Orange Julius

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


WAT said...

I'm old 'cause I remember going to the LAUREL PLAZA (it came down due to the Northridge quake) here in North Hollywood, and always buying me a drink from the Orange Julius stand that used to be at the very front of the mall near the entrance.

Gavin Elster said...

I remember that too. I also remember they had a creepy kiddie photo booth right in front of the May Co entrance. It was called Kinderphoto. I was either empty or had a screaming baby in it. I hated that name. Even as a kid I hated it.

I still to this day hate that orange and razzleberry formica that was such the rage in the early 70's
It seemed everything was covered in it.

Ms. Bizarro said...

I LOVE the orange and razzleberry formica. I'd cover every surface in my apartment with it if I could.

Debra MacLaughlan-Dumes said...

Orange Julius didn't use frozen orange juice (at least not initially). My father co-owned the flagship franchise on Valley El Monte, right next to the El Monte Legion Stadium, between 1959-1963.

We had boxes of oranges delivered every day and my dad, mom, and various waitresses would fresh squeeze the juice for use in the drink. They'd mix fresh juice, a cup or so of cracked ice, the mystery powder, then let it whirl in a mixer. A nice frothy drink resulted.

The franchise headquarters were right next door to the stand, which also sold hotdogs and coffee (no soft drinks allowed). My father was very secretive about the powder mixed into the orange juice. I didn't know till now that it was only creamer and sugar; makes sense!

Silent 3 said...

There was a movie, I think called Simon, where a bunch of scientists convince Alan Arkin that he's a space alien. He decides to set Earth straight and appears on TV doing these bizarre rants about the simple things in life.

At one point he yells, "What's that white powder they put in an Orange Julius, and WHY are they KEEPING IT FROM US?"

cph said...

The last time I was in an Orange Julius shop was in the old San Bernardino Carousel Mall, around 1995 or so.

The Julius was good, the dried-out hot dogs they served, were not.

I remember one time trying the drink with the raw egg in it ("for an eggstra special Julius") but it just wasn't for me.

Ted said...

the mystery powder is mostly powdered egg whites.

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beachgal said...

The O. Julius used the devil with the pitchfork in their logo back into the 50s as well - tho it was a different devil graphic back then. We had an OJ in the Balboa Beach area - or maybe it was officially over the line into Newport Beach and it was there in the early 50s. In the 60s grocery stores sold a packet of 'white powder' that was supposed to be the mystery powder - but it never tasted the same - we still bought it to make 'mock' OJs at home in a quick way. Mom was 100% sure the secret powder was not powdered milk(creamer) and sugar - she and my aunt had tried a number of concoctions trying to come up with a close facsimile and that one did not work even when they used the really fine milled baking sugar - there was something else in there. In the 50s they put a raw egg into the drink as well as the OJ and powder - but that came to a stop with the change in health codes - you could not sell things with raw eggs in them (also affected restaurants who made their own 'real' Caesar dressing - that was made with a raw egg in it as well.

Pam Brown said...

My memory of the Orange Julius (sold at the mall during my college days in the early 1970s) is of a very smooth creamy drink with none of the icy, freezie texture that the Dairy Queen Julius has today. Perhaps the local shop just made their's differently? In any case, the Dairy Queen drink just doesn't do it for me. And I haven't been able to find a recipe that doesn't include all the ice. Maybe I'll try one, and just leave out all that ice.