As American As Budweiser and Pickles? Nation-Building in American Food Industries By Donna R. Gabbacia - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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As American As Budweiser and Pickles? Nation-Building in American Food Industries By Donna R. Gabbacia

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As American As Budweiser and Pickles? Nation-Building in American Food Industries By Donna R. Gabbacia Food as Culture Food is an integral part of every culture ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: As American As Budweiser and Pickles? Nation-Building in American Food Industries By Donna R. Gabbacia


1
As American As Budweiser and Pickles?Nation-Build
ing in American Food IndustriesBy Donna R.
Gabbacia
2
Food as Culture
Food is an integral part of every culture People
identify with food and define themselves by
traditional dishes Food is part of ethnic and
racial diversity Most cultures have unique dishes
that reflect their history and embody their way
of life Food says something about the marketplace
and industry of nations
3
American Culture Oh Wait
Americans lack traditional/cultural foods unique
to U.S It is how American food is produced, not
how it tastes or where it originated that makes
it American Global community considers
mass-produced, processed and packaged foods to be
American Definition of American food changed over
time from barreled meats and condensed milk to
CocaCola and Corn Flakes
4
American Genius for Business
After 1840 transition from small farm producers
to city dwelling consumers Food had to be
transported to urban areas in mass
quantities Opened opportunities for new
industries such as agribusiness, processing and
preserving on a large scale Easy to survive in
food industry when demand is high and supply is
low, little competition Industry opportunities
open mostly to European Immigrants and U.S
citizens, though not women or African Americans
New genius American business of mass
production that supports economy depends on
foreigners entering and dominating food industry
5
Business Cont.
Xenophobia defined what has become American in
the food industry Multiculturalism had not yet
become part of the American identity, and was not
accepted, though citizens of foreign descent
fueled the industry Kraft-Canadian Heinz-
German Campbells, Kelloggs, Dole,
Post,-Anglo-American Industries dominated by at
least third generation Anglo-Americans Soft
drinks, gum, fast-food Industries that put
wealthy, second generation foreign immigrants in
positions of power Meat packing, sugar refining,
retail groceries
6
Not So genius
Successful businesses did not rely on new
innovations, but rather ideas and principals
brought to U.S by immigrants Bilingual foreigners
introduced and promoted technologies abroad Mass
production technology came from Europe Busch
Beer- pasteurized for shipping to U.S, tweaked
recipe Different than beer in Germany, but
appreciated in U.S Foreign based businesses used
culturally neutral symbols instead of calling
attention to their nationalities Standardized
products found success on global market and were
labeled as American
7
Alcohol Niche
Alcohol was mostly foreign-produced in
U.S Prohibition and the Second Great Awakening
were detrimental to alcohol industry Not seen as
American, associated with foreigners Foreigners
initially had trouble working with and
interpreting U.S government and market Became one
of the largest food industries More common for
foreigner to pass on family business to children
than for Americans to do so
8
Busch and HeinzA tale of Two Successful
Foreign Companies
9
Adolpus Busch
Married into the Anheuser family, inherited run
down brewery in germany- turned it into the
largest brewery in the world Hurt by Great
Depression in U.S Rich, but faced criticism for
being the strength of the prohibition
movement Experimented with Budweiser to suit
U.S Beer continued to be seen as foreign, but
found a niche in the U.S Company stayed in family
for four generations
10
H.J Heinz
American born, second generation German Initial
failure during depression Branched out into
pre-prepared foods in cans Emphasized
cleanliness, packed in glass jars until business
got too big Emphasized humble roots Good
publicity Passed on business to son
11

Growing Food Industry
By 1880, two food industries were among the U.Ss
top ten industries Milling and Brewing As other
industries increased labor force, the food
industrys labor force declined Food industry did
not conform to Big Business right away Two top
food industries wouldnt conglomerate Prohibition
meant that brewing stayed on a local
scale Foreign meat packers wouldnt join National
Packing Company Earliest food conglomerates Cereal
s, and canning
12
In Conclusion
Foreign influence ultimately shaped the food
industry and defined our ideas of American
cuisine Xenophobia produced some of the
commodities which we hold dear- beer and pickles-
and which we think of as American No real
American food culture What does American food
say about our history, culture, and tradition?
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