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Robert Vlasic, who turned Detroit-based Vlasic Food Products from a regional firm into a national powerhouse for pickle sales, has died, his family confirmed Wednesday.

The Michigan native was 96 and surrounded by family when he died of natural causes on Sunday, May 8, 2022, at his Bloomfield Hills home he previously shared with his wife, son Bill Vlasic told The Detroit News.

Robert Vlasic was the son of Joseph Vlasic, who took the creamery business his father, Frank, formed in Detroit after immigrating to the United States in 1912 and expanded it into selling pickles spiced with garlic and dill, according to the company’s website. 

The company sold pickles to Detroit’s Polish community during World War II. But after Robert, known as Bob, joined the business after the war and became general manager, he began during the 1960s to expand the company into a national brand through acquisitions.

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