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clypd Blog

The 100th Anniversary of Fluff

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Archibald Query. You may not know his name, but if you have spent much time in New England, there is a very good chance you know a product he sold for a few short years leading up to World War I.

One hundred years ago, beginning in 1917, he cooked batches of melted marshmallows at home and sold them door-to-door in his neighborhood in Somerville, MA. Sadly, a World War I sugar shortage ended his enterprise. In 1920, Query sold his recipe to Massachusetts-based candymakers H. Allen Durkee and Fred Mower, for $500. Read More

Mastering French Food in Julia Child’s Studio Kitchen

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August 15th would be TV chef and author Julia Child’s 105th birthday. Her presence on TV and her love of teaching and educating the American public about quality food helped inspire generations of cooks – professional and home alike. “The French Chef” also showed TV producers and executives that there was a strong appetite for cooking shows on television, one which has continued unabated since.

Julia’s story began in 1948 – after moving to France with her husband Paul Child, Julia fell in love with French cuisine. Julia attended the Cordon Bleu cooking school, and soon after formed a cooking school with fellow classmates. The trio also worked on a two-volume cookbook, adapting French cuisine for a mainstream American audience. In 1961, “Mastering the Art of French Cooking” was released, and has since become a standard cookbook to find in home kitchens everywhere. Read More

I Want My MTV!

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Just after midnight on August 1, 1981, the brand new Music Television Network came on the air, with a bang. Its opening moments consisted of footage of a rocket launching and an announcer declaring “Ladies and Gentlemen, rock and roll!” A guitar riff played with an image of an American astronaut planting an MTV flag on the moon.

The video that followed was “Video Killed the Radio Star” by the English band the Buggles. About 80 videos comprised the first week’s schedule, which was almost the totality of music videos in existence at the time. It turns out that video did just the opposite of killing the radio star. Read More

French’s Mustard: A Spicy National Habit

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Now that we’re in the heat of the summer, I’m sure we’ve all attended plenty of cookouts and consumed our fair share of hot dogs with mustard (and ketchup). The folks over at McCormick & Co. must’ve had summer cookouts on their mind when they announced that they were acquiring the iconic French’s mustard couple weeks ago. McCormick bought French’s and other products from Reckitt Benckiser, including Frank’s RedHot and Cattlemen’s BBQ sauces, reportedly for the hefty sum of $4.2 billion. Read More

Remember When Amazon Just Sold Books?

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When Amazon officially opened for business on July 16, 1995, the only thing they offered were books. Within just one month, Amazon had shipped books to all 50 US states and to 45 countries. Bezos’ aim and motto was to “get big fast,” and as we know the company is now an ecommerce mega-mall, selling so much more than books.

As we rely increasingly on the giant company for our personal shopping as well as business needs, it’s hard to remember a time just about twenty years ago when Amazon sold only one product: books. Because today, “There’s virtually nothing left that they haven’t touched,” said Kelly O’Keefe, professor at the Virginia Commonwealth University Brandcenter. Read More

Cool Whip is Still Cool After 50 Years

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Cool Whip. It puts the exclamation mark on apple pie, strawberry shortcake, ice cream, and so many other summer desserts. It keeps a long time in the refrigerator, can serve as an ice cream substitute, and helps make cakes and frozen pies look airy.

Cool Whip went from new product to top seller quickly. In just two years, it was the biggest seller and most profitable product in the Birds Eye portfolio of General Foods. (For those interested in corporate family trees, General Foods later merged with Kraft/Philip Morris, then became part of Altria until Kraft was spun off from Altria in 2006. Ten years later, Kraft merged with Heinz, forming KraftHeinz.) Read More

Slipping ‘n Sliding into Summer

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For children of the 80s, few things evoke stronger memories of summer than Slip ‘N Slides, Super Soakers, Fla-Vor-Ice, and if you live in New England, Hoodsie cups.

If you were the lucky kid to have a Slip ‘N Slide in your backyard, you could expect to be friends with the entire neighborhood. There was something so simple, yet so liberating about running at full speed and then falling to your stomach to slide down a soaking wet (and sometimes soapy), yellow plastic runway.

Despite the craze in the 80s, the Slip ‘n Slide was created by Robert D. Carrier in 1960. Carrier was a Californian father who would come home from work to find his 10-year-old son and friends sliding down his painted concrete driveway – exciting for the kids but extremely worrying for the father. Carrier happened to be an upholsterer for a boat-seating manufacturer, and so like any good dad, he created a safer version for his kid and friends. Read More

Hot Town, Summer in the City

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With temperatures in the 90s over the last few days, ice cream has been on my mind and no doubt on the minds of others. I’ve also been thinking about what I would do for a Klondike bar.

The original Klondike bar was created in 1922, on a small dairy farm in Mansfield, OH. There, the Isaly family, immigrants from Switzerland, made the bars by dipping squares of ice cream into pans of their beloved, melted Swiss chocolate. The bar’s genesis came from an attempt to make an ice cream product specifically for adults. They were made only in Islay stores, so their availability and distribution was limited. Read More

Carrie, Charlotte, Miranda, and Samantha: HBO’s Wonder Women

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“Sex and the City,” the groundbreaking HBO series that ran for six seasons and still remains in syndication today, premiered this week in 1998.

Set and filmed in NYC, the series chronicled the lives, trials, and triumphs of friends Carrie, Charlotte, Miranda, and Samantha – four single, 30-something professional women. The series’ production process differed dramatically from network norms, and SATC (as nicknamed by fans), defied expectations about both the popularity and commercial viability of a series produced by and for a subscription cable network. Read More