Vintage Kool-Aid magazine ads. 1950s
Vintage Kool-Aid magazine ads. 1950s

The household drink was invented in the 1920s by a chemist named Edwin Perkins from Hastings, Nebraska and the drink was first known as Fruit Smack.
Perkins was greatly influenced by the manufacture method of Jell-O that had appeared in his family convenience store.

Originally formulated as a liquid drink mix, its founder decided to come up with a revolutionary way to dehydrate the mixture into its well-known form to reduce the cost of packaging the drinks into bottles (and any unnecessary cost of replacing defect bottles).

During the second world war, sales of Kool-Aid plummeted due to the rationing of sugar, but Perkins quickly returned to success.

Kool-Aid Package, 1970s

The product was eventually sold to General Foods in the 1953, renamed as Kool-Aid and was packaged as a drink targeted at young children. There were 6 originals flavors to add variety to its taste, Its iconic smiling red pitcher mascot soon came into being and in the 1970s, marketing campaigns conjured the Kool-Aid man for the first time as the drink was being redeveloped.

In 1988, General Foods merged with the Kraft company, which continues to keep Perkin’s legacy alive through redeveloping it to include new flavors and products.

Kool-Aid remains the official soft drink of Nebraska and satiates the thirst of Americans throughout the nation.

Kool-Aid TV Commercial, 1950s

Kool-Aid Kids in Japan, 1960. (Mel Blanc voice)

“Never too old” Kool-Aid Commercial, 1970s


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