Minute Maid is a product line of beverages, usually associated with lemonade or orange juice, but now extends to soft drinks of many kinds, including Hi-C. Minute Maid is sold under Cappy brand in Central Europe and under Fruitopia in Germany.
Minute Maid was the first company to market orange juice concentrate, allowing it to be distributed throughout the United States and served year-round. The Minute Maid company is owned by The Coca-Cola Company, and is the world's largest marketer of fruit juices and drinks. The firm opened its headquarters in Sugar Land Town Square in Sugar Land, Texas, United States, on February 16, 2009; previously it was headquartered in the 2000 St. James Place building in Houston.
In 2002 the Houston Astros baseball team sold the naming rights for their venue, subsequently named Minute Maid Park, and the company now owns 8.5% of the team.
The company was originally incorporated in 1945 as Florida Foods, Inc. It employs over 1,900 people and has over $2 billion in sales (1997 est.)
In 1945, the National Research Corporation (NRC) of Boston, Massachusetts, developed a method of concentrating orange juice into a powder using a high-vacuum evaporation process previously developed for dehydrating medical products for use in the U.S. war effort. The US Army had a need for 500,000 lb (227,000 kg) for the war, so NRC created a new branch, the Florida Foods Corporation. Led by John M. Fox, the company won the government contract for $750,000. The war ended and the contract was canceled before the factory could be built, but with investment, the company moved forward with a product.
Rather than selling powder to the public market, the company decided to create frozen orange juice concentrate, using a process that eliminated 80 percent of the water in orange juice. A Boston marketing firm came up with the name Minute Maid, implying the juice was quick and easy to prepare.
First shipment took place in April 1946. The same month, the company is renamed Vacuum Foods Corporation. With limited funds for advertising, Fox himself went door to door giving free samples, until demand skyrocketed