Soda & Soft Drink Saturday – Malta

malta_005

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.

malta_006

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.

malta_008

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.

maltina-bottle

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 Malzbier in its native form was finally superseded during the 1960s by its modern form, formulated from water, glucose syrup, malt extract and hops extract, which had been on the market since the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.

site_product_large_Supermalt_Original_33cl

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

Faygo_01

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.

Faygo_08

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

Soda & Soft Drink Saturday - Mr PiBB

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

Ironbeer_05

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

upper 10_03

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.

julmust_09

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

julmust_05

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

julmust_04

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

Soda & Soft Drink Saturday – Norwegian “Julebrus”

julebrus_01

Julebrus is a Norwegian soft drink, usually with a festive label on the bottle. It is brewed by most Norwegian breweries, as a Christmas drink for minors, who aren’t eligible (by law) to enjoy the traditional juleøl (English: Christmas Ale). Although the soft drink is supposed to be for julebrus_03sale through December only, it is often found in stores as early as late October, along with the various sorts of Christmas candy.

Drinking Julebrus outside December is frowned upon by some.

The popularity of the drink varies from area to area, and in some places it is very popular with both children and adults. Many Julebrus drinkers have their favourite version from their favourite breweries.

Julebrus might have a sparkly red color, inspired by strawberry and raspberry, or a pale-brown color, similar to beer, depending on brewery and brand.

julebrus_02

Several news papers and television programs holds Julebrus tasting tests before Christmas to check which of the season’s julebrus taste the best.

Soda & Soft Drink Saturday – Jolly Cola – An Original Danish Soft Drink

Jolly Cola_01

Jolly Cola is an original Danish soft drink dating back to 1959. Today, Jolly Cola is produced by the Danish brewery ‘Vestfyen’, which also produces Jolly Light, the sports drink Jolly Time and Jolly Orange. Up until the 1980s, Jolly Cola had a market share of about 40% of the Danish cola market. This was extraordinary, as Denmark is the only country in the world, where another cola than the original Coca Cola has had a larger market share. Jolly Cola is probably most famous for its slogan “Say Jolly to your cola!”, but having reached its 50th birthday, this slogan will be followed by “Free your taste”.

The history of Jolly Cola

Jolly Cola_06Following WW2, many countries in the world viewed Coca Cola as synonymous with the US and an American life-style, and as the US developed and increased its influence on society, so did Coca Cola. In the meantime, the Danish population still had to wait until 1959, before they could buy a bottle of Coca Cola. Admittedly, Coca Cola had been marketed with moderate success from the middle of the 1930s, but then came a war, followed by rationing of sugar and finally a special tax on cola, which made the soft drink just as expensive as a beer, and therefore kept it out of the Danish market. The taxation came as a result of skilled lobbyism, carried out by breweries and producers of mineral water – and it worked as intended.

Jolly Cola_05Following the implementation of the tax in 1953, only 10,000 litres of cola soft drinks were sold in Denmark a year, primarily produced by minor Danish producers of mineral water, avoiding the competition from the American giant. However, the opposition against the taxation grew, and by the end of the 1950s it was only the communists and conservative powers in Danish politics, which had close connections to the brewing industry, that wanted a prohibitive surtax on what a member of the Danish Communist Party called “a bitter cup”

When the Danish producers finally realised that they could not keep Coca Cola out of the Danish market anymore, they quickly changed their strategy. In January 1959 18 breweries and producers of mineral water went together to form ‘Dansk Coladrik A/S’. This initiative was instigated by Carlsberg and Tuborg so as to produce an original Danish cola that was to be sold nationwide. The soft drink was named Jolly Cola and was an all-out copy product. This regarded not only the taste, but also the organisation behind the product, which completely resembled Coca Cola, especially in terms of having a strong and centralised control of quality and marketing, combined with local bottling departments.

Jolly Cola_02

Suddenly, the strategy seemed to be that if you could not get rid of Coca Cola, the least you could do was to ensure that the Danish population drank Danish produced cola. To a great extent, this was a success, and when the taxation was removed and ‘the great Danish cola war’ broke out in July 1959, Jolly Cola actually conquered a significant part of the new market. In July 1959 alone, nine million bottles of Jolly Cola were sold, compared to five million bottles of Coca Cola.

Jolly Cola_03

This was an incredible number compared to an annual sale of 40 to 50,000 bottles in 1958. Naturally, the sheer interest of the news explains a part of the increased sale, but so does the summer of 1959, which was exceptionally good. Nevertheless, when the market finally stabilised, roughly every fifth sold soft drink in Denmark was a cola, and approximately 40% was Jolly Cola. Jolly Cola maintained this market share up until the 1980s.

Jolly Cola_07There are several explanations for Jolly Cola’s success. However, the most important one is that ‘Dansk Coladrik’ could make use of the brewing industry’s comprehensive network, distributing system and knowledge of the Danish market. For example, it is a known fact the Danish breweries supplied the restaurants and pubs. Another reason is that it was only possible to buy Coca Cola in Copenhagen and a few larger cities in Jutland in the early years of the hectic ‘cola war’. Hence, it was not until the 1960s that it was possible to buy Coca Cola nationwide.

Jolly Cola_04This ensured that Jolly Cola was a well-established product in many places, when Coca Cola finally ventured into the market. Thirdly, it was due to great marketing. Dansk Coladrik A/S had e.g. tapped their cola in regular soft drink bottles. This made it easier for the retail industry to administer the returnable bottle system, but it also made it possible to launch Jolly Cola as “The Big Cola” (a slogan that not by coincidence resembled Pepsi’s success-slogan about the big 12 ounce bottle from the 1930s USA). A

A Danish soft drink bottle contained exactly 25 cl, whereas the characteristic ‘chubby’ Coca Cola bottle only contained 19 cl. The argument about value for your money was important in a time where a soft drink was considered to be a luxury product. (The story of Jolly Cola is based on the work of Klaus Petersen and Niels Arne Sørensen from the Institute of History, Culture and Society).

Today’s Jolly

Jolly Cola_08In the 1980s Jolly Cola still had around 60% of the Danish cola market, but in the 1990s they experienced a decrease in sales. In 1999 the failing sales numbers forced the Co-operative Wholesale Society (FDB) to remove Jolly Cola from its shelves. Following this, Jolly Cola only made up 6% of the total Danish soft drink market in 2002, which was again reduced to 2% in 2003. In the same year, a trial between the brewery ‘Vestfyen’ and the association of Danish breweries almost compromised Jolly Cola’s existence. ‘Vestfyen’ believed that the association of Danish breweries would rather market Pepsi Cola at the expense of Jolly Cola. In September 2003, however, ‘Vestfyen’ took over all stocks dealing with the struggling soft drink so as to engage in a turn-around of the product. This became an immense success, and in 2004 Jolly Cola actually made up 25% of Coop Denmark’s cola sales.

You can see two Jolly Cola commercials with
supermodel Tina Kjær here and here

Text from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Soda & Soft Drink Saturday – Dad’s Root Beer

Dad’s Root Beer_01

Dad’s Root Beer is an American root beer created in Chicago in 1937 by Ely Klapman and Barney Berns. It is currently sold and marketed by The Dad’s Root Beer Company LLC, and owned by Hedinger Brands, LLC.


History

Dad’s Root Beer_04Dad’s Root Beer was developed in the 1930s by partners Barney Berns and Ely Klapman, in the basement of Mr. Klapman’s Chicago-area home. The Dad’s brand was immediately famous throughout the midwest area and by the late 1940s, was one of the most-consumed brands of Root Beer throughout the United States. Jules Klapman, son of co-founder Ely, was successful in bringing the Dad’s brand to the international stage. The name Dad’s Old Fashioned Root Beer was coined in honor of Eli Klapman’s father, and any other fathers across the country, who used to make root beer at home for their families (a popular thing to do in the early 20th Century).

Dad’s became the first product to use the six pack format invented by the Atlanta Paper Company in the 1940s. Dad’s also introduced the half-gallon bottle, becoming the first brand to market this size. Dad’s also marketed sizes based on each member of the family. “Junior size,” for example, was the smallest size, with “Mama” and “Papa” sizes representing the medium and largest sizes, respectively. (The image of the young boy featured on the “junior sized” bottle is Barney Berns’ son, Gene Berns)

Dad’s Root Beer_02The Klapman and Berns families sold all rights to the Dad’s name and logo to IC Industries in the 1970s.

The Monarch Beverage Company purchased Dad’s from IC Industries of Chicago in 1986. Around that time, it was the second largest volume (12 million cases) root beer brand and was distributed by the Coca-Cola bottler network.


The Dad’s Root Beer Company

In 2007, The Dad’s Root Beer Company, LLC of Jasper, Indiana, was formed by Keith Hedinger when Hedinger Brands, LLC acquired the Dad’s Root Beer brand and other soda brands from The Monarch Beverage Co. of Atlanta. Hedinger was approached as owner of Hedinger Beverage Distributing Co., Inc., the largest nonbottler distributor of Dad’s. Other soda brands purchased by Hedinger Brands, LLC are Bubble Up, Dr. Wells and Sun Crest. Dad’s has added 48 additional distributors including a bottler, Tri-State Bottling since acquisition by Hedinger Brands. Jewel-Osco in Chicago, Albertson’s in Florida, Kmart stores, Pamida Hometown Values, Big Lots, Food City, and Snyders Drug Stores are new retailers of Dad’s brand.

Dad’s Root Beer_03Dad’s Root Beer_05


Flavours

Dad’s makes the following brands/flavors:
Dad’s Old Fashioned Root Beer
Dad’s Diet Old Fashioned Root Beer
Dad’s Orange Cream Soda
Dad’s Old Fashioned White Cream Soda
Dad’s Blue Cream
Dad’s Cream Soda
Bubble Up
Sun Crest Orange
Dr. Wells

Text from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Soda & Soft Drink Saturday – Green Spot

 

green spot_001

Green Spot was founded in 1934 with the mission to produce a quality fruit juice drink concentrate using only the freshest ingredients. The first product was the unique tasty Orangeade, which caught on very quickly. Following the success of Orangeade, additional flavors like Grape, Fruit Punch and Lemonade were soon introduced.

green spot_002

green spot_003Green Spot is a non-carbonated non-caffeinated orange-based soft drink that is sold in Venezuela, Thailand and other Southeast Asian countries.

Developed in the United States after the introduction of Orangeade, the brand established operations in Thailand in 1954. While the brand is no longer popular in the United States, the current brand is now focused on the Asian market.

Formerly only available in bottles, Green Spot is now also sold in a 325 ml can with carbonation (fizz).

Green Spot was once popular in Hong Kong, but it has since ceased to sell their bottle drinks and tetra pak boxes are sold in small quantities. The drink can be found at Asian food store Hoo Hing in Essex, England.

The soft drink was for sale in The Netherlands as well. In 1962 the Dutch artist Wim T. Schippers emptied a bottle in the sea near Petten. He managed to make it an international news item.

Soda & Soft Drink Saturday – Spring Grove Soda Pop

spring grove_01

The business was started back in 1895 by a fellow by the name of G.G. Ristey.  Some say he was a pharmacist who developed the concoction for his own soda fountain – others say he was just an entrepreneur with a great idea.  It didn’t take long for it to catch on with the locals and soon the soda was in great demand.

The formula for spring Grove Pop has remained basically the same since the business was founded.  Flavour concentrates are mixed with pure cane sugar and water to produce a delightfully sweet and refreshing soft drink. In the early years the soda was bottled in returnable glass bottles.  But by the 1980’s most sodas were bottled in plastic and aluminium cans so people were not accustomed to bringing back the returnable bottles.  Therefore there was an acute shortage of returnable bottles.  Since returnable bottles were cost prohibitive to purchase new the owners at the time purchased the necessary equipment to bottle in non-returnable glass bottles.  It is the same equipment still used today.

spring grove_02

Currently Spring Grove Soda can be found in SE Minnesota, NE Iowa, and SW Wisconsin. The distribution is about a 100 mile radius of Spring Grove.

Myths & Legends

Myth:  If you get a Spring Grove Soda with a wrinkle in the label you will have good luck all day…
Fact:  It is more fun to tell people this than to explain that we have a temperamental label machine.

spring grove_03Myth: Spring Grove Cream Soda has been known to cure cancer…
Fact:  It probably doesn’t cure cancer, however, we did have a loyal consumer who swore it made her feel better after treatment.

Myth: Spring Grove Lemon Sour cures a hangover…
Fact:  Curing a hangover isn’t that easy, but one loyal consumer says it does the trick for him.

Myth:  The secret recipe for the soda pop is in the vault at Fort Knox
Fact:  It maybe should be, but then how would we know how to make it? 

spring grove_04Myth:  Back in the 60’s Coca Cola tried to buy the recipe for Spring Grove Soda’s Strawberry flavoured soft drink for a million dollars and the owners wouldn’t sell!
Fact:  It was all a dream…time to wake up JR!

Myth:  Every bottle of Spring Grove Soda is made with at least 3 pairs of Norwegian hands…
Fact:  Two sets of Norwegian hands and one set of 1/2 Norwegian 1/2 German hands.

Myth:  Guaranteed to reduce wrinkles…
Fact:  One drink will take you back to your childhood and make you feel young again!

Why does it say “Thanks Ove” on the 6 pack?

The truck on the 6 pack baskets is a local truck belonging to the Ove Fossum Jr. family.  Ove was kind enough to let us use a picture of his truck for this purpose.

Text from “springgrovesoda.com”

The World’s First Frozen Margarita Machine

first frozen margarita machine

In 1971, young Mariano Martinez started serving margaritas in his new restaurant, Mariano’s Mexican Cuisine. His customers created a high demand for the newly popular frozen drink. With their blenders hard-pressed to produce a consistent mix for the drink they made from Mariano’s father’s recipe, his bartenders were in rebellion.

slurpeeThen came inspiration for the beleaguered boss in the form of a Slurpee machine at a 7-Eleven, a machine invented in Dallas in 1960 to make carbonated beverages slushy enough to drink through a straw. But the 7-Eleven Corporation wouldn’t sell him a Slurpee machine. He and a friend, a chemist named John Hogan tinkered with the recipe (hint: the secret is in the amount of sugar) and adapted a soft serve ice cream machine to make margarita slush, and word of mouth signaled a hit for his fledgling business.

margariraThe machine was such a success that, according to Martinez, “it brought bars in Tex-Mex restaurants front and center. People came to Mariano’s for that frozen margarita out of the machine.” Mariano couldn’t patent something already patented, so many versions of the frozen margarita machine subsequently came into the market.

His machine, however, made Mariano’s restaurant a success, leading to other restaurants (with their own commercial machines pouring out the margaritas). When Mariano decided to close the old restaurant and move it to a new location, he decided to retire the machine. We asked for it. So, after 34 years of blending lime juice, tequila, ice, and sugar for enthusiastic customers, the world’s first frozen margarita machine was retired to the Smithsonian.

From an article found on the Smithsonian blog