10 Old-Fashioned American Food Brands That Are Still Popular – Eat This Not That

America is, compared to many countries, a relatively young nation. We will celebrate our semi-quincentenary, marking 250 years, on July 4 in the year 2026, when other countries have histories dating back over a thousand years. But just because America is a rather young country doesn’t mean we don’t have a few old-school food brands with a long history.

Here are 10 food and drink brands that have been around for over a hundred years, some for over 200! All the more impressive is the fact that, despite minor changes, these companies still produce foods quite similar to the products they started producing generations ago.

Here’s a little taste of American history, from iconic chocolate to local hot sauce and American-brewed beer. Plus, don’t miss 21 old-school Midwestern desserts to try this weekend.

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Baker’s Chocolate / Facebook

Now owned by Kraft-Heinz, but still operating as Baker’sthis American chocolate brand has been around since 1780. And in fact, it’s technically been around even longer than that – before the United States of America – because the company was founded in 1764, but then changed its name to Baker’s in 1780 after one of its co-founders, John Hannon, died overseas, according to FoxNews. Guess the name of the other co-founder? Right, James Baker.

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king arthur flour
Courtesy of King Arthur Baking

A great thing to pair with Baker’s Chocolate in many recipes, this famous brand of flour has been around almost as long as Baker’s, having been founded in Boston, Massachusetts in 1790. Ironically, given the recent end of the Revolutionary War and the ability to unparalleled production of America today, when the company started operations, he sold imported British flour.

Yuengling beer
Yuengling Beer/Facebook

CEO Yuengling & Son Brewery is the oldest American brewery still in operation today. And they proudly let you know they’re “America’s Oldest Brewery” on every can and bottle they sell. It’s actually quite impressive that the company remains a family business nearly 200 years after its founding – the current CEO/owner is a gentleman named Dick Yuengling.


People have been drinking the sweet, mildly spiced ginger drink produced by Vernor’s since the year after the Civil War ended, says the Detroit Historical Society. And in all the years since the drink was first sold in a store in Michigan in 1866, while available in many parts of America, it has remained largely a regional drink loved by Michiganders.

Courtesy of Tabasco

Today, it’s hard to imagine the table of a Tex-Mex restaurant or a family dinner without a bottle of Tabasco sauce on it. And it would have been hard to imagine that a generation ago. Or a generation before that. Or before that. This spicy sauce is a staple of the American diet for more than 150 yearsthe brand having been founded in Louisiana in 1868 by a man named Edmund McIlhenny.

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quaker oats

Although Quaker Oats’ mascot may appear to date from before the 1870s, this classic brand of breakfast foods dates back to 1877, according to The daily meal. And in fact, so does this white-haired, hat-wearing mascot from the same year: he’s been the brand face of the company from the start.

Coca Cola
Courtesy of Coca-Cola

Coke is a behemoth of a brand today. It is sold in every country in the world except Cuba and North Korea. The company is valued at $87.6 billion according to Statistical. And you can find Coca-Cola in almost any store, gas station, cinema or restaurant in the area. But it all started in 1886 when Dr. John Pemberton started selling Coca-Cola at an Atlanta drugstore. This first year, he sold an average of less than 10 Cokes per day.

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fig newtons

It’s actually not at all hard to believe that the Fig Newtons date from the 19th century, is it? Yes, they are tasty, but these unique cookies filled with dried fruits seem to belong to a bygone era. According Thought Co., they are one of the first commercially produced and sold American baked goods. And in case you were wondering, they derive the “Newton” part of their name from the town of Newton, Massachusetts.

corn flakes
Courtesy of Kelloggs

It’s one of those classic accidental successes. While trying to make a good granola, the WK Kellogg brothers and Dr. John Harvey Kellogg invented Corn Flakees, a brand new breakfast cereal. And within a few years – the company didn’t begin major operations until 1906 – it would also change the fortunes of the Kellogg family.


A generation younger than super-heavyweight Coca-Cola, Pepsi has nevertheless been an American staple for three centuries now, with the brand having been established in 1898, via the North Carolina Department of Natural and Cultural Resources. And in fact, a version of Pepsi called “Brad’s Drink” is even a bit older, dating back to 1893.

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Steven John

Steven John is a freelance writer for Eat this, not that! based just outside New York. Read more

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