FOOD: Transforming the American Table 1950-2000

A Concentrated Success

In 1945, the National Research Corporation developed a powdered form of orange juice for the U.S. Army. After World War II, the company reconfigured the dehydration process to create a new product for the consumer market: frozen, concentrated orange juice. Packed in cans at Florida processing plants and sold nationwide, it became the postwar era’s first frozen-food success story. While canned juice was already available year-round, many consumers found the taste of frozen juice more appealing and the cost more affordable than fresh oranges.

Juice can, about 1955

Gift of Cory Bernat

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Juice mixer, about 1956

At home, consumers mixed the concentrate with water in pitchers of their own or in containers specially promoted for the purpose, like this one made by Tupperware. Gift of Glenn O. Tupper.

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Souvenir Orange, 1964

At the 1964 World’s Fair in New York, Minute Maid partnered with Florida’s tourism board to attract visitors and market orange juice. Bequest of Larry Zim.

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Freezing the juice, about 1955

Freezing the juice, about 1955

Cans of concentrated orange juice pass through a blast-freeze tunnel set to -40 degrees Fahrenheit.

Courtesy of State Archives of Florida

Postcard of Minute Maid plant in Auburndale, Florida, about 1960

Postcard of Minute Maid plant in Auburndale, Florida, about 1960

Courtesy of Cory Bernat

Postcard of Minute Maid plants in Frostproof, Florida, about 1960

Postcard of Minute Maid plants in Frostproof, Florida, about 1960

Courtesy of Cory Bernat