O.C. Answer Man: Did Orange County invent orange juice?

Of course not, but we did help make it synonymous with breakfast across America. When citrus-growing ruled our local economy, the California Fruit Growers Exchange, aka Sunkist Growers Inc., marketed the region’s citrus to the whole country. The Orange County Fruit Exchange was among the seven charter members of this coalition of local packinghouse associations. In February 1916, 100 years ago this month, Sunkist ran a full-page ad in the Saturday Evening Post launching the national “Drink an Orange” ad campaign, which highlighted the fruit’s health benefits, flavor, and its association with sunny, romantic California. Many of the ads promoted inexpensive orange juicers. In short order America went from being unfamiliar with orange juice to making it a daily breakfast staple. And Orange County became a lot wealthier in the process.

Chris Jepsen is the O.C. Answer Man. Have a question? Send it to cjepsen@socal.rr.com.

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