Ever since Gerber baby food slapped a photo of an adorable tyke onto their canned goods way back in 1928, parents across the country have hoped for their child to become as famous as the baby in the iconic charcoal sketch.
That original baby, Ann Turner Cook (who is still alive at 92), was chosen simply because she lived in the same neighborhood as artist Dorothy Hope Smith.
My grandmother was the Gerber baby. It was a funny bit of trivia, never made her rich or got us free strained peas or anything. But last week she got to meet the company's newest spokesbaby, named Lucas. Pretty pretttty cute. pic.twitter.com/u7ddWaM1Ed— Chris Colin (@chriscolin3000) June 4, 2018
In recent years, Gerber has turned the annual hunt for their next "spokesbaby" into a social media competition.
And this year’s adorable winner stood out in a crowd of more than 544,000 to win the coveted title of "Gerber baby" 2019.
Kairi Yang, a baby girl from Hickory, North Carolina, was announced as the company’s new face on Tuesday.
"As soon as we saw her photo," wrote Gerber’s president and CEO Bill Partyka, "we fell in love with Kairi’s expressive eyes and angelic face, looking toward the future and being excited for all that it holds."
Being chosen for the honor earned Kairi (and her parents) a $50,000 prize. And, of course, she’ll be featured in all sorts of marketing campaigns on social media over the next year.
Kairi’s mother, Ying Vue, said she was "speechless" after getting the good news.
"Kairi’s personality is larger than life," Vue was quoted as saying in a press release, "and she always maintains a spunky attitude."
"We hope Kairi’s one-of-a-kind, entertaining personality and vibrant facial expressions radiate positivity around the world, just like she does in our home every single day!"
Kairi’s parents revealed more interesting facts about America’s most famous baby: she loves playing hide and seek with her dad, has a sweet tooth for Arrowroot cookies and chicken nuggets, and is named for a character from the Kingdom Hearts video games.
Kairi is also used to entertaining big audiences: she shares a home with her parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins.
She’ll have big shoes to fill, as Kairi’s predecessor was Lucas Warren, the first Gerber baby with Down syndrome since the annual contest began in 2010.