Tropicana Products

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Tropicana Products, Inc.
Founded1947; 74 years ago (1947)
FounderAnthony T. Rossi
HeadquartersChicago, Illinois, United States
ProductsFruit juice

Tropicana Products, Inc. is an American multinational company which primarily makes fruit-based beverages. It was founded in 1947 by Anthony T. Rossi in Bradenton, Florida. Since 1998, it has been owned by PepsiCo. Tropicana's headquarters are in Chicago. The company specializes in the production of orange juice.


Anthony T. Rossi[edit]

Anthony T. Rossi was born in Sicily and educated to high school level. He emigrated to the United States when he was 21 years old. 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.[1]

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.[1] The ingredients for the fresh fruit salads on the menu of New York’s famed Waldorf-Astoria Hotel were supplied by Fruit Industries.[2] At the East Bradenton location, Rossi began producing frozen concentrated orange juice as a natural extension of the fruit section business.[1]

Evolution of Tropicana Pure Premium[edit]

In 1952, with growth of the orange juice business in mind, Rossi purchased the Grapefruit Canning Company in Bradenton.[3] The fresh fruit segments and orange juice business were so successful that he discontinued production of fruit boxes.[4] He developed flash pasteurization in 1954, a process that rapidly raised the temperature of juice for a short time to preserve its fresh taste.[1] For the first time, consumers could have the fresh taste of pure not-from-concentrate juice in a ready to serve chilled package.[5] The juice, Tropicana Pure Premium, became the company’s flagship product.[5]

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.[6] Her image was diminished and finally phased out during the 1980s.[7]

Ed Price was hired as executive vice president and director in 1955 and represented the company as chairman of the Florida Citrus Commission.[8] In 1957, the company’s name was changed to Tropicana Products, Inc. to reflect the growing appeal of the Tropicana brand.[1]

Shipping innovations[edit]

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

Tropicana purchased[when?] one million dollars worth of refrigerated trucks to deliver Pure Premium.[3] Soon, 2,000 dairies delivered Pure Premium orange juice to the doorsteps of consumers each morning.[3] 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.[1] From 1960 to 1970, Tropicana utilized piggyback trailers on flatcars to move the juice more efficiently.[1]

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. 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 (56,327,040.0 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.[1]

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.[8]

Rossi sold Tropicana to Beatrice Foods in 1978. He then retired and was inducted into the Florida Agricultural Hall of Fame in 1987. Under Beatrice, Tropicana had the financial resources to develop more products. In 1985, Tropicana debuted Tropicana Pure Premium HomeStyle orange juice, which featured added pulp.[1]

In the 1980s, Tropicana made history by being the first company to be 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.[1]

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.[1]

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.[1]

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.[1][9] It has become the world’s leading producer of branded fruit juices.[10] Tropicana headquarters moved to Chicago in 2003.[11]

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.[12] 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.[13] 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.[14]

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.[15]

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.[16]

2018 carton size[edit]

In 2018, Tropicana reduced the size again of its container 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).[17]

Making the juice[edit]

Tropicana works with more than 12 established Florida groves, which are selected for sandy soil conditions and advanced irrigation practices.[18][better source needed] The company is the largest single buyer of Florida fruit and processes about 60 million boxes of fruit.[citation needed]

The oranges are then washed and the orange oil is extracted from the peel, which is later blended into the juice. The oranges are squeezed and the fresh juice is flash pasteurized. Tropicana developed flash pasteurization to minimize the time the orange juice is exposed to heat.[18]

Oranges have a limited growing season, and because there is demand for juice year round, an unspecified quantity of juice is deaerated[19] and then stored for future packaging in chilled tanks to preserve quality. The aseptic tanks protect the juice from oxygen and light and hold the liquid at optimal temperatures just above freezing to maintain maximum nutrition. It has been reported that deaerated juice no longer tastes like oranges, and must be supplemented before consumption with orange oils in order to recreate the orange flavor.[19] Pulp may be blended in at this point depending on the product.[18]

Tropicana's carton and plastic packaging are engineered to maintain freshness. The packaging materials ensure the juice stays fresh inside by preventing outside moisture and light from affecting its quality.[18]

Not-for-profit affiliations[edit]

In 2008, Tropicana joined forces with charity Cool Earth and started the 'Rescue Rainforest' campaign in the U.S.[20] 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 could be saved.[21] The project is 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.[22]

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.[23]

Other products[edit]

Pepsi produces fruit flavored soft drinks called Tropicana Twister Soda.[24]

This soft drink line has largely replaced Pepsi's Slice soft drinks. Tropicana also has Fruit Snacks, and in the United Kingdom makes smoothies.[25]

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.)[26] Trop50 is available in several varieties including Farmstand Apple, Pomegranate Blueberry, Pineapple Mango, Orange, Lemonade and Raspberry Lemonade.[27]

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.[28]

In March 2011, the IRI named Trop50 as one of the “Top 10 Food and Beverage Brands in 2010”[29]

In 2010, the company announced the impending limited release of Tropolis, a liquid fruit snack drink, for January 2011.[30]

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

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 loosely related to Tropicana.[citation needed]


Tropicana Products has its headquarters 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.[31]

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.[32] The 149,000 square feet (13,800 m2) building was renamed the E. R. Beall Center.[33]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m "History of Tropicana Products, Inc. – FundingUniverse".
  2. ^ "Anthony Rossi, 92, Tropicana Founder And Industry Leader", Jan. 27, 1993
  3. ^ a b c Nickel, K., Stout, M. & Snyder, L. (2003). A History of Tropicana. Tropicana Products, Inc.
  4. ^ Bonocore, Joseph J: ""Raised Italian-American". Page 167. iUniverse, 2005. Google Book Search. Retrieved on May 26, 2009.
  5. ^ a b "Tropicana North America".
  6. ^ "Tropic-Ana, the mascot of Tropicana orange juice". BrandlandUSA. Retrieved 13 February 2014.
  7. ^ Allen, Meyer. "Bring Back Tropic Ana". Allen Meyer. Archived from the original on 22 February 2014. Retrieved 13 February 2014.
  8. ^ 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.
  9. ^ 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.
  10. ^ "Bradenton-Based Tropicana is the World's Largest Producer of Branded Juice". Sarasota Magazine. Retrieved 2020-11-09.
  11. ^ REPORTS, STAFF AND WIRE. "Tropicana headquarters to leave Bradenton for Chicago". Sarasota Herald. Retrieved 2018-07-29.
  12. ^ "With Fla. Crop Down, Brazilian OJ Flows In" Archived 2011-06-14 at the Wayback Machine, May 5, 2007
  13. ^ "Tropicana Pure Premium switching to all Florida oranges", February 19, 2012
  14. ^ 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.
  15. ^ "3 Minute Ad Age", February 26, 2009
  16. ^ Sellen, Tom (March 10, 2010). "Tropicana Raising Prices on OJ". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved August 23, 2010.
  17. ^
  18. ^ a b c d Copyright #dateFormat(now(), 'yyyy')#. Tropicana Products, Inc. All Rights Reserved. "Tropicana – 100% Pure Squeezed Sunshine". maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  19. ^ a b Alissa Hamilton. "Squeezed: What You Don't Know About Orange Juice." Yale University Press, 2009.
  20. ^ [1] Archived April 9, 2009, at the Wayback Machine
  21. ^ "Tropicana Teams Up With Cool Earth for 'Rescue The Rainforest' Campaign". 2009-04-22. Archived from the original on 2011-07-18. Retrieved 2014-05-25.
  22. ^ [2] Archived January 31, 2011, at the Wayback Machine
  23. ^ [3][dead link]
  24. ^ Pepsi Product Information, Retrieved 05-28-2009
  25. ^ "PepsiCo plots smoothie launch to rival Innocent", 01-31-2008, Retrieved 05-28-2009
  26. ^ Copyright #dateFormat(now(), 'yyyy')#. Tropicana Products, Inc. All Rights Reserved. "Tropicana – 100% Pure Squeezed Sunshine". maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  27. ^ "PepsiCo adds new Trop50 varieties, marketing campaigns". Retrieved 2021-05-03.
  28. ^ 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.
  29. ^ "SymphonyIRI Announces Successful Packaged Goods Brands 2011", March 29, 2011, Retrieved April 19, 2011
  30. ^ Nestle, Marion (2011-01-11). "Pepsi's Questionable Push Into 'Better-for-You' Foods". The Atlantic. Retrieved 2021-05-03.
  31. ^ Quigley, Kelly. "City to be home of Tropicana HQ." Crain's Chicago Business. December 2, 2003. Retrieved on December 23, 2009.
  32. ^ "Beall's acquires Tropicana property in Bradenton." Tampa Bay Business Journal. Tuesday January 2, 2007. Retrieved on December 23, 2009.
  33. ^ Braga, Michael and Kevin McQuaid. "Bealls buys office space." Sarasota Herald-Tribune. Wednesday January 3, 2007. Retrieved on December 23, 2009.


  • 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]