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US Food Facts & History

Food packaging has become as important as the product itself. Food manufacturers promote their brand by designing custom boxes with logo to get their products noticed. The right packaging or custom box design can be a big influence on consumers to buy a product.


1920 LaChoy Food Products gets it start in Detroit.
1921 The first White Castle hamburger stand open in Wichita, Kansas. The white of the stone suggested cleanliness, the castle facade suggested stability. The little hamburgers are 5 cents apiece.
1921 Table-salt makers iodize salt with potassium iodide to prevent enlarged thyroid.
1923 Tijuana restaurant owner Caesar Cardini come up with the showy, tableside prepared Caesar salad.
1924 Wolf Brand Chili goes into big-time production.
1925 The first paper napkin come on the market.
1925 Postum Cereal Co, now General Foods, buys the rights to Jell-O, invented in 1897 by Pearl Bixby Wait of LeRoy, NY.
1926 Milk Duds are introduced.
1926 Cobb salad, a chopped salad made with avocado, lettuce, celery, tomato, bacon, chicken, chives, hard-boiled egg, watercress and Roquefort cheese is created at the Brown Derby in Los Angeles by owner Bob Cobb to use up leftovers.
1927 Pez is introduced in Austria as a peppermint breath mint for smokers.
1927 General Electric introduces the revolutionary monitor-top refrigerator. The motor was sealed in a case that perched on top of the appliance and it required no maintenance.
1927 Kool-Aid is introduced by Edwin Perkins, there was originally 7 flavors.
1928 Sliced bread is introduced.
1928 Broccoli in new to the United States.
1928 Velveeta Process Cheese Spread is introduced.
1929 Clarence Birdeye masters the quick-freezing of vegetables.
1929 The ruby variety of grapefruit is discovered as a mutation on a McAllen TX. farm.
1929 Nestle purchased Peter's Chocolate, a European company specializing in chocolate for chefs and bakers. That company developed the world's first milk chocolate, using Henri Nestle's condensed milk.
1929 Oscar Mayer Wieners introduced.
The stock market crashes.


1930 The average household worked 91 days to buy a year's worth of food and spent 25 percent of the household income on food.
1930 Jiffy biscuit mix, sliced Wonder bread and Hostess Twinkies are born.
1930 The Brenham Creamery Co. changes its name to Blue Bell Creameries, Inc.
1930 Birdseye introduces frozen food; electric stoves appear.
1932 San Antonio candymaker C. Elmer Doolin stops in a cafe for a sandwich and is served a side dish of corn chips. He pays the cafe owner $100 for the recipe. Fritos are born.
1932 Campbell's introduces its tomato soup.
1932 Hotpoint introduces the single slice toaster.
1933 The E. and J. Gallo winery is founded at Modesto, CA., by Ernest Gallo, 24 and his brother Julio, 23.
1936 Howard Johnson's first restaurant opens, on Cape Cod.
1936 Stuckey's gets it start when William and Ethel Stuckey open a roadside stand in Georgia to sell pecans to motorists en route to and from Florida.
1937 The shopping cart is introduced.
1937 The Waring blender in introduced as a bartenders tool. It was invented by Fred Osius, one of the founders of Hamilton Beach Co.
1937 Refrigerators are in more than 2 million U.S. households.
1937 Kraft rolls out Kraft Dinner - a boxed meal that sells for 19 cents.
1938 Teflon is discovered.
1938 Mrs. Baird's Bakery expands by opening a bakery in Houston and a new facility in Ft. Worth.
1939 Nestle Tollhouse Morsels are introduced.
1939 Nestle introduces the world's first instant coffee - Nescafe.


1940 The first Dairy Queen stand opens in Joilet, Illinois.
1941 South Carolina is the first state to require enrichment of white bread with vitamins and iron.
1942 U.S. consumers hoard coffee, leading to a coffee ration to 1 lb. every five weeks. Sugar & meat had already been rationed.
1942 Neil and Carl Fletcher serve their corny dogs at the State Fair of Texas.
1942 The frozen food industry balloons as producers look for alternatives to metal cans during the war years.
1942 The Wrigley Co. packs K rations for troops that contain canned meat, 4 cigarettes, compressed Graham biscuits, 3 tablets of sugar and a stick of chewing gum.
1943 Ike Sewell and Ric Riccardo create Chicago-style(deep dish) pizza at Pizzeria Uno in Chicago.
1943 Sale of sliced bread banned. Cheese and fat are rationed.
1943 Texas produce broker Gordon Harwell develops converted rice.
1945 Earl W. Tupper invents resealable food containers.
1945 In an effort to give bananas a designer label, the United Fruit Company creates Chiquita Banana.
1946 Frozen french fries potatoes are introduced.
1947 Reynolds Metals Co. uses surplus aluminum from World War II to make Reynolds Wrap aluminum foil.
1947 Refrigeration and the rise of suburbia are responsible for the creation of supermarkets, where all food stuff can be found under one roof.
1947 Reddi-Whip is the first major U.S. aerosol food product.
1947 Cake mixes from Betty Crocker and Pillsbury start making their appearance. The first mix is a single-layer ginger cake, followed by the now standard layer cake in devil's-food.
1948 V-8 Cocktail Vegetable Juice is introduced by Campbell Soup Co.
1948 Nestle introduces instant tea.
1948 The plastic Pez dispensers are introduced.
1948 Dick and Mac McDonald open the first McDonald's in San Bernardino, Calif.
1948 The process of condensing and freezing orange juice is developed.
1949 Sara Lee Cheese Cake is introduced by baker Charles Lubin, who names the product for his daughter.
1949 About 70 percent of U.S. milk is homogenized - compared with 33 percent in 1940.
1949 The electric dishwasher debuts.


1950 The rest of America (outside of Calif., Hawaii & Florida) starts catching on to using avocados in salads.
1951 The first Jack-in-the-Box opens in San Diego.
1951 Former Marine Glen Bell, 28, introduces the first fast food taco at his hamburger and hot dog stand in San Bernardino, Calif. He comes up with a contraption that will hold tortillas in hot oil to form the now classic U-shaped taco shell.
1951 S & H Green Stamps get their start at the Denver store chain King Sooper
1952 Colonel Sanders sells first Kentucky Fried Chicken franchise.
1952 Powdered nondairy coffee cream is introduced.
1952 The Lipton food company rolls out a dehydrated onion soup mix that will earn its fame as a base for onion dip.
1952 Mrs. Paul's introduces fish sticks.
1953 Swift begins an aggressive program to develop a better turkey. The following year, the Butterball brand and the self-basting turkey are introduced.
1953 The French Sardine Co. (in existence since 1917) becomes Star-Kist Foods.
1953 Eggo frozen waffles are introduced.
1953 Cheez Whiz is introduced as a shortcut for homemakers.
1954 The C. A. Swanson Co. rolls out the first TV dinner, a combination of turkey, cornbread dressing and gravy, peas and sweet potatoes; it costs 98 cents.
1954 The first Burger King open in Miami. The Whopper was introduced in 1957.
1955 The first bagels sold in a supermarket were from Lenders Bagel Bakery in New Haven, Conn.
1055 The first home microwave ovens are manufactured.
1956 Jif peanut butter is introduced.
1956 Certs, the first candy breath mint, is introduced.
1957 Better Homes and Gardens prints its first microwave cooking article.
1957 Tang Breakfast Beverage Crystals is introduced.
1957 Margarine sales take the lead over butter.
1958 Eighteen year-old Frank Camey opens the first Pizza hut in Wichita, Kan.


1960 Single serve packages of ketchup are introduced.
1960 Commercial use of aluminum cans for food and beverages is begun.
1962 Lenders Bagel Bakery is the first to sell frozen bagels.
1962 Frozen pie crust is introduced.
1962 Pull-tab can openers is patented.
1964 Pop-tarts are introduced.
1964 Colonel Sanders, 74, sells Kentucky Fried Chicken for $2 million.
1964 Buffalo wings are invented at the Anchor Bar in Buffalo, NY.
1964 Cold duck is introduced.
1965 Pillsbury introduced Poppin' Fresh, the Pillsbury Doughboy.
1965 Dr. Robert Cade at the University of Florida develops Gatorade, a drink to help athletes replenish fluids and minerals.
1965 Shake 'n' Bake is introduced.
1965 Cool Whip is introduced.
1965 Robert Mondavi Winery is founded.
1966 Bac'Os are introduced.
1966 Nabisco invents Easy Cheese Pasteurized Process Cheese Spread, also known as Snack Mate Processed Cheese Spread, an aerosol cheese.
1967 Campbell Soup Co. acquires Godiva Chocolate.
1969 Pringles potato chips are introduced.
1969 Dave Thomas opens the first Wendy's in Columbus, Ohio. Wendy's is named for his daughter.
1969 The first Cracker Barrel Old Country Store opens along Interstate 40 in Lebanon, Tenn.


1970 Orville Redenbacher's Gourmet Popping Corn is introduced.
1970 Hamburger Helper is introduced.
1070 Resealable plastic bags introduced.
1971 The nation's first salad bar is introduced at R.J. Grunts, a singles bar/restaurant in Chicago.
1971 Rival trademarks the Crock-Pot.
1971 McDonald's opens a location in Tokyo, its first international site.
1971 Starbucks is founded at Pike Place Market in Seattle.
1972 Celestial Seasonings Herbal Teas are introduced.
1972 Vincent Marotta and Samuel Glazer invent the Mr. Coffee.
1973 The Clorox Corp. buys the rights to HIdden Valley dressing from Steve Henson, who began serving his concoction on greens at his dude ranch near Santa Barbara in 1954.
1973 Bar codes begin appearing on food packaging.
1973 McDonald's introduces the Egg McMuffin, the first fast-food breakfast item.
1973 Carl Sontheimer introduces the Cuisinart Food Processor at the National Housewares Exposition in Chicago.
1974 Yoplait yougart is introduced.
1974 Miller Lite Beer, the first lite beer, is introduced.
1974 Mrs. Field's Cookies are introduced.
1975 The ballpark nacho is born at the Texas Rangers Arlington Stadium in Arlington, Texas.
1978 Ben and Jerry's Homemade Ice Cream and Crepes opens in Vermont.


1980 McDonald's tests Chicken McNuggets in Knoxville, Tenn.
1981 Nestle, owner of Srouffer's Corp., rolls out Lean Cuisine.
1982 Anheuser-Busch introduces Bud Light.
1982 Campbell Soup introduces Swanson Great Starts frozen breakfasts.
1982 Paul Newman bottles his secret recipe for salad dressing and launches Newman's Own all-natural food line.
1982 General Mills opens the first Olive Garden restaurant.
1982 Jenny Craig Inc., a weight-loss program, is founded by San Diego entrepreneur Sid Craig and his wife, Jenny.
1985 Coca-Cola announces that it is replacing its formula with a sweeter Coke designed for younger tastes.
1985 Boston Chicken has its beginnings in a Newton, Mass., fast-food restaurant.
1986 Swanson replaces the try in it TV dinners with a plaxtic model that can be microwaved.
1986 McDonald's and Burger King stop frying their food in beef tallow and start releasing nutritional and ingredients information.
1987 Snapple introduces bottled iced tea, creating a new soft drink category.
1988 Boboli pizza crusts are introduced.
1988 Oscar Mayer Lunchables introduced.
1989 ConAgra CEO Charles Harper rolls out the Healthy Choice line of frozen low-fat, low-cholesterol, low-sodium foods his company developed after he had a heart attack.







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