Refrigerators symbolized a new era of American affluence and abundance. Consumers could choose from a variety of models in a range of colors with innovations such as separate freezers. Magazines showcased a cornucopia of fresh and frozen foods, underscoring the productivity of American farms and a higher standard of living.
Power companies and manufacturers told consumers that “living electrically” would make domestic chores a snap. In reality, appliances often meant more work for housewives, who were expected to have cleaner houses and fancier food. But a belief in labor-saving devices and styling increased sales and fueled production of consumer durables. Refrigerator manufacturers advertised freezers as signs of innovation and progress. From Swanson dinners to Birdseye frozen vegetables, frosted food brought a variety of new products to Americans more cheaply and changed the way people ate.
Tupperware and other new flexible plastics appeared in postwar kitchens and quickly began to replace glass containers. Tupperware also turned houses into places of commerce as housewives sold the product through home parties.