Honors Program Thesis (UNI Access Only)
Convenience foods--United States--Marketing; Advertising--Food--United States; Ladies' home journal;
The way Americans view, think about, and consume food has been on a winding path with several definite shifts in philosophy since the start of the nineteenth century. Ideas about food changed significantly during the post-war era. When WWII ended, the food industry worked to create a peacetime market out of wartime production methods. Factories continued to can, freeze, and dehydrate food just as they had done during the war. This effort resulted in the popularity and widespread abundance of convenience foods: foods that were processed in some way for easier preparation or consumption.
The abundance of convenience foods caused a flurry of food companies to compete for business. Food advertisements placed in magazines, newspapers, on television, and other places used different tactics in order to get consumers to purchase a variety of food products. Ladies’ Home Journal, the magazine at the focus of this study, aimed at a female audience of housewives and mothers. The question that this study intends to answer is: what types of food advertisements can be found within Ladies’ Home Journal, and how did each type of food advertisement try to convince consumers to purchase its product?
My analysis of convenience food advertisements in Ladies’ Home Journal from 1945-1954 shows that manufacturers employed many more ideas than convenience in their advertisements for convenience foods. In fact, they used seven different types of food advertisements: convenience, food shortages, increased consumption, appeals to mothers, appeals to wives, health benefits, and food processing. Each of 2 these advertising groups uses a mix of logical and emotional rhetoric to persuade consumers.
Date of Award
Department of History
University Honors Designation
A thesis submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the designation University Honors
1 PDF file (53 pages)
© 2013 Molly Franta
Franta, Molly, "More than a quick and easy meal: convenience food advertising in Ladies' Home Journal, 1945-1954" (2013). Honors Program Theses. 133.