As a child in the 1970s, I loved Swanson's TV Dinners although we very rarely had them. When Swanson's TV dinners launched in the 1950s, the product competed primarily with home-cooked food, and was developed with a relatively low price point for the consumer. Cronin was eventually promoted to head of product development, but the job didn't come without its drawbacks. For the record, some dispute this story and say it was the Swansons themselves who came up with the concept. If you buy through our links, we may earn a commission to support our work. These are the 10 Best Frozen Dinners For Busy Weeknights. Libbyland Dinners, the first commercially successful kiddie version of the TV dinner, debuted in 1971. Swanson - Hungry Man Salisbury Steak TV Dinner box - 1970's In the mid-70's, Swanson introduced their "Hungry-Man" concept, and from what I recall, it was pretty successful. Perfect for sitting in front of the TV and watching a sports game, DiGiorno revolutionized the frozen pizza game. Let's boogie down memory lane for a look at these 1970s foods.. And for more nostalgia, don't miss these 35 Snacks From Your Childhood You Forgot You Loved. The first dinner was a Thanksgiving meal. I remember eating Swanson “TV dinners” when I was a kid in the 60's.They were in aluminum foil trays as this was the pre-microwave era.Usually it was fried chicken with mashed potatoes, mixed vegetables and IIRC some kind of apple dessert in the top middle pocket.I haven’t had one since the early 1970's, of course not including the vast quantities of Stouffer’s frozen entrees I have … The frozen, three-compartment platter sold for 98¢, which approximately converts to a hefty $8.65 in today's dollars. Here's a Morton fried chicken TV dinner box. But what '90s kid hasn't eaten a meal's worth (or more) of calories from pizza rolls (probably while watching TV)? The TV dinner business is currently owned by Pinnacle Foods, while the broth business is currently owned by the Campbell Soup Company.Current TV dinner products sold under the brand include Swanson's Classics TV dinners and pot pies, and the current broth lineup includes chicken broth and beef broth. Designed as a budget meal for a family of four, Stouffer's family-style frozen dinners appealed to dual-income families, and many other companies followed suit. Forget about pudding in a little plastic container. The dessert is typical the big draw on a TV dinner, but this one looks … Additionally, the frozen … While other companies were attempting to provide fruit-focused desserts, around 1974 Morton just got lazy, introducing TV dinners of beef patties, spaghetti, and pizza that shoved a Twinkie into the mix. Related: 11 Careers Where Women are Paid More than Men, Whoever's stroke of genius they were, those first frozen turkey TV dinners came with portions of cornbread dressing, gravy, peas, sweet potatoes, and pats of butter. Discover (and save!) Swanson Polynesian Style TV dinner is a TV dinner that was part of the Swanson International Menu line. 1962 — Swanson dropped the name “TV Dinners” to enforce the idea that they could be eaten anytime of day; 1970 — Gerry Thomas retired. The TV dinner, invented by Swanson in the '50s, was a frozen meal containing meat, vegetables and a dessert. Connect with friends faster than ever with the new Facebook app. ", Just before the dawn of the 1970s, Morton joined the TV dinner fray with a three-course version. In turn, they processed the eggs, made butter from the cream, and sold these products to distributors and charged a commissi… A lot of new sugary snacks hit the shelves, some of which are still popular and some not so much. Initially, the Jerpe Commission Company purchased eggs and cream from local farmers. Our memory banks are filled with the tastes, smells and packaging of snacks, quick meals, cereals and drinks of decades gone by. In the United Kingdom, prepared frozen meals first became widely available in the late 1970s. The Chun King brand served up shrimp and unspecified "meat" egg rolls with a chicken chop suey and "fluffy" white rice. 9 Morton Twinkie Supper Morton In an effort to expand the choices available to customers, Swanson introduced frozen breakfast and lunch meals, and by the 1960s they had dropped the name "TV dinner" from the packaging. Today, Stouffer's family-style meals can be cooked in the oven or microwave. By the time this version came out in the mid '60s, Swanson had 11 TV dinner variations on the market, including one with fried shrimp. DiGiorno was invented in the '90s, but any millennial will remember the tagline: "It's not delivery, it's DiGiorno." Although Lean Cuisine cut the calories and fat from frozen meals, it wasn't until the late 1990s that the frozen dinner market made room for healthy meals—as in meals that weren't necessarily low calorie but packed a nutritional punch. Sign up for our newsletter to get daily recipes and food news in your inbox! These $19k SUVs Will Make You Trade in Your Car, This is a slam dunk if you want a one-card wallet in 2021, New Policy For Cars Used Less Than 49 Miles/Day, the Swanson frozen dinners first hit shelves in the 1950s, 52 Life-Changing Kitchen Hacks That'll Make You Enjoy Cooking Again. Swanson Mexican Style TV … As The New York Times reported in 1984, Stouffer's sales plunged after 1978. Hungry-Man's first celebrity spokesman was NFL player "Mean" Joe Greene. Dinner was on the table at 5:30 sharp every evening. And somehow, tonight, you don't feel like eating those leftovers. Interestingly, Chun King, billed as "the royalty of American-Oriental Foods," was owned by Jeno Paulucci, creator of Jeno's Pizza Rolls and frozen pizza. Yep, this was the decade some modern-day classics hit the frozen-food market. Sure, these are meant to be a snack. Swanson German Style TV dinner is a TV dinner that was part of the Swanson International Menu line. One of the earliest flavors, Chicken and Vegetables, was marketed to women as a lower-calorie alternative to Stouffer's frozen meals. Read on for a little history and perspective on TV dinners, as well as some of our favorite mediocre meals from the '50s through the '90s. Swanson didn’t add a dessert compartment to the TV dinner until 1960 (options included apple cobbler and brownies). Gotta love a TV dinner that has tater tots included. ", Related: 100 Cheap and Easy Weeknight Dinners. In the mid-1970s, Swanson introduced its international-style line of TV dinners, which included options like "Mexican Style" (featuring tamales and an enchilada), "Polynesian Style" (featuring sweet and sour chicken and pork and an orange tea cake, "German-Style" (featuring spaetzle and a prune-apricot compote) and "English Style" (capitalizing on the fish & chips craze). The Swedish meatballs were an especially comforting dish for millennials longing for IKEA's delicacy. "Good thing I found these Hungry-Man dinners from Swanson.". For others, it's trying Polynesian food for the first time while watching the Solid Gold Dancers gyrate to the week's top 10 hits. It's a good day for Stouffer's." Which means that this Sept. 10, you can still celebrate "National TV Dinner Day" — because yes, that, just like raisin sauce, is a thing that exists in the world today. Related: The 50 American Inventions That Changed the World. Swanson & Company marketed a frozen meal-on-a-tray. People were also very into TV dinners and frozen snacks. Swanson chicken pot pie. Hot Pockets are still in the freezer aisle of your grocery store. Learn how to harness the power of tea to lose weight. I never cooked the brownie-the chocolate goo was better tasting as is. The ones in aluminum. In the next year, Swanson sold more than 10 million meals for 98 cents each, and the rest is culinarily dubious history. You can't go wrong with our Best-Ever Mac and Cheese Recipe. The easy way to make healthier comfort foods. The ads promised to "bring authentic, foreign-style right to your table … in any language, you can trust Swanson. TV dinners no doubt gave women more time to do things other than slaving over a hot oven, and are often listed as a possible factor in the rise of feminism. Incidentally, if you ask Google or Siri who invented the TV dinner, it will tell you it was Cronin. Dessert was a "luscious walnut brownie. Hawked in TV commercials by the likes of Mean Joe Greene, it came in versions such as fish 'n' chips, Salisbury steak, fried chicken, and turkey pot pie. Now listed as a "classic taste" among Stouffer's offerings, this dinner made mac and cheese easier than ever. Which is, apparently, still a thing that people willingly eat. Beef with Sauerbarten Gravy Spatzle (pasta) Bavarian Red Cabbage Prune-Apricot Compote You've finally got a chance to start reading that new novel. These included German, Polynesian, Italian, Mexican, and Chinese dinners. The original TV dinner had a cost of $0.98 and Swanson had estimated it would sell about 5,000 dinners in the first year. It cost 98 cents and came in a box resembling a TV. From Danish Rings and Swanson TV dinners to Nintendo Cereal and Hubba Bubba Gum, revisit these childhood classics. If you grew up with health-conscious parents, you might have enjoyed these frozen meals while you were growing up. Stouffer's has them, as do Kroger, Tyson, and a handful of others. Hunt's Snack Pack Chocolate Pudding. Gotta love a TV dinner that has tater tots included. Related: We Tasted 13 Frozen Pizzas and This Is the Best. But let's not forget about this classic ad from the same time, which starred a pre-Taxi Jeff Conaway. Another frozen "snack" that was really a meal, Bagel Bites hit shelves in 1985. Chicken and beef versions soon followed. Although family-style frozen dinners had been available since at least as far back as the heyday of Banquet's Giblet Gravy & Sliced Turkey Buffet Dinner, they took off in the 1990s. A Swanson bacteriologist named Betty Cronin was put in charge of developing the product, according to Mental Floss, and notes she had mostly "male underlings." N'T look half bad way to Make healthier comfort foods half a million-pound mistake beef tray came with a that. Sure, these are the 10 Best frozen dinners for Busy Weeknights, chicken and Vegetables, was to. 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