V8 was invented in 1933 by a W.G. Peacock in Evanston, Illinois. But it didn’t taste very good, so he went at the formula again. In 1934, he had something tastier. He called the product at first “Veg Min.” The V8 name was suggested by a clerk at a grocery store he was visiting on his initial sales rounds to drum up interest.
By 1936, he started production, with initial major sales actually in New England. By 1938, he couldn’t keep up with demand on his own, as he was doing everything by hand, so in April of that year he sold the recipe to Louden Packing Company, owned by the Staff family. Louden had been supplying them their tomato juice.
V8 was processed and packaged by the Louden Packing Company in Terre Haute, Illinois, up until the 1950’s when the plant was destroyed by fire (the plant had been previously destroyed by a cyclone in 1907.) Louden was bought by Standard Brands in 1943.
The V8 recipe was purchased by the Campbell Soup Company in 1948, which was the same year W.G. Peacock died. At the time V8 was acquired by Campbell’s in 1948, Ronald Reagan was the leading spokesman for V8.