The new Gerber Baby for 2023 is Madison Mendoza, a 10-month-old military brat. Madison, also known as Maddie, is the daughter of Crystal and Lt. Col. Jun Mendoza, who is an Air Force Academy graduate and allergist. Despite the term "military brat" being used, it is actually a term of endearment for children in military families. Maddie won the annual Photo Search Contest and will now serve as the "spokesbaby" for Gerber. She will also receive a grand prize of $25,000, a year's supply of Gerber baby food, a first foods set, a Gerber childrenswear gift card, a Mommy & Me luggage set, and a Canon EOS R50 camera.
Maddie will appear in the company's marketing campaigns and will also serve as the chief taste tester for new baby food offerings. Maddie's story is one of love, resilience, and adventure, and it symbolizes the spirit of Gerber babies throughout the generations. She is a "rainbow baby," born after her parents experienced loss. Both of Maddie's grandfathers served in the U.S. Navy, and her parents are from first-generation Filipino families. The Gerber Photo Search Contest not only gives a fresh face to the company's marketing but also supports a good cause.
Gerber matches the $25,000 prize with a donation to the March of Dimes, which helps support research, education, and advocacy for moms and babies. The original Gerber baby, Ann Turner Cook, was also from a military family. Her father served in the Army during World War I. In 1928, a charcoal drawing of young Ann was submitted and won the contest, but her identity remained a secret until 1978. Maddie's parents hope to be stationed overseas again so that they can teach her about different parts of the world. They describe Maddie as bringing immeasurable joy to their lives and look forward to seeing her grow into a kind, compassionate, strong, independent, and worldly individual. Overall, the new Gerber Baby represents the love and resilience found in military families and will serve as a symbol for Gerber's marketing while also supporting a good cause.