Orange Julius was founded by Julius Freed in 1926 in Los Angeles as a small orange juice stand. Even though sales were initially low, he managed to make at least $20 per day selling orange juice. Freed noted that it was the acidity of the juice that made it less popular among its customers. To address this problem, Freed’s real estate broker friend Bill Hamlin came to his aid by created a mixture that could be added to the orange juice to reduce its acidity. This mixture also made the juice creamy and frothy. With the addition of this mixture, sales increased considerably to $100 per day. Customers were willing to stand in queues for long periods of time to get the juice.
The name of the company was born from its customers. Freed’s customers standing in the queue used to tell him to give them an orange. Later, the owner’s name got combined with orange to form ‘Orange Julius.’ The high demand for the juice allowed Freed to open new orange juice stands both locally and nationally. He also took his juice to state and country fairs. In 1964, it was selected as the official drink of the Worlds Fair in New York.
Initially, Freed used raw egg in his juices to make the juice protein–rich. It also attracted many body builders to his shops. He later discontinued the use of egg due to health safety concerns, using bananas instead.
During the 1970s, Freed developed a logo for his company consisting of a devil carrying a pitchfork. As this logo looked very similar to the logo of Arizona State University, the University proceeded to sue him and Freed had to drop his logo. During this period, he also expanded his business to the UK as well as attempted to open a restaurant selling burgers and orange juice, though it did not succeed. In 1987, International Dairy Queen acquired the company, which has since continued to expand internationally.
Company headquarters: Edina, MN, USA
Ownership: Private subsidiary (Owned by Dairy Queen)
Number of locations: 5,700
Number of employees: 2,362
Demography: Natural and Organic