Thanksgiving, the first TV dinner - Sociological Images
So, if you celebrate Thanksgiving and are eating a TV dinner tonight instead of a whole bird, know that you, too, are part of a true American. Swanson had massively overestimated the number of birds Americans planned to purchase for Thanksgiving, and so now was stuck shuttling a. The invention of the TV dinner has been attributed to at least three different sources The birth of the TV dinner started with a mistake - How tons of Thanksgiving leftovers gave What's the connection between TV dinners and television?.
The relationship between Thanksgiving and TV football watching recalls one of the first TV dinners, at least for its food contents of Thanksgiving-inspired components and eating context in front of the TV.
Thanksgiving and TV Dinners: The Surprising History Between Them | Keri and Kelsi Matwick, PhDs
A TV dinner is a frozen dinner, prepackaged, and cooked in the microwave. It usually is ready to go and is a single-serving meal. Did you know that the first TV dinner was a Thanksgiving Meal?
Inthe first pre-packaged meal by Swanson consisted of a Thanksgiving meal with compartments for the turkey with cornbread dressing and gravy and for the sides of peas and sweet potatoes both topped with a pat of butter. The company found itself overwhelmed with a huge surplus of frozen turkeys tons! Swanson employee Gerry Thomas, inspired by compartmentalized aluminum food trays being served by Pan American Airlines, introduced the idea to the Swanson brothers.
Thanksgiving and TV Dinners: The Surprising History Between Them
That first year alone, TV dinners, at 98 cents per package, were a hit with over 25 million Swanson TV dinners sold to hungry Americans. The first TV dinner featured the Thanksgiving classic trio: Image from Library of Commerce TV dinners go gourmet and appeal to consumer values More menus were developed.Largest Plate of Thanksgiving Food Ever
Desserts such as apple cobbler and brownies were added inand breakfast options like pancakes and sausage in There are several theories about the name of the TV dinner. One is that the name originates from the shape of the tray it was served on.
The compartments were similar to the front panels of a s television set: Relying on frozen convenience foods is nothing new -- who actually invented them, however, is a bit more contentious. Though credit is widely given to the Swanson brothers, it took a combination of a stocking error at Swanson, a light bulb idea by Swanson company salesman Gerry Thomas after a visit to Pan American Airways in Pittsburgh and some smart marketing to give rise to the TV dinner.
- What Do Thanksgiving and TV Dinners Have In Common?
- History of TV Dinners
Some may credit Clarence Birdseye with inventing frozen meals. He developed a system of packing and flash-freezing fresh food back in ByAlbert and Meyer Bernstein were selling frozen dinners on compartmentalized aluminum trays in the Pittsburgh area.
But it was Swanson's massive advertising campaign that sealed the deal on TV dinners for consumers. The first TV dinners produced by Swanson were in answer to a problem they had with Thanksgiving turkey leftovers.
Not just a few Tupperware containers, either -- we're talking about tons metric tons of turkey leftovers.
So they appealed to their workers to come up with ideas. Gerry Thomas had just seen the airplane -friendly compartmentalized aluminum trays used by Pan American Airways and introduced the idea to the Swanson brothers back home in Nebraska. They packaged turkey, corn bread stuffing, peas and sweet potatoes and hung their advertising campaign on the newest craze to hit the nation: That year, Swanson sold more than 25 million TV dinners to hungry Americans, at 98 cents per package.