While driving home from a vacation trip to Michigan, my husband and I were snacking on a bag of trail mix from Trader Joe's. It occurred to both of us that we didn't really know how far back in history such mixes could be documented, so he Googled for "trail mix" on his smartphone. Unsurprisingly, his search pulled up the relevant text from the Food Timeline, which reported that although the concept of eating a mix of dried foods that would not spoil likely is ancient, the modern "trail mix" product only dates to 1968, when Hadley Fruit Orchards in California patented their version. Hadley's product is described in the Patent Office's records as follows:
"Word Mark ORIGINAL TRAIL MIX Goods and Services IC 029. US 046. G & S: Snack food mix consisting primarily of raisins, processed sunflower seeds, processed pumpkin seeds, processed peanuts, processed cashews, processed almonds, soybean oil and/or cottonseed oil and/or canola oil and/or almond oil and salt."
The mix we were eating contained raisins, pepitas, pecans, walnuts, almonds, and I think cranberries, but the concept is the same, and the result is very handy and flavorful too.