In 1897, Pearl Wait adapted an 1845 patent for a gelatin dessert, and his wife, May Davis Wait, named the new product Jell-O brand gelatin. Decades later, in 1899, Orator Francis Woodward bought the rights to Jell-O brand gelatin from Mr. Wait for $450. Three years later, Woodward launched the advertising campaign, "America's most favorite Dessert" for Jell-O. Today, Jell-O, which now includes pudding and other desserts, is a member of the Kraft family of brands.
Kraft has come a long way since 29-year-old James L. Kraft moved from Ontario, canada, to Chicago and started selling cheese to grocers from a horse-drawn wagon. In fact, the story dates back further, since for more than 200 years, many companies have united to make Kraft Foods what it is today. It started before the Revolution--in Dorchester, Massachusetts--when, in 1765, a local physician, Dr. James Baker, went into partnership with a young Irish chocolate-maker, John Hannon. It was America's first chocolate mill, where, in 1780, they made a blend of quality chocolate called Baker's chocolate. Baker's chocolate was the first of a long list of companies that have joined Kraft Foods, Inc., in making good food for busy families.
In 1988, Kraft became part of Philip Morris Companies Inc., and a year later Philip Morris Companies combined Kraft and General Foods Corp. to form Kraft General Foods, the largest food company in the U.S. Some of the most popular and well-known brands in the Kraft family include Maxwell House, Yuban, Oscar Mayer, Breakstone, Grape-Nuts, Jell-O, Post, Minute Rice, Cheez Whiz, Cracker Barrell, Tang, Cool Whip, Shake 'N Bake, Stove Top, General Foods International Coffees, and many, many more.