FLASHBACK: Tropicana Revolutionizes Citrus Industry, Takes Up Residence at Port Canaveral in 1955

By  //  August 27, 2021

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Revolutionized the citrus industry by inventing method for vacuum-packing fresh orange juice

In August 1955 the Tropicana Corporation leased space with the Canaveral Port Authority to construct a refrigerated warehouse for the export of single-strength citrus juice. (Port Canaveral image)

BREVARD COUNTY • PORT CANAVERAL, FLORIDA – In August 1955 the Tropicana Corporation leased space with the Canaveral Port Authority to construct a refrigerated warehouse for the export of single strength citrus juice.

The S.S. Tropicana delivered 1 million gallons of juice from Florida to the New York market every voyage.

Anthony Rossi, owner of Tropicana Products, revolutionized the citrus industry by inventing a method for vacuum-packing fresh orange juice in a sterilized glass container, and when refrigerated, the juice retained its “just-squeezed” taste.

Tropicana Products was founded in 1947 in Bradenton Rossi, an Italian immigrant, growing from 50 employees to over 3,000 in 2003.

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Early distribution of fresh orange juice was by way of hand-delivered juice jars to nearby homes, but demand grew, especially in New York City.

By 1957, the S.S. Tropicana was taking up to 1.5 million U.S. gallons of juice to New York each week. The ship’s last voyage was in 1961 when transportation shifted to truck and rail transport.

Since 1998, it has been owned by PepsiCo. Tropicana’s headquarters are in Chicago.

In the remaining years of its first decade, the Port entered into an accelerated period of expansion. The program for 1959-60 included plans for an office building onsite for the Port Authority, a petroleum unloading facility, more warehouse facilities and a 200-foot extension to the wharf, for a total financial commitment of $500,000. (Port Canaveral image)
In the remaining years of its first decade, the Port entered into an accelerated period of expansion. The program for 1959-60 included plans for an office building on site for the Port Authority, a petroleum unloading facility, more warehouse facilities and a 200-foot extension to the wharf, for a total financial commitment of $500,000. (Port Canaveral image)
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