Soda & Soft Drink Saturday – Nedick’s

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Nedick’s was an American chain of fast-food restaurants that originated in New York City in 1913 or the early 1920s, per differing sources, and expanded in the 1950s to Newark, New Jersey; Albany, New York; Boston, Massachusetts; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Baltimore, Maryland; and Washington, D.C. Originally known for making and selling a signature orange drink, it added coffee and donuts to its simple menu, and later hot dogs with a unique mustard relish in a toasted bun. The name was formed from the last names of Robert T. Neely and Orville A. Dickinson, who founded the chain with the original stand in a hotel storefront of the Bartholdi Hotel at 23rd Street and Broadway. The chain was known for its orange and white decor and its slogan, “Good food is never expensive at Nedick’s”. Another slogan, evidenced by the image at right, was “Always a pleasure”.

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Following intense competition in the 1970s from such national chains as McDonald’s and Dunkin’ Donuts, and much criticism in 1981 for the quality of its concession at the Central Park Zoo, Nedick’s ceased operations.

Revival of the brand name

nedicks_04In 2003, the Riese Organization, which operates a number of restaurant chains such as Dunkin’ Donuts and Pizza Hut, revived the Nedick’s brand, with three restaurants by that name in New York City, at Penn Station; 1286 Broadway between 33rd & 34th Street; and 416 8th Avenue, at West 31st Street. All of these locations have since closed, and Nedick’s is no longer featured on Riese Restaurants webpage.

In popular culture

nedicks_03Nedick’s was a long-time New York landmark; The New York Times in 2003 recalled the chain as “The Starbucks of New York”.

Nedick’s was a sponsor of the New York Knicks basketball team. This gave rise to the catchphrase of the Knicks’ long-time radio announcer, Marty Glickman: “Good like Nedick’s”, intoned after the team scored a basket. Another common phrase was, “Meet me outside Nedick’s”; as a well-known and highly visible location, it was a common place to rendezvous with people.

nedicks_05In the musical On The Town, sailors Gabey, Ozzie, and Chip agree to meet at Nedick’s in Times Square at eleven.

Nedick’s is name-dropped in the liner notes to Leo Kottke’s 6- and 12-String Guitar.

A popular punchline from the heyday of the chain was “I’ll meet you in the Orange Room of the Hotel Nedick’s.”

In his 1971 album, When I Was a Kid, Bill Cosby talked about when he and his Boy Scout troop went on a hike around Fairmount Park in his hometown of Philadelphia. When the police forbade them setting up camp in the park, the

nedicks_01troop went to Nedick’s to eat their lunch (canned beans) before going home.

In the M*A*S*H Season Four episode, “Dear Peggy”, Hawkeye Pierce talks about watching Klinger eat a fresh egg he won in a poker game and facetiously says that for a moment, it evoked the air of “fine dining at Nedick’s in Grand Central Station.”

The Nedick’s neon sign can be seen in several location shots in Martin Scorsese’s Taxi Driver.

In Audre Lorde’s poem, “Who Said It Was Simple,” the speaker can perceive, just “Sitting at Nedick’s,” the intersections of race, gender and class in the liberation movements of the 1970’s.

Text from Wikipedia

Soda & Soft Drink Saturday – TaB

Soda & Soft Drink Saturday - TaB

Tab (stylized as TaB) is a diet cola soft drink produced by The Coca-Cola Company, introduced in 1963. The soda was popular throughout the 1960s and 1970s, and several variations were made, including Tab Clear as well as caffeine-free versions.

Soda & Soft Drink Saturday - TaBAs a result of studies in the early 1970s linking saccharin, TaB’s main sweetener, with bladder cancer in rats, the United States Congress mandated warning labels on products containing the sweetener. The label requirement was later repealed when no evidence was found linking saccharin with cancer in humans.

After its introduction in 1982, Diet Coke quickly replaced TaB as the Coca-Cola Company’s most popular diet cola, although TaB still retained a loyal following. Approximately 3 million cases were sold in the United States in 2008

History

TaB was introduced as a diet drink in 1963. TaB was created by Coca-Cola after the successful sales and marketing of Diet Rite cola, owned by The Royal Crown Company; previously, Diet Rite had been the only sugarless soda on the market. Tab was marketed to consumers who wanted to “keep tabs” on their weight.

Soda & Soft Drink Saturday - TaB

Coca-Cola’s marketing research department used its IBM 1401 computer to generate a list of over 185,000 four-letter words with one vowel, adding names suggested by the company’s own staff; the list was stripped of any words deemed unpronounceable or too similar to existing trademarks. From a final list of about twenty names, “Tabb” was chosen, influenced by the possible play on words, and shortened to “TaB” during development.

Soda & Soft Drink Saturday - TaBPackaging designer Robert Sidney Dickens gave the name the capitalization pattern (“TaB”) used in the logo as well as creating a new bottle design for the soft drink.

TaB has been reformulated several times. It was initially sweetened with cyclamate. After the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a ban on cyclamate in 1969, sodium saccharin was used. Studies in laboratory rats during the early 1970s linked saccharin with the development of bladder cancer.

As a result, the United States Congress mandated that further studies of saccharin be performed and required that all food containing saccharin bear a label warning that the sweetener had been shown to cause cancer in laboratory animals. In the absence of further evidence Soda & Soft Drink Saturday - TaBthat saccharin caused cancer in humans, the substance was delisted in 2000 from the U.S. National Toxicology Program’s Report on Carcinogens; this led to the repealing of the warning label requirements for products containing saccharin. In December 2010, the United States Environmental Protection Agency removed saccharin from its list of hazardous substances.

At the height of its popularity, the Tab name was briefly extended to other diet soft drinks, including TaB Lemon-Lime, TaB Black Cherry, TaB Ginger Ale, TaB Root Beer and TaB Orange.

Other variants of Tab have appeared over the years

Caffeine Free TaB was introduced in the 1980s with little fanfare and disappeared soon afterward.

In 1992, Coca-Cola released TaB Clear in the U.S., Australia and UK. It was withdrawn after less than a year.

TaB Energy is an energy drink released in early 2006 that uses a different recipe than Tab cola.

Soda & Soft Drink Saturday - TaB

TaB’s popularity began to decline in 1982 with the introduction of Diet Coke, although TaB retained something of a cult following in the United States, where customers purchased about 3 million cases in 2008. According to the Coca-Cola Company, in 2012 TaB was being sold in the countries of the Southern African Customs Union (Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland), Spain, the U.S. Virgin Islands and the United States.

Text from Wikipedia

Soda & Soft Drink Saturday – Trocadero

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Trocadero, sometimes called Troca, is a caffeinated soft drink flavored with orange and apple. It was launched in Sweden in the summer of 1953 the Saturn AB brewery in Malmö. Trocadero has over the years been particularly popular in northern Sweden and has been called “Norrland’s national drink.”

The name

Trocadero was introduced by Nils-Håkan Håkansson at Saturn AB, and according to his grandson Edward Liepe the  named came either from the Place du Trocadero in Paris or from Café de Trocadero in the same city.

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Furthermore

Trocadero_03The same year the Trocadero was introduced the ban on cola sodas was lifted for in Sweden and both Coca-Cola and Cuba Cola (also brewed by Saturn) was introduced on the market. Trocadero was for long the only soft drink except cola drinks containing caffeine.

Saturn, however, became with the years more and more focused on selling essences for flavoring spirits and cocktail mixing, and in line with this focus also began selling soda essenses to other breweries instead Trocadero_04of manufacturing the soft drinks themselves. Saturn is only selling flavors and essences for Trocadero production to approved breweries to day, and the requirements are that the brewery focuses on the brand, has good water and keeps the amount of essence in relation to the amount of water within a given range.

Trocadero mixed with brandy is called Wholesaler Grog in Sweden.

Trocadero is now available as candyconsisting of two-colored jelly bottles tasting of Trocadero. In 2005 the Trocadero candy started to be produced and sold by Fagerströms candy factory in Hudiksvall.

According to the Trocadero Facebook page, the manufacturing of the candy has now ceased.

Soda & Soft Drink Saturday – Howdy

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Before Sprite and 7-Up, there was Howdy. Orca Beverage President and Owner, Mike Bourgeois, calls Howdy the “original creators of the lemon-lime category.” In fact, Howdy Lemon-Lime was the primordial soda recipe from which 7-Up eventually evolved.

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The company originally began in 1929, and according to Bourgeois, back then Howdy was made with seven ingredients. I don’t think I need to explain the connection further. Here’s the weird part: one of those seven ingredients was lithium. Bourgeois tells us the soda was originally marketed as a “Bib-Lable Lithiated Lemon-Lime Soda.”

50Howdy-Cardboard-sign_crHe goes on to tell us that lithium was used at the turn of the century as a mood-altering stimulant, thought to “give you a lift.” He offered up cocaine as a comparison. Good. Because there’s nothing I like with my lunch more than an ice cold lemon-lime soda chocked full of angel dust. Really makes the rest of the day go faster when I do my afternoon accounting work with a heart rate of 200 BPM.

As you might imagine, lithium has since been regulated out of the drink. Bourgeois did not specify when Howdy went out of business, but notes the company had been dormant for many years until around 2010 when Orca Beverage reactivated the trademark due to its rich history.

Orca has done this several times since the Mukilteo, Washington-based soda distributor began in 1987 because it wants to preserve the nostalgia of retro soda as much as possible. It is now the sole producer of Howdy.

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Currently, the company boasts around 120 different brands. Bourgeois says in the case of Howdy, “It was a natural niche for us to cultivate.” He adds that the recipe has been reformulated to be more modern and clean and uses pure cane sugar and real lemon and lime oils. Even the logo is the same as the original. “It’s more flavorful. It has a little more of everything in it,” Bourgeois says at the end of our conversation. Time to taste the history.

Where to get it

Howdy Lemon Lime soda is distributed nationwide in the US at retro soda retailers. We suggest checking your nearest Rocketfizz retailer. You can also purchase it online at Amazon (via Orca Beverage) and Soda Emporium. And if you’re a retailer looking to sell soda yourself, or you’re just a dude wanting a bunch of soda at one time, Homer Soda is your go-to.

Text from fivestarsoda.com

Fermented Raspberry Soda / Musserende Bringebærbrus

A homemade tart soda recipe found on saveur.com
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Cookbook author Amy Thielen likes to add a splash of this tart, naturally fizzy juice to grown-up, not-too-sweet ice cream floats for a bright swath of flavor. You may also like mixing it into cocktails and even vinaigrettes. You can start with any fruit, but the smaller and juicier the better.

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Soda & Softdrink Saturday – Patio Diet Cola

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Patio Diet Cola was a brand of diet soda introduced by Pepsi in 1963. It was created in response to Diet Rite Cola. Fitness promoter Debbie Drake was Patio Diet Cola’s spokesperson; the drink was also marketed as a soda alternative for diabetics.

patio diet cola_02In 1964, Patio released orange, grape, and root beer flavors. This flavor line was not meant to compete with brands like Orange Crush, but rather fill out the line. Patio sodas were available in the cold-bottle market: grocery and mom-and-pop stores. Advertising for Patio was comparatively scarce; at the time, bottlers were regionally franchised, and related advertising was necessarily local.

In 1964, Patio diet cola became Diet Pepsi. The newly branded diet soda was advertised alongside Pepsi, with the tagline “Pepsi either way”, which replaced the slogan “Dances with flavor”. Most of the remaining Patio line of flavors were phased out by the early 1970s, while a few survived until the mid 1970s.

In popular culture

The creation of an advertising campaign for Patio was a featured plot of the third season of the AMC television series Mad Men. In “My Old Kentucky Home”, the advertising agency hired an Ann-Margret look-alike. In “The Arrangements”, they notably used a take-off of Ann-Margret’s opening number from the film Bye Bye Birdie for their television commercial.

How Patio cola changed the world of fizzy drinks

patio diet cola_04Fifty years ago Diet Pepsi was first marketed, trying to fix a link in consumers’ minds between sugar-free fizzy drinks and weight loss. But today, the very term “diet” on food and drink almost seems a little retro.

The product featured in the first few episodes of series three of the advertising agency drama, and is a point of dispute between Sterling Cooper staff members when PepsiCo reject a television commercial based on the film Bye Bye Birdie.

Patio was a real product and the year after its introduction in 1963 it was rebranded as Diet Pepsi. But Pepsi’s move into diet drinks was inspired by an unusual source.

A soft drink produced for diabetic patients at New York’s Jewish Sanitarium for Chronic Disease in the early 1950s called No-Cal ballooned in popularity, far beyond the customer base its maker expected. It turned out more than half the people buying No-Cal weren’t diabetic – they were just watching their weight.

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This caught the attention of Royal Crown, a cola maker, which introduced Diet Rite Cola in 1962. Their product was marketed towards the calorie-conscious as a dietetic product. The strategy worked – in three years, sales of diet drinks increased fivefold. Pepsi was forced to act.

patio diet cola_05But PepsiCo was not sure there was a big enough market for their diet drink, or that it would be successful. So they hedged their bets. They released the drink, but avoided connecting it to their main Pepsi brand, worried a potential failure could tarnish the brand they had spent years building. When they recognised the fad for diet food and drink wasn’t disappearing, they renamed Patio.

Soda & Soft Drink Saturday – Malta

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Malta (also called young beer, children’s beer, or wheat soda) is a type of soft drink. It is a carbonated malt beverage, meaning it is brewed from barley, hops, and water much like beer; corn and caramel colour may also be added. However, Malta is non-alcoholic, and is consumed in the same way as soda or cola in its original carbonated form, and to some extent, iced tea in non-carbonated form.

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In other words, Malta is actually a beer that has not been fermented. It is similar in colour to stout (dark brown) but is very sweet, generally described as tasting like molasses. Unlike beer, ice is often added to Malta when consumed. A popular way Latin Americans sometimes drink Malta is by mixing it with condensed or evaporated milk.

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Nowadays, most Malta is brewed in the Caribbean and can be purchased in areas with substantial Caribbean populations. Aside from the islands of the Caribbean, Malta is also popular in Caribbean coastal areas such as Panama, Colombia, and Venezuela and countries that share a Caribbean coast. Malta is brewed worldwide, and is popular in many parts of Africa like Nigeria, Chad, Ghana, Cameroon, and in the Indian Ocean. This beverage is also popular in several parts of Europe, especially Germany. Malta Guinness is brewed under license internationally.

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Malta originated in Germany as Malzbier (“malt beer”), a malty dark beer whose fermentation was interrupted at approximately 2% ABV, leaving quite a lot of residual sugars in the finished beer. Up to the 1950s, Malzbier was considered a fortifying food for nursing mothers, recovering patients, the elderly etc. Malzbier in its native form was finally superseded during the 1960s by its modern form, formulated from water, glucose syrup, malt extract and hops extract, which had been on the market since the malta_001latter half of the 19th century, notably in Denmark. Such formulated drinks are to be called Malztrunk (“malt beverage”) according to German law, since they aren’t fermented. In colloquial use, Malzbier has nevertheless remained, along with other nicknames such as Kinderbier (“children’s beer”). Some native Malzbiere can still be enjoyed in Germany, notably in Cologne, where the taps of breweries Malzmühle and Sion sell it alongside their traditional Kölsch. Many German breweries have a Malta in their range, sometimes produced under licence (for example Vitamalz).

Malta is also occasionally called “champagne cola” by some brands. However, there is a separate type of drink with this b26398db-f1b6-4a2a-87d5-0d2169d04484_1.99b73500672fb55ba1b255fd57652b09name, having a flavour and consistency more akin to cream soda. Despite this appellation, neither drink is a champagne or a cola.

Due to its distinctive colour, Malta is sometimes known as black brewed beer.

Malta is high in B vitamins. Some breweries, like Albani Brewery of Denmark, fortify their non-alcoholic Malta beverages with Vitamin B complex. Albani Brewery claims on their website to have been the first brewery to create non-alcoholic malt beverages in 1859.

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Generally speaking, Malta is readily available in stores in Latin America. It is, however, a little more difficult to find in the United States and Canada.

Soda & Soft Drink Saturday – Faygo

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Faygo Beverages, Inc., is a soft drink company headquartered in Detroit, Michigan. The beverages produced by the company, branded as Faygo or Faygo Pop, are distributed in the Midwest, Mid-Atlantic, Central Southern regions of the United States, and southern Canada. Faygo is imported in Europe by American Fizz, an official distributor of Faygo. Faygo Beverages, Inc., is a wholly owned subsidiary of the National Beverage Corporation, started in Detroit, Michigan, in 1907, as Feigenson Brothers Bottling Works.

History

Faygo_10The Feigenson brothers, who developed Faygo, were originally bakers from Russia. Faygo first became available in 1907 in bottles with only three flavors: grape, strawberry, and fruit punch. These flavors were based on the Feigenson brothers’ cake frosting recipe. They charged three cents for one bottle, and five cents for two bottles. The brothers bought their first delivery truck in 1922, and started home deliveries the following year. They also introduced a low-calorie version in the 1960s called Ohana. In the 1980s they introduced flavored carbonated water.

Faygo_03In the 1920s as the company expanded, they thought the brand name “Feigenson Brothers” was too long and changed it to Faygo. The brothers ran the company until the mid-1960s, when they turned it over to their sons. In 1969, the company created a series of radio and television advertisements featuring a fictional cowboy called the Faygo Kid, who was portrayed in animation for television commercials for Faygo Old-Fashioned Root Beer.

Faygo_06Because the drink had a limited shelf life, the company only sold its products in Michigan until the late 1950s. Company chemists later resolved this issue by installing a filtration system to remove impurities from the manufacturing plant’s water system. In the 1960s, the soda’s regional popularity expanded when the company began advertising during broadcasts of Detroit Tigers games. Commercials produced in the 1970s featured “everyday people” on the Boblo Boat singing the “Faygo Boat Song”. Tree Sweet Products Corp. sold the company to National Beverage Corp. in 1987. In 2007, Faygo celebrated its 100th anniversary.

Reception

Faygo_05Faygo brands were praised in the September 2009 issue of Bon Appétit magazine, ranking Faygo Root Beer as the best tasting American root beer, describing it as “dry and crisp, with a frothy head, a good bite and a long finish”.

In pop culture

Faygo_09The horrorcore group Insane Clown Posse references Faygo in several of their songs. Positive audience reaction to an early concert performance in which Violent J threw an open bottle at a row of hecklers resulted in the group continuing to spray their audiences with the drink. They repeated this practice which developed into the Juggalo culture’s “Faygo Showers”.

Rapper Isaiah Rashad references peach Faygo on his album Cilvia Demo in the song “Brad Jordan”.

Rapper Machine Gun Kelly references Faygo in his mixtape album Black Flag in the song “Street Dreams”.

Rapper Eminem also mentions Faygo in at least 2 songs; ‘As the World Turns’ (Slim Shady LP) and ‘Marshall Mathers’ (The Marshall Mathers LP)

The character Gamzee Makara in Andrew Hussie’s webcomic Homestuck is notorious for his addiction to Faygo soda, as mentioned numerous times in the comic.

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Soda & Soft Drink Saturday – R. White’s Lemonade

Soda & Soft Drink Saturday - R. White’s LemonadeR. White’s Lemonade is a brand of a carbonated soft drink, which is produced and sold in the UK by Britvic.

R. White’s is a brand of lemonade that has been produced for over 150 years. Robert and Mary White produced the first R. White’s lemonade in Camberwell, London, in 1845. The White Family took over H.D.Rawlings Ltd., in 1891, the year that it was incorporated, and then R.White & Sons Ltd., was itself incorporated in 1894.

In the 1970s, R White’s also made orangeade, dandelion & burdock and cream soda. R. White’s still contains real lemons and is available as a diet, cloudy or clear drink.

The Company was taken over by Whitbreads in the 1960s, and was later absorbed by the Britvic Corporation in 1986 when Britvic and Canada Dry Rawlings Ltd, merged. This product, formerly made using real sugar, has (as of 2006) changed the traditional recipe replacing sugar with Aspartame, Saccharin & Acesulfame K.

Soda & Soft Drink Saturday - R. White’s Lemonade

Stables, South Island Place, Brixton, 1964. The R White’s lemonade bottle in the foreground was an icon of London life at the time. The bottle was made from thick glass and was returned to the store where it was purchased, a deposit then refunded. The screw top was made of bakelite, not plastic.

Memorable marketing

1973 saw the launch of the brand’s most famous advertising campaign, ‘The Secret Lemonade Drinker’, which remained on screen until 1984. The ad featured a man in striped pyjamas creeping downstairs to raid the fridge for R Whites Lemonade. Ross MacManus (the father of singer Elvis Costello) wrote and sang the original song with his teenage son, providing backing vocals. The ad won a silver award at the 1974 International Advertising Festival.

Soda & Soft Drink Saturday - R. White’s Lemonade

Who can forget John Otway looking like Hank Marvin sneaking down the stairs singing “I’m a secret lemonade drinker” Then the chorus “R Whites, R Whites, R Whites lemonade” A Classic advert!

Soda & Soft Drink Saturday - R. White’s Lemonade

Soda & Soft Drink Saturday – Mr PiBB

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Mr. PiBB was born in the summer of 1972 after The Coca-Cola Company had the intention of creating a drink that would rival the growing success of Dr Pepper in Southern markets.  After losing a law suit filed by Dr Pepper manufacturers who disputed Coke’s original use Soda & Soft Drink Saturday - Mr PiBBof the name “Peppo,” Coke settled on the name “Mr. PiBB” for important brand-identification purposes.  A combination of an abbreviated formal title and a one-word surname would serve the purpose of helping consumers associate the new product with the “Dr Pepper-type” flavor.

On June 28, 1972, Coke began test-marketing Mr. PiBB in Dr Pepper’s own backyard (Time, July 3 1972, pg. 40).  Among the first cities chosen were Waco and Temple, Texas and Columbus, Starkville and West Point, Mississippi.  The following week, the new product was introduced in Texarkana, Texas and within a couple of months, Mr. PiBB appeared in Houston, Galveston, and Tyler, Texas.  Later that year, they extended distribution to include some Southern and Mid-Western states (Arkansas, Tennessee, Kansas and Georgia).

Soda & Soft Drink Saturday - Mr PiBBWithin a couple of years, Mr. PiBB was available in most states East of the Mississippi River and some West-Coast states including California, Oregon and Washington.  Even though Mr. PiBB was unable to equal the overwhelmingly tremendous popularity of Dr Pepper, Coke was able to gain valuable soda market-share points during this time through the introduction of the new brand.

In the first several years of Mr. PiBB’s existence, Coke placed the description, “Blended Flavored (Cherry and Other Flavorings) Carbonated Beverage” on all Mr. PiBB products for consumer identification purposes.  Mr. PiBB was first marketed with the slogan “It Goes Down Good,” which was printed on the original brown and yellow steel cans and point of sale (POS) promotional materials.  Some other advertising pieces during this time included variations of the slogan, namely “With the Easy Taste that Goes Down Good,” and “Smooth and Easy It Goes Down Good.”  “Rise Up With Mr. PiBB” was also used.

The first internal Coca-Cola Company promotion for the brand was titled “Private Air Force for Mr. PiBB.”  Coke authorized the production of gift items with the “Private Air Force for Mr. PiBB” logo to be used as incentives for Coke representatives to Soda & Soft Drink Saturday - Mr PiBBmeet sales goals, set up displays and successfully merchandise the product.  For more information about the “Private Air Force” promotion, and the Mr. PiBB hot-air balloon flown during the drink’s introduction, click here.

In 1975, Coke changed the color of the Mr. PiBB can to red.  This was due to consumer preference research which concluded that the original brownish color used gave off the impression to the consumer that Mr. PiBB was a form of root beer, a dangerous marketing mistake since Coke’s goal was to capitalize on Dr Pepper’s taste distinction.

Throughout the late 1970’s, Coke spent millions of dollars trying to bolster Mr. PiBB name recognition among consumers.  Comedians George Burns and David Brenner were hired to shoot Mr. Pibb television commercials.  The Mr. Pibb logo was posted in Motocross racing Soda & Soft Drink Saturday - Mr PiBBevents and Joie Chitwood stunt shows with hopes of picking up greater market share in one of the most important regional markets for spicy cherry soft drinks – the US South. There was a sharp increase in print, television and radio advertising, using new slogans such as “Have A PiBB Mister.”

In April 1980, Coke, intending to increase sales, redesigned the formula of Mr. PiBB and marketed cans and packaging with “New Taste” printed in bold yellow lettering.  Coca-Cola conducted the “1980’s: A New Taste Odyssey” sweepstakes for their employees to encourage field support of the improved product.  For complete details about Mr. PiBB’s new taste and the sweepstakes, click here.

However, Mr. PiBB was never able to threaten the predominance of Dr Pepper, which was a “first-to-market” product, establishing Soda & Soft Drink Saturday - Mr PiBBprimary name-recognition among consumers in the “cherry-flavored” soft drink category.  Dr Pepper had almost a 100-year head start to win over the minds of the average drinker.  Some industry estimates have had Dr Pepper outselling Mr. PiBB at a ratio of 17-to-1 (much of this disparity, though, is due to Mr. PiBB’s non-national distribution).

In the early 1980’s, Coke realized an opportunity to form a strategic partnership with the Dr Pepper Company which exchanged use of superior Coca-Cola bottling facilities for a share in Dr Pepper sales profits.  Only in regions of the country where Pepsi or 7up outbid Coke for this right did Coke resort to the production of Mr. PiBB.  This limited production meant less time and energy spent by Coke on marketing for Mr. PiBB, which explains why Mr. PiBB promotional material and packaging from the 1980’s and beyond is more difficult to find today.

Soda & Soft Drink Saturday - Mr PiBB

The original Mr. PiBB logo – referred to as “Generation 1” – that was created in 1972 was used for over 18 years.  With exception of a few color changes and the use of just “PiBB” in the late 1970’s and 1980’s, the font and style remained the same.  In 1991, Coke decided to redesign the Mr. PiBB logo (Generation 2).  This was a very short-lived design because of a law suit filed in late 1992 which alleged that the new diagonal styling on cans and bottles looked too much like Dr Soda & Soft Drink Saturday - Mr PiBBPepper’s.  It was soon replaced by a new, fancier design in 1993 (Generation 3).  The next year, the Mr. PiBB head character was added to the 1993 design (Generation 4) which again, only lasted for a couple years.  It was at this time when the slogan “Put it in Your Head” was introduced and Coke placed Mr. PiBB in McDonald’s fountain drink accounts nationwide.  The Generation 5 design was adopted in 1996 (with minor revisions in 1998) and retained the “Put it in Your Head” concept.

Mr. PiBB has been produced in many different sizes of cans and bottles. Over the years, there have existed 8oz, 280ml, 12oz and 16oz steel and aluminum cans, as well as 8oz, 10oz, 300ml, 12oz, 16oz, 26oz, 32oz, 33.8oz (1 litre), 48oz, 64oz and 67.6oz (2 litre) glass bottles. Plastic bottles have also been made in 20oz, .5 litre, 1 litre and 2 litre sizes.

Soda & Soft Drink Saturday - Mr PiBB

On June 26, 2001, the history of Mr. PiBB took yet another dramatic turn.  The Coca Cola Company introduced a new version of Mr. PiBB – “Pibb Xtra” – into several Texas test-markets, including Houston and Dallas.  Several months later, Pibb Xtra made its way into other states, namely Kansas and Missouri. Currently, the new version exists in multiple prominent bottling territories. 

Text from pibbthug.com

Soda & Soft Drink Saturday – Ironbeer

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Ironbeer is a soft drink that originated in Cuba in 1917 and was created by Manuel Rabanal. It has been described as tasting like “a fruitier Dr Pepper” or like Ironport soda. After Fidel Castro became Cuba’s leader and oversaw Ironbeer_04nationalization of private property in 1960, “Inversiones Rabanal” run by Jesus Larrazabal (husband of Teresa Rabanal – Manuel’s daughter) along with the Ironbeer of Cuba families (Rabanal, Larrazabal, Rojas) were exiled in Miami.

The U.S. version of Ironbeer Softdrink, without the 500 pounds (230 kg) bell on logo, is owned and operated by the Blanco Family.

Ironbeer_06In 1991, Ironbeer’s sister company, Sunshine Bottling, got into a business venture with Tropicana, which was looking for a new bottling company. Ironbeer then invested heavily into expanding Sunshine Bottling Co. to get it ready for the demands of this really enormous contract.

Tropicana ended up owning a bottling company by ways of an acquisition and the Sunshine Bottling deal was no longer neededTropicanas people made a demand about the percentage of air in each can of their orange juice – an impossible Ironbeer_02demand, industry experts said, and one outside the terms of their contract – and extricated themselves from it.

Ironbeer’s CEO, Pedro Blanco Sr., sued Tropicana and eventually won a considerable sum for production costs and damages, but not before the huge legal bills sent Ironbeer into bankruptcy court. They emerged from bankruptcy in 1999.

The softdrink along with a few others and the Sunchy line of juices is still being bottle in Miami by Sunshine Bottling Company. The company is still currently owned and operated by president and CEO Carlos Blanco Sr., Pedro Blanco Sr. has since died.

ironbeer_01Ironbeer cans give the following story about its origins:
On a summers afternoon, in 1917 a mule-drawn, wooden wagon arrived at a popular cafeteria in Havana, Cuba. It delivered the first four cases of a new soft drink that would soon be called “The National Beverage”. Now more than 80 years later, Ironbeer is still enjoyed for its refreshing flavor with just a hint of island spices. A lot can change over the years – but not the original flavor of Ironbeer.

Soda & Soft Drink Saturday – Nichol Kola

Soda & Soft Drink Saturday - Nichol Kola

In the 2010 edition of Soda Spectrum, contributor Blair Matthews writes “there’s hardly a trace of what was once such a successful and lucrative cola brand.” But searching is our thing… so we searched. We consulted Eric Wideman, “the nation’s expert on Nichol Kola,” according to his boss, Orca Beverage President Mike Bourgeois. And based on the information we’ve gathered from Wideman, I believe it. I mean what an absurdly specific thing to be obsessed with: a soda Soda & Soft Drink Saturday - Nichol Kolathat started in 1936. Personally I am obsessed with Natalie and Tonya… but they’re not talking to me anymore. Anyway, here’s what Wideman relayed to us about Nichol Cola:

first there was Sun-Boc, then there was Ver-Vac, Pow! World War I – sugar problems – yadda, yadda, yadda. And now here we are years later with Orca Beverage resurrecting a forgotten brand. Got it? Good. Peace out. Jk. God, for how long it took us to write this, we are doing it in the most annoying way possible. Here’s a synopsis of the soda’s history as written in the book The House of Quality: The History of the H.R. Nicholson Company by Harry R. Nicholson. Wideman sent us excerpts from this extremely rare publication.

Soda & Soft Drink Saturday - Nichol KolaWe do know it’s a real thing though because we found it online in Australia’s National Library. Go figure. Harry R. Nicholson was a business man. Dude was savvy back in the early 1900’s. With prohibition on the rise, he created Sun-Boc an amber not-quite-beer that became a hit with people looking for something to replace their former definitely-real-beer. After Sun-Boc’s success, Nicholson invested that money into a cola he called Ver-Vac designed to compete with Coca Cola. Well Ver-Vac, despite maybe being the worst-named soda I’ve ever heard of, was a hit. Nicholson raked in $110,000 from investors to go all-in on it. And then he hit a road block called World War I, which led to sugar rationing and a spike in sugar’s price.

Here’s the big problem with that; sugar is a huge part of soda and the amount of sugar businesses “were allotted was based on their usage before the rationing” and since Ver-Vac was a relatively new venture, Nicholson didn’t get anywhere close to enough of it to run a soda business. After a bad business deal on sugar and then the sudden stoppage of the war, Ver-Vac’s fizz as a company went flat. In 1926, Soda & Soft Drink Saturday - Nichol KolaNicholson gave cola a shot again, this time branding it as “Nichol Kola” to compete with brands like Pepsi. He would sell the concentrate to independent bottlers who would then mix it up and sell it. Guess how much each bottle sold for?

Nichol Kola continued into the 1970’s, but as independent bottlers fell by the wayside, there were fewer and fewer businesses to which the company could sell their soda’s concentrate. The trend continued until Nichol Kola met the same fate as Ver-Vac. But in 2006 Orca Beverage revamped the brand. If you haven’t read past reviews, Orca Beverage is a large soda manufacturer and distributer based out of Mukilteo, Washington. Their “thing,” if you will, is buying up vintage brands no longer in production and putting them back on shelves.

Bourgeois tells us about his company, “We do that because our specialty is vintage soda. We just want to consolidate as many in-house as we can.” The current incantation of Nichol Kola is not the original formula. When asked to describe today’s recipe, Bourgeois played it pretty close to the vest, but pointed out cinnamon and coriander as ingredients used. He also says there are ingredients in it “that typically aren’t found in colas anymore.” Alright, history lesson over. We finally got that part out of the way. Now let’s drink this damn thing.

Soda & Soft Drink Saturday - Nichol Kola

Text from fivestarsoda.com

Soda & Soft Drink Saturday – Kist and Chocolate Soldier

Soda & Soft Drink Saturday

The Citrus Products Company was founded in 1919 in Chicago, Illinois. Two of their products, Kist and Chocolate Soldier* are familiar brands of The Citrus Company.

Soda & Soft Drink Saturday

Soda & Soft Drink SaturdayLike most soft drink companies, they experimented with different flavors to try and find their niche in the market. Kist was bottled in a wide range of flavors like orange, ginger ale, lemon and grape, and became very popular. They also offered a complete range of bottle sizes including seven ounce, ten ounce and twelve ounce, and also two family sizes.

*Chocolate Soldier

By 1958 Kist was being bottled by franchised bottlers in every state.  In addition to Kist, Citrus Products constantly pushed another product to franchised bottlers that was called Chocolate Soldier. Chocolate Soldier,  a chocolate milk type beverage, grew steadily in sales volume, with the help of the parent company, by providing bottlers with sales and advertising materials. Probably the only thing that stands out in the advertising of Chocolate Soldier is some signs which show a soldier standing at attention

Soda & Soft Drink Saturday

*There was once an unfathomable array of chocolate drinks and chocolate sodas. What happened? Today Yoo-hoo remains, but its competition has fallen on the beverage battlefield. Take Chocolate Soldier, for example, which could not win the soft drink wars despite its nifty name and cute packaging.

 In Context 1:

The Chocolate Soldier (German title: Der tapfere Soldat or Der Praliné-Soldat) is an operetta composed in 1908 by Oscar Straus (1870–1954) based on George Bernard Shaw’s 1894 play, Arms and the Man. The German language libretto is by Rudolf Bernauer and Leopold Jacobson. It premiered on 14 November 1908 at the Theater an der Wien.

Chocolate Soldier

English versions were successful on Broadway and in London, beginning in 1909. The first film adaptation was in 1915. The 1941 film of the same name enlists much of Straus’s music but is otherwise unrelated, using a plot based on Ferenc Molnár’s play Testőr.

In Context 2:

Chocolate Soldier is an expression referring to a good-looking but useless warrior. The term originates as a derogatory label for a soldier who would not fight but would look good in a uniform, shortened from ‘Chocolate Cream Soldier’. It appears in that form in the 1897 book Soldier of Fortune by Richard Harding Davis.

Soda & Soft Drink Saturday – Upper 10

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upper 10_02upper 10_04Upper 10 is a caffeinated lemon-lime soft drink, similar to Sprite, 7 Up, Sierra Mist, and Bubble Up. It was bottled by RC Cola.

The Upper 10 brand debuted in 1933 as a product of the Nehi Corporation (later Royal Crown Corporation). Upper 10 was one of RC Cola’s flagship upper 10_01brands throughout the company’s history. However, with the acquisition of RC Cola by Cadbury Schweppes plc in 2000 and subsequent folding of company operations into Dr Pepper/Seven Up, Inc., bottlers have gradually discontinued bottling Upper 10 in favor of the similar, more popular and non-caffeinated 7 Up (which is also owned by Dr Pepper Snapple Group).

upper 10_05Upper 10 is still sold outside of North America by Cott Beverages, the same company that sells RC Cola internationally.

upper 10_06

Soda & Soft Drink Saturday – Swedish Julmust

julmust_01

Julmust (Swedish jul “Christmas” and must “juice”) is a soft drink that is mainly consumed in Sweden around Christmas. During the rest of the julmust_02year it is usually hard to find in stores, but sometimes it is sold at other times of the year under the name must. At Easter the name is Påskmust (påsk “Easter”). The content is the same regardless of the marketing name, although the length of time it is stored before bottling differs; however, the beverage is more closely associated with Christmas, somewhat less with Easter and traditionally not at all with the summer. 45 million litres of julmust are consumed during December (to be compared with roughly 9 million Swedes), which is around 50% of the total soft drink volume in December and 75% of the total yearly must sales.

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Must was created by Harry Roberts and his father Robert Roberts in 1910 as a non-alcoholic alternative to beer. The syrup is still made exclusively by Roberts AB in Örebro. The original recipe is said to be locked up in a safe with only two persons knowing the full recipe.

julmust_03

julmust_07Must is made of carbonated water, sugar, hop extract, malt extract, spices, caramel colouring, citric acid, and preservatives. The hops and malt extracts give the must a somewhat root beer-like taste, but much sweeter. It can be aged provided it is stored in a glass bottle. Some people buy Julmust in December only to store it a year before drinking it.

Julmust vs. Coca-Cola

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julmust_11In Sweden, julmust outsells Coca-Cola during the Christmas season; in fact, the consumption of Coca-Cola drops by as much as 50% over Christmas. This was quoted as one of the main reasons that The Coca-Cola Company broke away from their contract with the local brewer Pripps and started Coca-Cola Drycker Sverige AB instead. Coca-Cola Drycker Sverige AB produced its own julmust, albeit very slyly with The Coca-Cola Company’s name occupying only a small space on the label. Their julmust was never advertised until 2004, when Coca-Cola started marketing their julmust under the brand “Bjäre julmust”, but they bought the syrup from Roberts AB. By 2007 the “Bjäre julmust” was only sold at McDonald’s restaurants and it had completely disappeared from Coca-Colas range of products by Christmas 2008.

Outside Sweden

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Those outside Sweden who are curious to try julmust might be able to purchase and sample a bottle from a Swedish Food Market at IKEA. However, availability is not guaranteed; one is most likely to find it in stock in early December.

julmust_10Kristall Beverage Inc. in Massachusetts, USA bottles julmust for sale in the USA.

In November 2004 PepsiCo marketed a product somewhat similar in taste to julmust in the United States called Pepsi Holiday Spice. It was on sale during the 2004 and 2006 Christmas seasons.

Cost Plus World Market in the United States sells julmust during the Christmas holiday season.


This post is for my friend Rincewind who works outside his native Sweden and misses Julmust terribly. I hope this gives you some comfort till you head northwards for Christmas – Ted