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The History of Eggo Waffles

In 1932, Frank Dorsa and his brothers Anthony and Sam worked together to come up with a new brand of mayonnaise in their parents’ basement in San Jose, California. They sold their product locally throughout the Great Depression. When an influx of $50 came in, they used the capital to expand into selling fresh waffle batter, too. However, the perishable nature of their products kept sales restricted to a small area. To counter this problem, they created a powdered waffle mix that cooks could reconstitute with milk at home. In 1938, they acquired the Garden City Potato Chip factory and began making chips along with several other foods. In the early 1950s, frozen foods began to dominate the market and the Dorsas set their sights on selling frozen waffles. Frank Dorsa was a trained machinist who had worked for a food machinery company, so he was able to use a merry-go-round engine to invent a giant, rotating contraption equipped with a number of waffle irons. This allowed for many waffles to be cooked at once, while strategically placed employees flipped the waffles at the proper times. Then the waffles were frozen and packaged. The Dorsas’ frozen waffles hit grocery store shelves for the first time in 1953 under the name Froffles (a portmanteau of “frozen” and “waffles.”) The name was changed to “Eggo waffles” in 1955. At first, they were only sold on the West Coast. Then in the 1970s, Kellogg’s acquired the brand and took Eggo waffles national. In 1972, ad agency Leo Burnett created the famous “Leggo My Eggo” tagline. The ad campaign was so successful that the tagline was used for 36 years! And although it was retired in 2008, the company brought the successful slogan back in 2014. Today, Eggo waffles are a mainstay of the freezer aisle and remain a beloved product with many loyal fans.

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