Margarine used to be pink! (Facts about Food Friday)
Here’s a fun “did you know?” and no, I’m not talking about the pink Parkay in the picture above!
Back in the 1870s and 1880s, in an attempt to restrict the sale of margarine even more than their taxes and labeling laws, they forced manufactures to add pink coloring to margarine. The idea was that the pink would make it unpalatable and less desirable, and therefore, discourage people from buying margarine instead of butter.
The color bans started in big dairy states like New York and New Jersey (no surprise, right?) and even created an entire underground market for bootleg colored margarine (yes, that was a real thing) and food coloring capsules so that consumers could need in the yellow color into their margarine to make it look more like butter again.
Between the color rules and the taxes, it cut margarine sales down immensely (to about 40% of their previous sales). Eventually the Supreme Court jumped in and overturned the laws, but as many as 80% of Americans didn’t have access to yellow margarine (oh noes!).
Fast forward a little more than a century and Parkay actually intentionally released the colored Fun Squeeze versions of margarine above in hopes of making it MORE desirable and fun, so that people would be more likely to buy it. Everything cycles back around eventually, huh?
~Edit~ Oh, and I don’t think Fun Squeeze is still sold in stores, but you can get it on Ebay! http://www.ebay.com/itm/PARKAY-FUN-SQUEEZE-SHOCKING-PINK-MARGARINE-BOTTLE-/190155035809