History of Welch Food

Welch Foods is the processing and marketing affiliated cooperative of the National Grape Co-operative Association, Inc.

In 1869, Dr. Thomas Bramwelll Welch of Vineland successfully pasteurized the juice of the Concord grape to create an ‘unfermented sacramental wine’.

Welch company was the first to market pasteurized fruit juice in America. Welch began marketing the product to churches in southern New Jersey in 1869.

Welch did not confine his promotional efforts to print, He took advantage of the Columbian Exposition of 1893 to set up a stand and distribute samples of grape juice to the crowds gathered in Chicago, as he did later at the St’ Louis World’s Fair.

In 1890 his son, Charles E Welch changes the name of the business from Dr. Welch’s Unfermented Wine to Dr. Welch’s Grape Juice.

In 1913, Welch’s got a tremendous national boost when Secretary of State William Jennings Bryan served the juice instead of wine at a state dinner.

The national press lampooned the gesture, making the juice a household name.

A year later, Secretary of the Navy Josephus Daniels outlawed alcohol in Navy ships, replacing it with grape juice. Welch’s change its name to Welch Foods in 1969 to represents its varied product line.

Welch’s began making Concord Grape Jelly in 1923 an introduced Welch’s Homogenized Tomato Juice, its first non-grape product in 1927.

In 1956, the company was purchased by the National Grape Co-operative Association, a coalition of grape growers.
History of Welch Food

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