11 Fun Things You Didn’t Know About Jell-O
By 1904, Jell-O was "America's Most Famous Dessert"—at least according to its ads! Here are 11 things you never knew about the brand behind the box.
Utah eats more Jell-O than any other state
The people in Utah love their Jell-O! The state has an entire holiday week dedicated to the jiggly treat, and it’s even Utah’s official state food.
The inventor’s wife came up with the name
Peter Cooper invented Jell-O, but it was his wife, May, who named the treat. (There’s more—Cooper didn’t have enough money to advertise his product, so he sold the business to a man named Orator Frank Woodward. Woodward was the guy who was able to make Jell-O a successful business.)
It’s nearly 90% sugar
Did you know this jiggly dessert is made almost entirely of sugar? (This explains why you might not want to eat dessert every day!) But without the sugar, Jell-O would be colorless and have no flavor or smell.
It was a snack at Ellis Island
Many years ago, thousands of immigrants came through Ellis Island to find a better life in America. When they arrived, they were given Jell-O as a snack. It was a tasty treat used to welcome travelers to their new home.
75% of Americans have Jell-O at home
Three out of every four American families has Jell-O in the cupboard. It doesn’t take long to make a batch for dessert, and it’s perfect for making fun desserts and salads. It’s budget-friendly, too, which makes it a great option for any family.
A full week in February is dedicated to Jell-O
Sure, Utah celebrates a week of Jell-O, but so does the whole United States! National Jell-O Week is celebrated February 12-18. Plus, there’s also a national holiday dedicated to Jell-O: National Eat Your Jell-O Day, which is celebrated every year on July 12.
Jell-O used to make vegetable flavors
We know Jell-O has fruit flavors like Strawberry and Raspberry, but the company once sold vegetable flavors, too. Options like Tomato and Celery were on store shelves at one point, but not surprisingly, no one wanted to buy them.
It doesn’t need to be eaten
Jell-O is usually eaten for a snack or dessert, but it doesn’t have to be. You can use a box to dye your hair, make finger paint or even create edible play-dough. We’ll stick to making fluffy and jiggly retro desserts, though.
Jell-O has 22 official flavors
When Jell-O got its start in the 1800s, there were only four flavors: Strawberry, Raspberry, Orange and Lemon. Through the years, more flavors were added. Today, there are 22 options for dessert, including Strawberry Banana, Melon Fusion and Tropical Fusion.