2010-04-26 13:20:03 UTC
Biardot came to the United States from France in 1880. Six years
later, with his two sons, he started a food company in Jersey
City, New Jersey. In 1915, this company was acquired by the
Campbell Soup Company. Interestingly, the product most associated
with this company, SpaghettiOs, was created in 1965, long after
this acquisition, and is now marketed under the Campbell’s name.
It is not clear to me what products, other than gravies, now sport
the Franco-American name. Franco-American does not even appear as
one of Campbell's brands.
Anyway, the reason why I am writing this is because I was just
looking through “The Household”, March 1889, Vol. 22, No. 3, where
I saw an ad for Franco-American products. This was a mere three
years after the company started. The ad reads as follows:
Franco-American Food Company’s French Soups "Under the Direct
Supervision of Alphonse Biardot, Member of the Jury of experts on
Food at the Paris International Exhibition. In Quart, Pint, and
1-2 Pint Cans, and 1-1/2 Pint Glass.
Chicken-gumbo or Okra
Served on all Pullman and B. & O. Buffet Cars...”
[spacing is not as in the original]
I find it interesting that this label, which sank pretty low, in
my opinion, had such interesting offerings in the past. Maybe
someday, I will put my hands on some testimonials. Those would
provide useful commentary, if true.