Most Trusted Cereal: Kellogg's
The first Kellogg’s cereal began with a failed attempt to make granola—W.K. Kellogg accidentally turned wheat berry into flakes. He tried flaking corn next, and in 1906, Kellogg’s Corn Flakes hit the market. Kellogg’s Raisin Bran launched during World War II; it was important for Americans to eat nutrient-packed whole grains during food rationing.
Most Trusted Fast Food/Casual Dining: McDonald's
The first restaurant—a BBQ joint!—was founded by brothers Richard and Maurice McDonald in San Bernadino, California in 1940. Ray Kroc bought the franchise rights and opened his first restaurant 15 years later. Today, McDonald’s Golden Arches are said to be the most recognized symbol in the world. There are almost more than one-and-half times more McDonald’s locations than hospitals in the America: 14,350 versus 10,660. McDonald’s best-selling menu item? French fries!
Most Trusted Automobile (Import): Toyota
Toyota’s history starts with textiles. The company was founded by Kiichiro Toyoda in 1937 as a spinoff of his father’s business, Toyoda Loom Works. The senior Toyoda invented textile machinery, including a power loom. “Toyota” was reportedly a luckier name and easier to write in Japanese. In 2014, Toyota Motor sold 10.23 million vehicles worldwide, more than any other automotive company.
Most Trusted Automobile (Domestic): Ford
$850—that’s what the Ford Model A, the first vehicle produced using Ford’s innovative moving assembly lines—first sold for on July 23, 1903. (That’s nearly $23,000 in today’s dollars). Today, the Ford Motor Company is the second-largest automobile company in the world, with about 195,000 employees and 66 plants worldwide. This year, the iconic Mustang celebrates its 50th anniversary.
Most Trusted Pet Food: Purina
With a goal of feeding America’s hard-working farm animals high-quality food, Purina was founded in 1894 by partners William Danforth, George Robinson, and Will Andrews. The name came from a company slogan, “Where purity is paramount.” Using special technology in 1956, Purina Dog Chow was the first pet food made into shapes we now know as “kibble.” Fun fact: Dogs on Admiral Richard E. Byrd’s expedition to Antarctica in 1933 ate Purina Dog Chow—and did well in the harsh climate.
Most Trusted Soup: Campbell's
Of the many products the Joseph A. Campbell preserve company was producing around the start of the 20th century, soup was most beloved by customers. So in 1922 founder Joseph Campbell changed his business’s name to Campbell Soup Company. Fun fact: Campbell’s debuted its ready-to-eat tomato soup in 1895. Now, condensed tomato soup is one of the top 10 shelf-stable food items sold in America. Campbell’s chicken noodle and cream of mushroom soups also make this list.
Most Trusted Coffee: Folgers
The Folgers coffee we know and love was born out of the California Gold Rush in the 1850s. When James A. Folger, who was working for Pioneer Steam Coffee and Spice Mills in San Francisco, started mining for gold, he brought samples of coffee and spices and would take orders from grocery stores. Folger eventually became a partner in Pioneer Steam Coffee, then bought out the other partners and renamed the company. Fun fact: The original “Best Part of Wakin’ Up” jingle debuted in 1984. Singers have performed country, gospel, jazz, R&B, folk, Celtic, and a Capella versions of the tune.
Most Trusted Spices/Seasonings: McCormick & Company
Willoughby McCormick and his staff of three young workers began selling flavor extracts, fruit syrups, and juices door to door in 1889, working out of a cellar in Baltimore. Today, McCormick & Company makes custom flavors for eight of the top 10 global food-service restaurants. The company’s products can account for 90 percent of a meal’s flavor for just 10 percent of its cost.
Most Trusted Juice: Tropicana
Sicily native Anthony T. Rossi founded Tropicana after spending a number of years in Florida in the 1940s packing fruits for gift boxes to be sold in department stores like Macy’s and Gimbels. He began producing frozen concentrated orange juice and then, in 1954, developed the flash pasteurization process that led to the company’s most well known product, Tropicana Pure Premium. Today, Tropicana buys about one-third of all oranges grown in Florida.
Most Trusted Bottled Water: Dasani
Dasani was launched in 1999 by the Coca-Cola company. Up to 30 percent of a Dasani water bottle is made from plants, specifically Brazilian sugarcane byproduct.