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Kraft Foods - The History of Kraft Foods

Perhaps no other food company has invented as much as Kraft Foods has.


  • 1765: A Dorchester, Massachusetts, physician, Dr. James Baker, went into partnership with a Irish chocolate-maker, John Hannon and made America's first chocolate mill.

  • 1780: The mill made the famous BAKER'S chocolate.

  • 1880: The Empire Cheese Company of New York began producing PHILADELPHIA BRAND Cream Cheese for a New York distributor called Reynolds.

  • 1882: Isaac and Joseph Breakstone (Breakstone Bros) opened a small dairy store on New York City's Lower East Side.

  • 1883: The now famous Oscar F. Mayer and his brothers Gottfried and Max started a meat market in Chicago.

  • 1889: Food salesman, William M. Wright created a new baking powder called CALUMET® which he made at night and sold during the day.

  • 1892: A coffee blend was developed by Joel Cheek for the Maxwell House Hotel in Nashville, Tennessee, called MAXWELL HOUSE coffee.

  • 1946: MAXWELL HOUSE instant coffee was introduced to the American public after it was used by the armed forces in World War II.

  • 1895: In Battle Creek, Michigan, C.W. Post made the first POSTUM®, a cereal beverage. Post created GRAPE-NUTS® cereal in 1897, and POST TOASTIES® corn flakes in 1908.

  • 1897: Pearl Wait adapted an 1845 patent for a gelatin dessert. May Davis Wait named the new product JELL-O brand gelatin. In 1899, Orator Francis Woodward bought the trademark rights to JELL-O® for $450. Woodward launched the advertising campaign for "America's most favorite Dessert" in 1902.

  • 1903: J.L. Kraft started a wholesale cheese business in Chicago.

  • 1905: YUBAN coffee blend was created by John Arbuckle.

  • 1906: Oscar Mayer is one of the first meatpackers to obtain the Federal Meat Inspection stamp of approval.

  • 1907: Legend claims that when President Theodore Roosevelt was served a cup of MAXWELL HOUSE coffee and he proclaimed that it was "GOOD TO THE LAST DROP."

  • 1914: J.L. Kraft & Bros. Co. opened their first cheese factory in Stockton, Illinois, within a year they begin producing process cheese in tins. The U.S. government provided cheese in tins for the armed forces during World War I.

  • 1921: Louis Rich bought a truck and started his business in Rock Island, Illinois.

  • 1927: Edwin Perkins created a powered fruit drink called KOOL-ADE, later called KOOL-AID. Perkins created KOOL-AID from his first product the popular soft drink syrup called Fruit Smack.

  • 1927: The same year the Postum Company marketed SANKA decaffeinated coffee (first sold in the U.S. in 1923).

  • 1928: Kraft introduced VELVEETA process cheese.

  • 1933: Kraft introduced MIRACLE WHIP salad dressing at Chicago's Century of ProgressWorld's Fair.

  • 1936: "Little Oscar and the WIENERMOBILE" started the advertising campaign for Oscar Mayer & Co.

  • 1937: KRAFT Macaroni and Cheese Dinner was introduced with the advertising slogan of "Make a meal for 4 in 9 minutes."

  • 1949: MINUTE Rice was nationally distributed.

  • 1950: KRAFT Deluxe process cheese slices, the first commercially packaged sliced process cheese was introduced.

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