The caramel apple is a natural off-shoot of the traditional candy apple that has been around for several centuries. The first candied apples in the United States appeared in the early 1900’s, but were around for at least another century around the world before that. As for the modern caramel apple, it was reportedly invented by Dan Walker, who was working as a salesman for Kraft Foods at the time. The recipe for their caramel apples was then placed on the wrappers of their individual caramels and Kraft still does this to this day.
Although Walker isn’t credited with any other inventions, his employer has been one of the most influential inventors in the culinary industry. It is thought that no other food company has invented as much as Kraft Foods has.
1. Processed Cheese Slices
The Kraft Food Company initially started making processed cheese in 1914, producing their first tins just a year later. The US government even sent Kraft processed cheese to the soldiers who fought in the First World War. Over the years, however, the cheese processing technology was adapted to make it even more commercially viable and in 1950, Kraft brought the first individually wrapped processed cheese slices to the market.
2. Boxed Macaroni and Cheese
Macaroni and cheese was a dish that the United States knew about since the times of Thomas Jefferson, but it was basically a baked dish that took about 30 minutes to make from scratch. You’d have to get your own cheese, shave it over the macaroni, and then stick it in the oven until it turned into bubbly goodness. Kraft introduced the boxed version that could be made on a stove top in 1937, allowing families to make a meal for 4 in just 9 minutes for an affordable price near the end of the Great Depression.
3. Six Packs of Yogurt
Yogurt has also been a staple in the diets of many around the world, but until 1983 shoppers had to purchase their beloved product in individual containers. Although bulk sizes were available, this wasn’t always a good option for those that have a busy lifestyle! The six pack of yogurt was introduced by Kraft to coincide with their Light ‘N Lively low-fat yogurt brand to encourage weight control as a marketing ploy.
4. Snack Pack Cottage Cheese
After some buyouts and mergers, Kraft became part of the Philip Morris Companies along with General Foods, Nabisco, and the Tombstone Pizza Company. As now the largest food company in the US, it had the ability to influence market shares in other niche ingredient areas and one of the first chosen was cottage cheese. Kraft brought to market the four pack snack pack of cottage cheese in 4 ounce cups to encourage more consumption.
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