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Since 1991, Plato the Publixaurus has been the mascot for Publix.  

The company wanted to create a character that would appeal to children. Publix artist Warren Dossey was asked to work on sketches for two characters — a farmer and a dinosaur. Farmers have an obvious tie to Publix, but in the end the dinosaur was selected to represent education, nutrition and environmental awareness. 

Warren said, “We thought he needed a real name rather than just Publixaurus. I named him Plato, and it seemed to work.” 

After he had a name, Publix’s ad layout artist Stacy Smith took over.  

“Once Warren did the illustration, it was easy to write about Plato. He has so much personality,” she said. 

Plato was introduced in a coloring book called “Fun with Food,” and depicted as a good little dinosaur who learned about nutrition and exercise. According to his backstory, other dinosaurs wouldn’t listen to what he’d learned, so he left his home to share his knowledge with Publix. He went to sleep that night and woke up in the 20th century when construction workers building a new Publix store found him. Publix was impressed with Plato and asked him to be their spokesdinosaur. 

Plato debuted at the 1991 grand opening of the company’s first Georgia store in Savannah, and has made thousands of appearances at store openings and other Publix events.  

In years since, Plato became more focused on nutrition and fitness science. The change was made to show kids how much fun physical activity and good healthy eating can be.