Facebook Twitter

A timeline set in Jell-O

SHARE A timeline set in Jell-O

1897: Jell-O invented by Pearle Wait, in strawberry, raspberry, orange and lemon flavors.

1899: Jell-O is sold to Orator Woodward of the Genessee Pure Food Co.

1903: First Jell-O recipe collection is published.

1904: Jell-O Girl advertisements debut.

1906: Cherry and chocolate flavors are introduced. Chocolate flavor is discontinued in 1931.

1907: Peach flavor is added (discontinued by 1920).

1918: Coffee-flavored Jell-O is sold for a brief time.

1925: D-Zerta, the first sugar-free Jell-O, debuts.

1930: Lime flavor is added.

1934: Comedian Jack Benny begins pitching Jell-O on a radio show.

1942: Cola Jell-O is launched but goes flat within a year.

1942-45: The cookbook "Bright Spots for Wartime Meals: 66 Ration-Wise Recipes" strategizes the use of Jell-O during World War II.

1956: Johnny Carson, Lucille Ball and Roy Rogers help pitch three new "deep, dark, delicious flavors" — imitation black cherry, imitation grape and imitation black raspberry. In the technology-obsessed '50s, "imitation" is a proud part of the name.

1961-64: "Joys of Jell-O Cookbook," with 250 recipes, is published. Also, blackberry and mixed flavors are introduced, including orange-pineapple, mixed fruit, lemon-lime, strawberry-banana and pineapple-grapefruit.

1964: "There's always room for Jell-O" ad campaign is launched.

1969: Jell-O 1,2,3 (which separated into a clear bottom, chiffon middle and creamy top) is launched. Also the Poke Cake recipe, developed by Kraft Kitchens, is introduced. (Poke holes in a baked cake and pour hot Jell-O over the top and let set.)

1973: Bill Cosby becomes Jell-O's spokesman.

1975-78: Peach and blackberry flavors return; apricot debuts.

1984: Sugar-Free Jell-O is launched using NutraSweet. (Today 40 percent of all Jell-O sold is sugar-free.) Also, frozen Jell-O Pops are introduced.

1985: Philip Morris buys General Foods.

1990: Jell-O Jigglers — a recipe for hand-held, gummy bear-tasting squares — are marketed, initially increasing sales by 47 percent.

1991: Ready-to-eat Jell-O snacks come out.

1992: Berry blue flavor is launched, becoming Jell-O's third most popular color after red and orange.

1996: Hispanic market is targeted with tropical blends such as peach passion fruit.

1997: Jell-O celebrates its 100th birthday with a new sparkling white grape flavor and a new slogan: "Jell-O always breaks the mold." The Jell-O Gallery opens in LeRoy, N.Y.

Sources: "Jell-O: A Biography," by Carolyn Wyman (Harcourt, 2001); Jell-O Gallery, LeRoy, N.Y.