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Concord Grapes
Niagara Grapes

1849 In Concord, Mass., Ephraim Wales Bull achieves his goal of developing the "perfect" sweet and palatable grape: the "Concord." His work with seeds and seedlings spanned more than 10 years and was the result of 22,000 crossbreeding experiments on 125 vines.

1869 Dr. Thomas Bramwell Welch, a physician and dentist by profession, successfully pasteurizes Concord grape juice to produce an "unfermented sacramental wine" for fellow parishioners at his church in Vineland, N.J., where he is communion steward. His achievement marks the beginning of the processed fruit juice industry.

  1893 Grape juice becomes a national favorite as thousands sample it at the Chicago World's Fair. Dr. Charles E. Welch, son of Welch's founder, discontinues his practice of dentistry to give full attention to the marketing of grape juice. A new label is adopted, omitting the "Dr." before the name Welch's.

1913 Secretary of State William Jennings Bryan startles the world by serving Welch's Grape Juice instead of wine at a full-dress diplomatic function honoring the retiring British ambassador. Newspaper columnists, cartoonists and editors make much of it for months.

  1914 Welch's has another publicity windfall when Josephus Daniels, Secretary of the Navy, forbids the use of alcoholic beverages aboard Navy ships and substitutes instead Welch's Grape Juice, giving rise to the term, "Daniels' Grape Juice Navy."

  1918 Welch's develops its first jam product called "Grapelade." The initial quantity is purchased in its entirety by the U.S. Army, becoming a product demanded by the doughboys when they return to civilian life.

  1923 Welch's introduces its famous Concord Grape Jelly.

1927 The Company's first non-grape product is introduced: Welch's Homogenized Tomato Juice.

1934 Welch's begins its 11-year sponsorship of The Irene Rich Show, one of the most popular shows in the early days of radio.


1945 Magazine advertising explains why there's a shortage of Welch's products in stores during World War II.

1949 Welch's becomes a pioneer in the frozen juice concentrate industry with the introduction of Welch's Frozen Grape Juice Concentrate.

1951 Welch's becomes an early sponsor of the Howdy Doody Show television program. The show soon captures the hearts of children throughout the country.

1952 The National Grape Cooperative Association, Inc. acquires Welch's.

  1953 Welch's introduces the first in its long-running series of jelly glasses, featuring Howdy Doody.

1955 Welch's begins sponsorship of Walt Disney's Mickey Mouse Club and establishes a grape juice concession stand at Disneyland.
  1962 Welch's begins sponsoring The Flintstones on TV.

  1972 Welch's introduces two new grape juice products: Red Grape Juice and White Grape Juice.


1981 Sparkling Grape Juice is added to Welch's national line of products.

1985 Welch's jellies and preserves become available in squeezable containers, a first for the jellies and jams industry.

1994 Welch's begins its advertising-spokeskid campaign, featuring 5-year-old Travis Tedford.
1996 Welch's JuiceMakers, a juice concentrate that requires no freezing, becomes the company's most successful new product launch.
1997 Welch's adopts a new advertising 'spokeskid,' Emily Mae Young.

1998 Welch's introduces the new plastic can for its line of frozen concentrates. This new package is the first innovation to hit the freezer case since the peel strip in 1979.

Welch's also introduces its most successful jelly glass venture ever: Winnie the Pooh.


1999 Welch's successfully launches a new 32 ounce plastic, shatterproof jelly jar.

More preliminary studies highlight the potential health benefits of purple grape juice.

A licensing arrangement with C.H. Robinson puts the Welch's name into the fresh produce aisle for the first time.



2000 Company introduces a new raspberry flavor in a squeezable plastic bottle to give a boost to the spreads category. 

Our "Memories" advertising campaign, featuring Welch's spokeskids, is cited as one of the best in the '90s. 

The fresh grapes program is expanded to include more than 30 grocery chains across the country; in its first year, more than 16 million packages of Welch's Fresh Grapes are sold to consumers. 

Pokémon jelly tumblers prove a big winner, driving tumbler business up 33% for the year.



2001 The voices of Paul Harvey and Charles Osgood reach consumers on more than 400 radio stations, promoting the health benefits of grape juice. In August, Welch's introduces a new, improved easy-spread cap for its Squeezable jelly and jam products. A polypropylene bottle is developed and introduced for Welch's Single Serve drinks. Welch's Fruit Snacks are introduced. Seven-year-old Isla Ng debuts as Welch's third spokeschild in Welch’s award-winning "Memories"advertising campaign.


2002 New research reports on a potential cancer benefit of Concord grape juice, the colic-related benefit of white grape juice, and the maintenance of urinary tract health for Concord grape juice. Our International business achieves a solid foothold in the United Kingdom and we sign an agreement with Nong Shim, a leading consumer products company in South Korea. Decorative holiday wraps for Welch's Sparkling Grape Juice cocktails continue to be popular. Welch's Squeezable Spreads line enjoys a banner year, with packaging changes spurring a sales increase of nearly 50%.



2003 Net sales in 2003 are a record $579 million, a 4.6% increase over fiscal year 2002.� Key factors include a 2% growth in the bottled business and a 34% increase in sales for the International division.� Refrigerated juice and juice cocktail distribution increases, and strong performances by the new flavors of Mountain Berry and Passion Fruit, along with the well-established purple grape cocktail, results in a 15% volume increase over last year.� Welch's Single Serve business is another contributing factor with a 24% increase over the previous year.� Welch's Fruit Snacks exceed the sales forecast this year by nearly 200%.� Radio advertising featuring Larry King, who promotes the consumption of purple grape juice for its health benefits, plays a key role in the success of the bottled business.� A sales office is established in Bentonville, Arkansas to assist in the global development of the company's largest customer, Wal-Mart.� Wal-Mart names Welch's its "Supplier of the Quarter" for the Grocery Division earlier in the year. Our new Technology Center in Billerica, Mass., celebrates its fifth anniversary in the fall of 2002.� Since opening in '97, the staff at the Technology Center has been awarded 10 patents for their work