Fruit cocktail is often sold canned and is a staple of cafeterias, but can also be made fresh. The use of the word "cocktail" in the name does not mean that it contains alcohol, but refers to the secondary definition "An appetizer made by combining pieces of food, such as fruit or seafood".
The product was developed in 1948 at the University of Florida's Citrus Research and Education Center. Since, it has emerged as a commodity product, and futures contracts have traded in New York since 1966. Options on FCOJ were introduced in 1985. From the late 1950s to the mid-1980s, the product had the greatest orange juice market share, but not-from-concentrate juices surpassed FCOJ in the 1980s