When and Why Were the First Frozen Meals Introduced?

The first frozen meals were introduced for airplane passengers in 1945 by manufacturer Maxson Food Systems, Inc. These were considered to be the first full meals in frozen form; however, they were never sold at retail for the public and only used by military and civilian airlines to heat up on the plane and serve. Each frozen meal was packaged on a divided plate known as a “Strato-Plate” with each portion of the meal in its own section. Frozen meals became widespread to consumers in 1954, when Gilbert and Clarke Swanson introduced “TV dinners” of turkey, sweet potatoes, peas, and stuffing, selling 10 million the first year.

More about frozen foods:

  • Clarence Birdseye is often considered “The Father of Frozen Food” for creating a technology in 1927 to flash freeze food, such as fish and produce, allowing it to better retain its original texture and taste.

  • In the 1940s, Jack Fisher’s FridgiDinner frozen meals were sold at taverns for patrons to consume with their drinks.

  • The first TV dinner production process consisted of 24 women assembling the meals by hand.

Follow wiseGEEK:

Discuss this Article

Post your comments

Post Anonymously


forgot password?



Free Widgets for your Site/Blog

Most people who believe they've had an encounter with a higher power report lasting psychological benefits.  more...
December 15 ,  1791 :  The US Bill of Rights was ratified.  more...