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During the 1950s, as the United States waged a cold war against Soviet communism, supermarkets became symbols of the superior living standards made possible by the American capitalist system.
Showcasing food abroad, 1958
The U.S. Information Agency used the abundance of supermarket food to represent the benefits of the “American way of life.”
Courtesy of National Archives
Showcasing food at home, 1959
Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev surveys a Safeway supermarket in San Francisco.
Courtesy of AP Images
Packaging designers, about 1960
With the rise in Americans’ purchasing power after the war and the increase in market competition, companies devoted more time, money, and resources to researching and designing packages to sell.
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