Who Invented JELLO? | Summary and Q&A

December 30, 2019
Today I Found Out
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Who Invented JELLO?


Jello, a popular dessert in America, has a rich history dating back to the 15th century and became a cultural icon through brilliant marketing strategies.

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Key Insights

  • 🧑‍🤝‍🧑 Gelatin-based desserts have a long history, dating back to the 15th century, and were enjoyed by both Europeans and Americans.
  • 🍰 The invention of powdered gelatin made it easier for households to create gelatin desserts.
  • 👅 Pearl and May Wait contributed to the popularity of Jell-O by combining gelatin with fruit syrups, making it taste better.
  • 🥶 Successful marketing strategies, including ads, recipe books, and free samples, played a significant role in making Jell-O widely known.
  • 👌 Jell-O became an iconic American brand, leading to the company renaming itself "The Jell-O Company" in 1924.
  • 👌 The addition of Bill Cosby as a spokesperson for Jell-O in the 1970s further increased its popularity.
  • 🥺 Jell-O's decline in popularity in the mid-1970s led to the hiring of Bill Cosby as a spokesperson, reviving sales.
  • 😋 Jell-O remains a cultural icon, with a museum dedicated to it in Leroy, New York, and its recognition as the official snack food of Utah.


forever century jello has been a part of American culture and according to a 1904 edition of The Ladies Home Journal America's favorite dessert conveniently enough named such in an advertisement paid for by jello before anyone was really buying it at all all that said ever since then it really has been one of the most popular desserts in America th... Read More

Questions & Answers

Q: What is the main ingredient in Jello?

The main ingredient in Jello is gelatin, which is made by extracting collagen from boiled animal tissues, usually from cows and pigs.

Q: How did Pearl and May Wait make their Jell-O taste good?

Pearl and May Wait added sugary fruit syrups to the gelatin, making Jell-O 88 percent sugar and giving it a delicious taste.

Q: How did Jell-O become widely popular?

Frank Woodward, the owner of the Genesee food company, invested in marketing strategies, including free samples, ads, and recipe books, leading to its popularity.

Q: Who became the spokesperson for Jell-O in the 1970s?

Comedian Bill Cosby became the spokesperson for Jell-O, boosting sales and creating a long-standing celebrity endorsement.

Summary & Key Takeaways

  • Jello has been a popular dessert in America since the early 19th century, known for its gelatin-based structure and flavors.

  • The invention of powdered gelatin by Peter Cooper in 1845 made the creation of gelatin desserts more accessible.

  • Pearl and May Wait, who acquired the patents for powdered gelatin, combined it with fruit syrups, creating the tasty and successful product known as Jell-O.

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