Everyone remembers Kool-Aid, and may still drink it today. It was one of the first drinks that were successfully marketed to kids. Not unlike the grilled cheese sandwich, Kool-Aid went on to appeal not only to children but also adults.

It began with a grocer’s son, Edwin Perkins, who became intrigued by the efficiency and many flavors of Jell-O sold in the family shop in the 1910s. Perkins began to wonder if a similar method could be used to make a variety of drinks. At the time, soft drinks were not common.

Perkins began to make a series of flavored drinks for his family and in 1922 he tinkered around until he created the special recipe for Fruit Smack, which was a liquid concentrate. This forerunner to Kool-Aid was sold via mail and the orders were filled at his family’s store. Perkins sold a few other products via mail order as well but ceased when the Fruit Smack portion of his business dominated his time. The original Kool-Aid came in 6 flavors (lemon-lime, cherry, strawberry, orange, grape, and raspberry).

Years later, Edwin came up with an evaporated form of Fruit Smack that would make an easy-to-mix powder drink that was cheaper to ship and never resulted in broken glass from bottles. Now cheaper and easier, Perkins renamed it Kool Ade, which was then changed to Kool-Aid. This was the mid-late 1920s and cost the consumer 10 cents but during the 1930s, Edwin cut the price to 5 cents and now had even more customers.

In 1953, the rights to the Kool-Aid name, logo, and recipe were sold to Kraft Foods. Special Kool-Aid pitchers and glasses were developed and sold well. Later, ready to drink Kool-Aid was in bottles again and also squeeze box form.

Photo: 1930s Kool-Aid

Related FamilyTree.com Blogs:

National Beer Day

Nickle Coke-Cola

Cocktail Parties of the 1950s

< Return To Blog Remember Hawaiian Punch? My blood sugar spikes now just thinking of it. Our church in the 1960's order powdered fruit drinks for Vacation Bible School-It was TERRIBLE. We called it VBS punch. Ugh.
Barbara Elliott Osborn 23/10/21

Amazing the memories !!
alice 23/10/21

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