The headline for this 1950 ad for A&P supermarkets is “More Family Cars Park Here”. It provides us with a view of Americana at the start of the baby boom. A&P and other supermarkets were definitely part of the American post-war story as the population blossomed and suburban neighborhoods developed. Supermarkets with free parking provided a one-stop alternative to smaller family-owned neighborhood food stores which were previously the norm. A&P was the biggest chain store at the time. We can liken it to Walmart in today’s world. Its size provided bigger buying power at cheaper prices. Of course, industry was booming as well and food industry giants supplied goods for the shelves and freezers with processed foods. Although convenient, these processed foods contributed to a not-so-healthy American diet that haunts us with disease and obesity today.
As for the the illustration . . . seeing unattended children in a public place makes my 21st century heart skip a beat.
The ad appeared in the April 1950 edition of McCalls magazine. The ads in this over-sized magazine made more of an impact than the smaller 8 1/2 x 11 magazines. This one was no exception. It gave the advertisers more space to point out that A&P was all about low price, variety, and babies.