Tropicana Products

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Tropicana Brands Group
TypeSubsidiary
Founded1947; 75 years ago (1947)
FounderAnthony T. Rossi
HeadquartersChicago, Illinois, United States
ProductsFruit juice
ParentPAI Partners (61%)
PepsiCo (39%)[1]
Websitetropicana.com

Tropicana Brands is a former American fruit-based beverage company. It was founded in 1947 by Anthony T. Rossi in Bradenton, Florida. Between 1998 and 2021 it was a subsidiary of PepsiCo but in August 2021, 61 percent of it was sold along with other juice brands for $3.3 billion to PAI Partners.[2] PepsiCo retained the remaining 39 percent of ownership.

History[edit]

Anthony T. Rossi[edit]

Anthony T. Rossi was born in Sicily and studied until high school. He immigrated to the United States in 1921 at the age of 21 years. He drove a taxi, was a grocer in New York, farmer in Virginia, and then moved to Florida in 1940 where he farmed and was a restaurateur. His first involvement with the Florida citrus industry was fresh fruit gift boxes sold by Macy's and Gimbels department stores in New York City, New York.[3]

In 1947, Rossi settled in Palmetto, Florida and began packing fruit gift boxes and jars of sectioned fruit for salads under the name Manatee River Packing Company. As the fruit segment business grew, the company moved to a larger location in East Bradenton, Florida and changed its name to Fruit Industries.[3] The ingredients for the fresh fruit salads on the menu of New York's famed Waldorf-Astoria Hotel were supplied by Fruit Industries.[4] At the East Bradenton location, Rossi began producing frozen, concentrated orange juice as a natural extension to the fruit section business.[3]

Evolution of Tropicana Pure Premium[edit]

In 1952, Rossi purchased the Grapefruit Canning Company in Bradenton.[5] The fresh fruit segments and orange juice business were profitable enough that he discontinued production of fruit boxes.[6] He developed flash pasteurization in 1954, a process that raised the temperature of juice for a short time to preserve its taste.[3] For the first time, consumers could have the fresh taste of pure not-from-concentrate juice in a chilled package.[7] The juice, Tropicana Pure Premium, became the company's flagship product.[7]

The company developed a trademarked cartoon mascot for the brand called Tropic-Ana, a barefoot young girl carrying oranges on her head and wearing clothing that resembles a Hawaiian grass skirt and lei. She appeared prominently on the juice cartons and even the train cars used to transport the juice.[8] Her image was phased out during the 1980s.[9]

Ed Price was hired as executive vice president and director in 1955 and represented the company as chairman of the Florida Citrus Commission.[10]In 1957, the company's name was changed to Tropicana Products, Inc. to reflect the growing appeal of the Tropicana brand.[3]

Shipping innovations[edit]

CSX pulling the Tropicana Juice Train across the Manatee River Bridge in Bradenton, Florida, in 2018

Tropicana purchased one million dollars worth of refrigerated trucks to deliver Pure Premium in the mid to late fifties.[5] Soon, 2,000 dairies delivered Pure Premium orange juice to the doorsteps of consumers each morning.[5] By 1958, a ship, S.S. Tropicana, was taking 1.5 million US gallons (1,200,000 imp gal; 5,700 m3) of juice to New York each week from the new base at Cape Canaveral, Florida.[3] From 1960 to 1970, Tropicana utilized piggyback trailers on flatcars to move the juice more efficiently.[3]

In 1970, Tropicana orange juice was shipped as finished goods via refrigerated boxcars in one weekly round-trip from Florida to Kearny, New Jersey. By the following year, the company was operating two 65-car unit trains a week, each carrying around 1 million US gallons (830,000 imp gal; 3,800 m3) of juice.[11] The "Great White Juice Train" (the first unit train in the food industry, consisting of 150 100-short ton insulated boxcars fabricated in the Alexandria, Virginia shops of Fruit Growers Express) commenced service on June 7, 1971, over the 1,250-mile (2,010 km) route. An additional 100 cars were soon incorporated into the fleet, and small mechanical refrigeration units were installed to keep temperatures constant on hot days. In 2004, Tropicana's rail fleet of 514 cars traveled over 35,000,000 mi (56,000,000 km) – a method that is three times more fuel-efficient than other shipping methods.

Going public and expansion: 1969–1997[edit]

Tropicana Products, Inc. went public in 1969. The stock was first sold over the counter but gained a listing on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol TOJ. In the same year, it became the first company in the citrus industry to operate its own plastic container manufacturing plant.[3]

Executive vice president Ed Price, who served two terms in the Florida Senate (1958–1966), resigned his position in 1972, but remained on the board of directors until 1983.[10]

Rossi sold Tropicana to Beatrice Foods in 1978. He then retired and was inducted into the Florida Agricultural Hall of Fame in 1987. In 1985, Tropicana debuted Tropicana Pure Premium HomeStyle orange juice, which featured added pulp.[3]

In the 1980s, Tropicana was acquired by The Seagram Company, Ltd. In the decade that followed, they introduced new juice beverage creations, including the orange line of bottled and frozen juice blends.[3]

In the early nineties under Seagram, Tropicana also began to expand distribution to global markets. They formed a partnership to process and distribute Kirin-Tropicana juices in Japan. By that time, the company was also distributing Tropicana Pure Premium in Canada, the United Kingdom, Ireland, France, Germany, Argentina, Panama and Sweden. As the 1990s continued, Tropicana further expanded internationally, entering several more Latin American countries, Hong Kong and China.[3]

Seagram Beverage Group acquired Dole Food Company's global juice business in 1995, including the Dole brands in North America, and Dole, Fruvita, Looza and Juice Bowl juices and nectars in Europe. Dole was operated under Tropicana Dole Beverages North America and Tropicana Dole Beverages International.[3]

Sold to PepsiCo and twenty-first century: 1998–present[edit]

Tropicana was acquired by PepsiCo in 1998, which combined it with the Dole brand for marketing purposes.[3][12] It has become the world's leading producer of branded fruit juices.[13] Tropicana headquarters moved to Chicago in 2003.[14]

Due to the decreased productivity of Florida's orange crop in the wake of several damaging touches of frost, Tropicana began using a blend of Florida and Brazilian oranges in 2007.[15] Citing an increased consumer interest in the origin of food products, the company announced in February 2012 that its Tropicana Pure Premium line would return to sourcing oranges only from Florida.[16] Tropicana later reverted to sourcing its oranges from both Florida and Brazil due to the Asian citrus psyllid, a microscopic insect which spreads a bacterial disease that causes citrus greening. It is estimated that the disease has killed over 75 percent of Florida's citrus trees.[17]

2009 failed redesign[edit]

In February 2009, Tropicana switched the design on all cartons sold in the United States to a new image created by the Arnell Group. The new image showed the actual orange juice and redesigned the cap to look like the outside of an orange. After less than two months and a 20 percent drop in sales, Tropicana switched back to its original design of an orange skewered by a drinking straw.[18]

2010 carton size[edit]

In early 2010, Tropicana reduced the size of its traditional 64 US fl oz (66.61 imp fl oz; 1.89 L) carton to 59 US fl oz (61.41 imp fl oz; 1.74 L) in the U.S. market, and maintained the original price. This change represented a 7.8 percent price-per-ounce increase for consumers.[19]

2018 carton size[edit]

In 2018, Tropicana again reduced the size of its containers, from 59 US fl oz (61.41 imp fl oz; 1.74 L) to 52 US fl oz (54.12 imp fl oz; 1.54 L).[20], due to more shortages and high demand.

Pending joint venture with PAI Partners (2021–present)[edit]

On August 3, 2021, PepsiCo announced that they would sell a majority stake in Tropicana, Naked Juice and other juice brands to PAI Partners for $3.3 billion, to concentrate on their healthy snack foods and zero-calorie beverages. They would retain a 39% stake in the new joint-venture company, and have exclusive distribution rights to the brands in the USA.[21]

Not-for-profit affiliations[edit]

In 2008, Tropicana started the "Rescue Rainforest" campaign in the U.S. in collaboration with charity Cool Earth.[22] People could buy special promotional packs of Tropicana and enter the pack's code online. For each code entered, 100 square feet (9.3 m2) of rainforest would be saved.[23] The project was based in the Ashaninka corridor in Peru, which lies in an arc of deforestation. As of June 2009, over 47,000,000 square feet (4,400,000 m2; 4.4 km2; 1.7 sq mi) had been saved.[24]

Along with launching the Rescue Rainforest initiative, Tropicana has been trying to reduce their carbon footprint by encouraging carton recycling and supporting the Sustainable Forestry Initiative.[25]

Other products[edit]

Pepsi produces fruit flavored soft drinks called Tropicana Twister Soda.[26]

This soft drink line has largely replaced Pepsi's Slice soft drinks. Tropicana also has Fruit Snacks, and in the United Kingdom makes smoothies.[27]

Trop50, introduced by Tropicana in 2009, is orange juice with 50 percent less sugar and calories, and no artificial sweeteners (this has Reb A or PureVia which is a form of the plant Stevia, but is chemically altered.)[28] Trop50 is available in several varieties including Farmstand Apple, Pomegranate Blueberry, Pineapple Mango, Orange, Lemonade and Raspberry Lemonade.[29]

A number of their juice products, designed for 'extended shelf life', are colored with the extract of cochineal beetles. As this previously embarrassed the company, they use 'Carmine' on the label which is an alternate name for the dye.[30]

In 2010, the company announced the incoming limited release of Tropolis, a liquid fruit snack drink, for January 2011.[31]

In March 2011, the IRI named Trop50 as one of the "Top 10 Food and Beverage Brands in 2010".[32]

Apple juice marketed under the Tropicana Brand by Pepsi Canada uses Canadian apples and has a darker shade and more authentic color than the pale transparent juice marketed in the USA.

In celebration of National Orange Juice Day on May 4, 2022, Tropicana released Tropicana Crunch, a limited-edition cereal "made just for orange juice." The cereal consisted primarily of oats, wheat, brown sugar, rice, almonds and honey. Many people reviewed the product on social media platforms like TikTok and YouTube.[33][34]

Naming rights[edit]

Tropicana holds sponsorship to Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Florida, the home to the baseball team Tampa Bay Rays. The name of the Bradenton Juice baseball team of the South Coast League was indicative of Tropicana's headquarters which were located in Bradenton, Florida.[citation needed]

Headquarters[edit]

The headquarters for Tropicana Products is based in Chicago. PepsiCo, the parent company of Tropicana, planned to begin moving Tropicana employees into its existing Chicago facility in the first quarter of 2004. PepsiCo moved Tropicana into Chicago so all of its juice brands would be consolidated into one Chicago-based unit.[35]

Until 2004, Tropicana Products was headquartered in the four-story Rossi Office Building in Bradenton, Florida. In 2004, the building, which was completed in 2002, was offered for $20 million. In 2007, it was sold to Bealls of Florida.[36] The 149,000 square foot building was renamed the E. R. Beall Center.[37]

Footnotes[edit]

  1. ^ "PepsiCo to sell majority stake in Tropicana, other juice brands for $3.3 billion: Report". 3 August 2021.
  2. ^ "PepsiCo to sell Tropicana and other juice brands for $3.3 billion". CNBC. 3 August 2021. Retrieved 9 December 2021.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m "History of Tropicana Products, Inc. – FundingUniverse". fundinguniverse.com.
  4. ^ "Anthony Rossi, 92, Tropicana Founder And Industry Leader", Jan. 27, 1993
  5. ^ a b c Nickel, K., Stout, M. & Snyder, L. (2003). A History of Tropicana. Tropicana Products, Inc.
  6. ^ Bonocore, Joseph J: ""Raised Italian-American". Page 167. iUniverse, 2005. Google Book Search. Retrieved on May 26, 2009.
  7. ^ a b "Tropicana North America". garybeene.com.
  8. ^ "Tropic-Ana, the mascot of Tropicana orange juice". BrandlandUSA. 30 October 2008. Retrieved 13 February 2014.
  9. ^ Allen, Meyer. "Bring Back Tropic Ana". Allen Meyer. Archived from the original on 22 February 2014. Retrieved 13 February 2014.
  10. ^ a b Jones, Jr., James A. (December 3, 2012). "Former senator and community leader Edgar H. Price Jr. dies at 94". Bradenton Herald. Archived from the original on 5 December 2012. Retrieved 5 December 2012.
  11. ^ Sellen, Tom; Sellen, Tom (2010-03-10). "Tropicana Raising Prices on OJ". Wall Street Journal.
  12. ^ Roundup, An Interactive Journal News (1998-07-20). "Pepsi Agrees to Acquire Tropicana From Seagram Co. for $3.3 Billion". Wall Street Journal. ISSN 0099-9660. Retrieved 2020-11-09.
  13. ^ "Bradenton-Based Tropicana is the World's Largest Producer of Branded Juice". Sarasota Magazine. Retrieved 2020-11-09.
  14. ^ REPORTS, STAFF AND WIRE. "Tropicana headquarters to leave Bradenton for Chicago". Sarasota Herald. Retrieved 2018-07-29.
  15. ^ "With Fla. Crop Down, Brazilian OJ Flows In" Archived 2011-06-14 at the Wayback Machine, May 5, 2007
  16. ^ "Tropicana Pure Premium switching to all Florida oranges", February 19, 2012
  17. ^ Nelson, Diane; Davis, U. C. (2019-08-29). "75 percent of Florida's oranges have been lost to disease. Can science save citrus?". University of California. Retrieved 2021-05-03.
  18. ^ "3 Minute Ad Age", February 26, 2009
  19. ^ Sellen, Tom (March 10, 2010). "Tropicana Raising Prices on OJ". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved August 23, 2010.
  20. ^ "Tropicana Orange Juice Downsizes Again – Mouse Print*".
  21. ^ "PepsiCo to sell Tropicana, other juice brands for $3.3 billion". Reuters. 2021-08-03. Retrieved 2021-08-03.
  22. ^ [1] Archived April 9, 2009, at the Wayback Machine
  23. ^ "Tropicana Teams Up With Cool Earth for 'Rescue The Rainforest' Campaign". World-wire.com. 2009-04-22. Archived from the original on 2011-07-18. Retrieved 2014-05-25.
  24. ^ [2] Archived January 31, 2011, at the Wayback Machine
  25. ^ https://www.rusorganic.in/[dead link]
  26. ^ Pepsi Product Information, Retrieved 05-28-2009
  27. ^ "PepsiCo plots smoothie launch to rival Innocent", 01-31-2008, Retrieved 05-28-2009
  28. ^ Copyright #dateFormat(now(), 'yyyy')#. Tropicana Products, Inc. All Rights Reserved. "Tropicana – 100% Pure Squeezed Sunshine". trop50.com.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  29. ^ "PepsiCo adds new Trop50 varieties, marketing campaigns". www.bevindustry.com. Retrieved 2021-05-03.
  30. ^ JOURNAL, Jane ZhangStaff Reporter of THE WALL STREET (2006-01-27). "Is There a Bug in Your Juice? New Food Labels Might Say". Wall Street Journal. ISSN 0099-9660. Retrieved 2021-05-03.
  31. ^ Nestle, Marion (2011-01-11). "Pepsi's Questionable Push Into 'Better-for-You' Foods". The Atlantic. Retrieved 2021-05-03.
  32. ^ "SymphonyIRI Announces Successful Packaged Goods Brands 2011", March 29, 2011, Retrieved April 19, 2011
  33. ^ "I tried Tropicana Crunch, the new cereal designed to be eaten with orange juice". TODAY.com. Retrieved 2022-06-23.
  34. ^ "Tropicana Crunch". tropicanacrunch.com. Retrieved 2022-06-23.
  35. ^ Quigley, Kelly. "City to be home of Tropicana HQ." Crain's Chicago Business. December 2, 2003. Retrieved on December 23, 2009.
  36. ^ "Beall's acquires Tropicana property in Bradenton." Tampa Bay Business Journal. Tuesday January 2, 2007. Retrieved on December 23, 2009.
  37. ^ Braga, Michael and Kevin McQuaid. "Bealls buys office space." Sarasota Herald-Tribune. Wednesday January 3, 2007. Retrieved on December 23, 2009.

Sources[edit]

  • Rossi's bio at the Florida Agriculture Hall of Fame class of 1987
  • Sanna Barlow Rossi. (1986) Anthony T. Rossi, Christian and Entrepreneur: The Story of the Founder of Tropicana. InterVarsity Press. ISBN 0-8308-4999-8

External links[edit]