Pearl Bixby Wait, a cough syrup manufacturer, trademarks a fruity gelatin dessert he calls "Jell-O".
Genesee Pure Food Company Buys the JELL-O Trademark
Unable to successfully market his product, Perle Wait sells the Jell-O trademark to Genesee Pure Food Company for $450
Jell-O Debuts as "America's Most Famous Dessert."
Although Jell-o sales were initially a little rocky, the Genesee Pure Food Company began to market the product as "America's Most Famous Dessert" in the Ladies' Home Journal. By 1904, this vaguely false advertising in tandem with the distribution of free Jell-O cookbooks shot the product to fame.
Jell-O Expands Its Offerings
Jello flavors expand to include chocolate, cherry, and peach on top of the original offerings of raspberry, strawberry, orange, and lemon. Chocolate is discontinued in 1927.
D-Zerta is Launched
The Jell-O company releases "D-Zerta", a low calorie, artificially sweetened gelatin dessert.
1966 D-Zerta Ad
Lime Jell-O is Created
Following Jell-O's Vogue Debut as the key ingredient in congealed salad, Jell-O announces its iconic lime flavor.
Instant Pudding Hits Store Shelves
For the first time in nine years, chocolate makes a return to the Jell-O flavor lineup. Chocolate pudding is so successful that it's soon followed by vanilla, tapioca, coconut, pistachio, butterscotch, egg custard, flan, and rice pudding.
Jell-O Goes Savory
The popularity of savory Jell-O salads brings the advent of new flavors like celery, Italian mixed vegetable, and seasoned tomatoes. Savory Jell-O would soon be discontinued.
Jell-O Sales Begin to Decline
By the mid 1960s, Jell-O sales begin to decline. With fewer young mothers favoring Jell-O in the kitchen, the former household staple becomes a rare, festive dessert.
Bill Cosby Becomes a Spokesperson for Jell-O
In a desperate attempt to turn sales around, the Jell-O Company begin hiring celebrities to market their product. Bill Cosby took on the role of spokesperson in 1974 and the campaign proved wildly successful, turning sales around and reinstating Jell-O to a pantry staple. Cosby resigned from his partnership with Jell-O prior to his 2015 arrest.
Utah Senate Recognizes Jell-O as a Favorite Snack Food
Occasionally referred to as "The Jell-O Belt", Utah legislature voted to crown Jell-O the state's favorite snack in 2002. Especially popular in LDS communities, the retro dessert is a beloved staple at Utah potlucks and in large family households.
Utah Senator Mike Lee's "Jello Wednesdays"