brewers, Bucks, Badgers) as well. Or is it strictly for the Packers? That original hat looks like old Emmenthaler cheese, incredible! My favorite cheese, Emmenthaler.

    I would love to know if they would potentially start manufacturing the Nebraska “Cornhead” foam hats again. The company abruptly stopped making them in 2019 with minimal information for or contact with their resellers. While others have attempted to fill the gap in the “Corn Hat” market like Foamheads and FanFave, but no one truly recaptured the spirit of the original Cornhead hats.

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