History Nebraska Blog

Kool-Aid Invented in Hastings, Nebraska

Kool-Aid, Perkins Products, Nebraska Source: Nebraska State Historical Society Permanent Collection

Kool-Aid, Perkins Products, Nebraska (History Nebraska Permanent Collection)


Hastings inventor Edwin Perkins had problems marketing his Fruit Smack, a liquid drink concentrate. Packaged in bottles, the product was expensive to ship and often broken in transit. To solve this problem, Perkins developed a way to dehydrate the concentrate and developed Kool-Ade (eventually changed to Kool-Aid), which became wildly successful.

In 1931 the Perkins Product Company moved to Chicago. Today Kraft Foods Company continues to manufacture Kool-Aid, a favorite of children for generations.

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