(Roughly) Daily

“I’m not Jesus Christ but I can turn water into Kool-Aid”*…

 

Kool-Aid-Vintage-Packets

 

More than 563 million gallons of Kool-Aid are consumed each year; more than 225 million gallons in the three summer months.  That’s to say, 17 gallons of Kool-Aid are consumed every second during the summer season…

The story of Kool-Aid begins with another hyphenated product: Jell-O. Edwin Perkins—whose father owned a general store in Hastings, Nebraska—was fascinated with Jell-O. He persuaded his father to sell it at their general store and later began selling products directly to customers. Eventually he began manufacturing his own homemade products including perfumes, food flavoring and a bottled beverage he called Fruit Smack. Forming his own sales company and selling his products door-to-door, Perkins began bringing some of his concoctions to the general public. A spirit of DIY and interest in developing products led him to create the precursor to his most famous invention.

Before it was developed by Perkins in 1927, Kool-Aid was preceded by a fruit-based liquid called Fruit Smack.

Fruit-Smack

It was a liquid concentrate available in a few different flavors. Corked and sold in four ounce glass bottles, the product tended to leak or break during transit. Despite Perkins’ intentions of enabling families to use the concentrate to make pitchers of the beverage for a very low cost, he was confronted with a bit of a supply chain problem. Fruit Smack was a hit with the Perkins’ customers, but its fragility created the need for something more economical, easier to transport and preferably in powdered form…

To create his superior drink, Perkins focused on dehydrating Fruit Smack using the proper mix of dextrose, citric acid, tartaric acid, flavoring and food coloring. The rest is sugary beverage history. When Perkins’ original Kool-Aid first hit the market, it had a paltry six flavors—orange, cherry, raspberry, grape, strawberry and the ever popular lemon-lime combo—and it only cost ten cents per packet!

It was originally a wholesale product only available to grocery stores or specialty candy shops. A few years later in 1929, Kool-Aid distribution expanded all over the country, eventually making its way overseas a few years later. Perkins’ operation relocated to Chicago and the Kool-Aid name was officially trademarked in 1934

During The Great Depression, when hard times afflicted the American public, Perkins decided to halve the price to provide a luxury item to people who otherwise may not have been able to afford it. It ended up becoming one of Perkins’ most successful products and he later sold the brand to General Foods in 1953. A packet of Kool-Aid at most stores near me only costs about $.20 today, which is still incredibly affordable—unless you’re trying to buy certain discontinued flavors online, which can get a bit pricey…

From David Buck, via the ever-illuminating Tedium, Kool-Aid– how a powdered mix (and its bulbous mascot) became dominant players in the drinks market: “Thirsty? Oh Yeah!

See also: “Kool Kool-Aid Facts!

* (George) Watsky

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As we stir and sip, we might recall that it was on this date in 1964 that Pepsi acquired the Tip Corp. for the rights to their Mountain Dew soft drink, a caffeine-packed citrus soda that currently accounts for about 6.6% of the U.S. soft drink market.  Tip’s eponymous cola brand, a regional player in the Southeast, was allowed to languish.

angel source

 

Written by LW

September 2, 2020 at 1:01 am

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