When you’re dishing up some baked beans to go with your burger and hot dog this Fourth of July, pour out a spoonful for “Duke,” the dog on label of Bush’s Baked Beans that passed away last week, the company reported today.
Technically speaking, several dogs have played Duke, a character that was baked into the bean company’s brand — and “secret family recipe” commercials — when founder A.J. Bush’s great-grandson Jay Bush became the company’s spokesperson in the early 1990s. Sam was the name of the dog that passed away, as Bush’s confirmed in a Facebook post on Tuesday.
Bush’s commercials have been credited with helping the company gain 80% of the market share, according to the advertising agency Creative Energy.
While Jay Bush’s actual dog never appeared in the commercials, the character Duke has been Jay’s companion in commercials for years — and will continue to be, according to the company.