The drink grew out of an orange juice stand opened in Los Angeles in 1926 by Julius Freed. Sales were initially modest, about $20 a day (over $200 adjusted for 2007 inflation). In 1929, Bill Hamlin, Freed's real estate broker, developed a mixture that made the acidic orange juice less bothersome to his stomach. Freed's stand began serving the drink, which had a frothier, creamier texture. The sales at the stand increased substantially after the introduction of the new drink, going up to $100 a day. People began lining up at the store and shouting, "Give me an Orange, Julius!" Eventually, the new drink would simply be called "the Orange Julius".
During the 1950s and 1960s, Orange Julius was sold at a variety of outlets, including state and county fairs and freestanding Orange Julius stands.This Orange Julius was a fruit smoothie, created by blending frozen orange juice, crushed ice, and a mixture of powdered sugar and dairy creamer.
An Orange Julius restaurant existed in London for a short while in the early 1970s. It was situated in the suburb of Golders Green, but despite its apparent popularity, Orange Julius did not really take off in the UK and the Golders Green branch was gone by about 1976.
Originally, and through the 1980's, a raw egg blended into the drink was offered as an option. This was seen as a good source of protein for body builders. However, the option was later dropped for food safety reasons, and bananas were offered as a substitute.
In the 1970s and early 1980s, Orange Julius beverage stands used the image of a devil with a pitchfork, similar to that of the Arizona State University mascot, Sparky around an orange, with the slogan, "A Devilishly Good Drink". The company later dropped the logo and slogan after threats of a lawsuit from the ASU alumni association. The chain suffered after the loss of its slightly infringed mascot and sales began to drop off.
In 1987, the Orange Julius chain was bought by International Dairy Queen. IDQ, and by inclusion since 1999, Berkshire Hathaway, owns the rights to all Orange Julius stores, and have "expanded" the chain so its drinks are included in many of their Dairy Queen mall stores, called Treat Centers.
An odd bit of trivia:
Orange Julius' were also referred to as Orange Johnson's in the Southeast, specifically Tennessee.
They Always Come Back:
In 2004, Orange Julius launched a line of Premium Fruit Smoothies to compete with smoothie competitors such as Jamba Juice, Robecks, and Smoothie King.
While the name remains...sort of, little remains of the original drink made famous by that little red devilbaby. Try it for yourself and see.
Orange "Really went out of business when we were bought out by Dairy Queen " Julius