Who remembers Libby’s Fruit Float canned dessert mix from the ’70s?

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Libby's Fruit Float canned dessert mix from the 1970s

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Libby’s vintage Fruit Float debuted in 1974, and was a canned mix containing pieces of real fruit that, when mixed with milk, made a light and fruity pudding-like dessert. Here’s a look at how people made it!

Vintage Libby’s Fruit Float for dessert

The 30-second Fruit Float — everybody’s favorite real fruit dessert. Just pour a can of Fruit Float into a bowl, add fresh cold milk, stir for 30 seconds, and it’s ready to eat. Four servings.

Fruit Float comes in eight real fruit flavors. If you’ve got a little more time than 30 seconds, try one of these delicious Fruit Float recipes. Note: Times indicated do not include chilling and freezing.

4-minute fruit float: Ice cream shake / 10-minute fruit float: Raspberry chill cake (also see this recipe: Pink raspberry-angel food dessert from 1970)

Vintage Libby's Fruit Float dessert mix - seventies (2)


Test-tasting flavorful Fruit Float from Libby’s (1974)

By Sally Batz – Dayton Daily News (Dayton, Ohio) March 29, 1974

Buyer’s Market was prompted to test Fruit Float after receiving a letter from a 10-year-old girl. She wrote, “Dear Mrs. Butz, I like your food column. Please, if you can, have the ladies try Fruit Float. My mom doesn’t think it looks good.”

Three out of the four panelists liked Fruit Float. So maybe mom will break down and try it.

Fruit Float is a quick-to-make dessert in a can. The price per can is 49 cents. It is made by the Libby company.

To make it, empty the contents of the nine-and-three-quarters fluid ounce can into a bowl. Refill the can with cold milk, add the milk to the bowl, then stir with a spoon for 15 to 30 seconds. Spoon the mixture into dessert dishes and it’s ready to eat.

Each 4.88-ounce serving has 130 calories when made with regular milk; 110 calories when made with skim milk.

The advertisements say, “There never has been a dessert like Fruit Float… it’s deliciously different from ordinary gelatins and puddings… a light, delicate dessert mix containing pieces of real fruit.”

It comes in several flavors including strawberry, raspberry, peach, pineapple, and mandarin orange. Mary Smith was the only panelist who really didn’t like Fruit Float. She tried the pineapple flavor. “It’s not any good,” said Mary.

“My only comment is ‘yechhh.’ None of the kids liked it. They just wouldn’t eat it because it tasted like medicine to them. I don’t know, maybe it was just the pineapple in it, but I do know that we don’t like it.”

ALSO SEE: Frosty pineapple pie recipe (1953)

1974 Ohio Fruit Float taste-tester families

MARY THOUGHT it was an easy and inexpensive dessert, and added that perhaps another flavor might be better. Betty Perk’s mandarin orange flavor Fruit Float went over well with husband Bob and herself, but her daughter Vicki just wouldn’t eat it.

“Bob’s not one to try stuff like that,” said Betty. “I was really surprised when he asked me to give him a dish of it. His first reaction was that it looked like pablum, but he tried it and said it tasted good.”

Betty thought the Fruit Float tasted better REALLY cold. “It has big chunks of fruit in it, and was real easy to fix,” Betty added.

“Vicki made it, and all she did was pour it in a bowl, add milk, stir and it was ready. Her fiance, Mark, didn’t believe her, and I guess that’s why we tried it right away without letting it get cold.” Betty agreed the price wasn’t bad at 49 cents for four servings.

ALSO TRY: Ruby Slipper Jello Bundt cake recipe, plus how to make an orange jello pound cake (1978)

CATHY HEFT thought the raspberry Fruit Float had good flavor, but was too sweet. “Karr tried it and he doesn’t even like sweets,” Cathy said. “Julie and Gregg liked it. but Sharon didn’t. I just don’t like the sweetness of it.

“I couldn’t make one can of it into a regular dessert,” Cathy added. “I’d have to buy two cans. I think a dollar (plus adding your own milk) is too expensive to serve to a large family for dessert. I can buy seven or eight boxes of Jello for that, add fruit, and still come out ahead.”

Cathy said it was a good dessert to have on hand if company comes in and you needed something in a hurry. “My kids thought that Fruit Float was great! Laurie made it and got satisfaction from doing it as it is so easy. All of our kids love puddings and yogurt, and this dessert easily fits into either of these two categories.”

Vintage Libby's Fruit Float dessert mix - seventies (1)

BOB AND I only got to taste the Fruit Float, because Bobby, Laurie and Jackie had quickly devoured all theirs and everyone else’s.

From our “taste,” however, we did think it had a real good flavor and nice texture. The price is the only thing I can see wrong with Fruit Float. I can make as good a dessert, much cheaper, by mixing up an instant pudding and adding the fruit myself.


The 10-minute Fruit Float frozen dessert: Cherry Cream Pops recipe

Ingredients

1 envelope (2 ounces) whipped topping mix
1/2 cup cold milk
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1 can cherry Fruit Float
1 cup miniature marshmallows

Directions

Whip topping as package directs using milk and almond extract in place of vanilla extract. Fold in Fruit Float until blended; add marshmallows. Fill eight 5-ounce paper cups and freeze, interesting plastic spoons when firm. Freeze solid, unmold to serve. Note: [10 minute] time does not include freezing.

You’ll like Libby’s — Fruit Float Cherry Dessert — the 30-second fruit float

Cherry Cream Frozen Pops with Fruit Float (1974)

MORE: Fruity no-bake yogurt pies: Strawberry supreme, lemon chiffon & double fruit fantastique pie recipes from the ’80s

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Comments on this story

5 Responses

  1. Whenever I eat peach yogurt I think of Fruit Float. I only liked the peach and strawberry

  2. oh my goodness I grew up on Libby’s fruit float! It was a highlight in my childhood and I just asked my mother about it and she did not remember it until I showed her the can. It was just the best and I have been looking for it for years but I suppose my search will be futile. I am a Libby’s fruit float fan always have been and always will be!

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