The Unsung Hero of the Dairy Industry


curds and whey being stirred by hand in cheese making


Expiration, “Sell-By” and “Use-By” labels have become fully embedded within consumer purchasing culture today. What you probably did not know however, is that their biggest advocate is also one of the world’s most famous men, and not for the right reasons!

Al Capone was not commonly known for being one to look out for the interests of the public but after a relative of his became ill consuming expired milk, he began to acknowledge the financial benefits that this opportunity presented. After the end of the prohibition and Capone’s infamous boot-legging activities, the notorious gangster from Brooklyn was searching for more viable, legitimate revenue streams. He already possessed many of the bottling facilities that would be required for mass producing the milk, the business ploy seemed to make perfect sense. Capone could successfully transfer from illegal to legal business activities and no-one would be any the wiser. Unfortunately for Capone, old habits die hard and kidnapping the Teamsters Union President when he was told he could not use non-union drivers to deliver his milk was probably not the smartest move. The hefty ransom of $50,000 that Capone received did allow him to purchase Meadowmoor Dairies and begin his new venture away from the glamour and the danger of the boot-legging industry.

In the end for Capone, skimming the top of the milk market (pardon the pun!) was too little too late, with him finding himself inside of a jail cell three months later. His expiration labels hung around though, long into his prison sentence and beyond. Capone’s legacy has left a lasting impact on the world, in more ways than one. You could even say his contributions to the dairy and ultimately the food/drink industry where the cream of all his exploits, but we’ll let you be the judge of that!

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