Edwin Perkins Needed a Shippable Product

Edwin Elijah Perkins had a shipping problem. His enterprise, the Perkins Product Company, had more than 125 food and household products in its catalog, which range from pie filling into hair remover. The products were sold in retail shops, through distributors, and direct to customers via door-to-door salespeople and mail order. And mail order was the problem.

A series of fruit-flavored beverage combinations called Fruit Smacks were one of the organization’s best selling items. Customers could combine the concentrated Fruit Smacks syrup with water to get a sweet soft drink.

Fruit Smacks were packed in glass bottles which were both heavy and fragile. The weight produced the product comparatively expensive to send. The propensity for breaks and spills make it very cluttered for the the package carrier and the client.

Opportunities in Problems

Edwin Perkins was created in 1889. In about 1927 he converted the Fruit Smacks shipping issue into a massive chance for this business. Perhaps this was not much of a surprise to the folks who understood him. Perkins it appears was a confident and inquisitive serial entrepreneur and businessman.

Should you read one of Perkins’ short biographies on Wikipedia, the NebraskaStudies.org website, or an old newspaper clipping, you understand he started developing products and earning money at a pretty young age.

Perkins’ family owned a general merchandise store. “The family’s living quarters were in the rear of the store and every member of their household had his responsibilities in making the store a success,” wrote Walt Sehnert in an October 10, 2007 pillar for McCook Daily Gazette, at Nebraska.

“Young Edwin had an inquiring mind and proved to be a real pest in his mother’s kitchenas he was constantly experimenting with different household components in an attempt to invent new products for the family.

“At age 11, he ordered a junior chemist’s set by a mail-order house and began to develop his own line of helpful products — from scents to flavoring extracts to healing salves for people and animals.”

The transition from kitchen chemist to starting the Perkins Product Company was not immediate. Edwin took a few detours on the way.

At age 13, he’d become the postmaster for Hendley, Nebraska, according to the Nebraska Studies website. He also began to dabble in print and started a local newspaper, The Hendley Delphic.

Combining his knowledge of this postal agency his printing experience, and his passion for medications and household goods, Perkins began a mail order company in the rear of this Hendley post office. (Presumably, he never missed a delivery cutoff.)

By the time Perkins was 31 the company had moved to Hastings, Nebraska, and a lot of his goods were advertised under the”Onor-maid” brand, which could be read both as”honor maid” or”owner .”

Perkins printed his very own”Onor-maid” catalogs. The company had more than 125 products.

It’s was this lineup that had grown to include retail and distribution sales channels. And it was this lineup that comprised Fruit Smacks.

Inspired by Jell-O — that was a fantastic seller in the family store — and the job he’d done perfecting fruit pectin powders as part of the”Onor-maid” line, Perkins began experimenting with Fruit Smacks,”focusing on the ideal combination of dextrose, citric acid, tartaric acid, ethanol, and food coloring.” Finally, he created a powdered, dehydrated variant of Fruit Smacks which may fit in miniature, easy-to-ship packages.

Perhaps to differentiate the new powdered drink mix from the syrupy predecessor, Perkins produced a new brand name. The product name was originally spelled Kool-Ade, but by 1934 it had taken to the more familiar spelling, Kool-Aid.

Kool-Aid became so popular that Perkins dropped every other product to concentrate only on the powdered beverage mix. His firm grew, moved to Chicago, also used over 300 folks by the time that he sold it into General Foods (that has since merged with Kraft) in 1953.

Resolve to Succeed

While Perkins story might be interesting — maybe you had not known or guessed he invented Kool-Aid — it also needs to be relatable. Every ecommerce company will face problems and setbacks. However, a difficulty doesn’t need to lead to failure.

Perkins’ Kool-Aid didn’t take off instantly. “Packaging took longer to ideal than expected, and the company missed the 1927 summer time,” the Kool-Aid Days site reported.

Our technology services : Magento posshopify posbigcommerce poswoocommerce pos

“After experimenting with’asphaltum-laminate paper’ (which leaked black, tarry material into the item ) and hard waxed bread wrapping paper (resulting in envelopes which would not stay glued closed ), Edwin settled on a gentle waxed paper interior liner along with a lithographed outer envelope in vivid colors.”

“Finances have been a issue, too. Back in 1923, banks in Hastings would not lend cash to expand Perkins Products, so Edwin turned to private people for loans… When it came time to come up with the powdered soft-drink business, Edwin again borrowed from a personal supply and mortgaged the factory building on First Street for $10,000.”

While I’m in no way advocating accepting loans or mortgaging the property, Perkins actions demonstrated his resolve. He knew he wanted to own his own business, just like his parents had, and he had the resolve to succeed.

Perkins’ example can motivate you to increase your ecommerce company.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.