Flavors of the Past
So long, Pal
Look beyond the big-name brands of soda pop and you will find a whole world of lesser-known flavors. Each year around the world, thousands of new beverages are introduced to the marketplace.
But not all of these products will survive. Every year, many of these new drinks and even some older brands will go extinct. And perhaps a secret recipe and a unique flavor will be lost along with it.
Sometimes we assume these extinct sodas were rejected by the public due to poor taste or poor quality. In a level competitive field the losers must have been defective and the winners superior, right? But this is a simpleminded way of looking at how the marketplace works. Maybe these lost flavors were doomed by sloppy bookkeeping in the back office, or poor marketing decisions, or sudden changes in ingredients costs. Any of these factors could have doomed these soda brands, without any input from consumers who may have liked or disliked their flavors.
So why do many people insist that the big-name brand is superior just because it is bigger? Have consumers really assessed the entire field? It is to the advantage of the larger companies to shut out the competition so that we will not be able to ask this question. Coke and Pepsi have bought up their smaller rivals, and have lured schools and businesses into contracts which exclude competitors. Many larger distributors force retailers to exclude smaller soda brands from their shelves and coolers. Does this really give the public a chance to enjoy the flavors it chooses?
So raise a glass to the long-lost sodas of the past. In the first few decades of the 20th century there were over 7,000 independent bottlers in the U.S. While many were franchises of the big-name brands they also produced a whole rainbow of their own private label flavors. Before the consolidations of brands in 1970s and 80s, and the so-called "Cola Wars" explosion of mass-marketing, local bottlers were able to experiment with new flavors and advertising was limited to small-scale appeals to impulse purchasers.
Here are a few soda pop brands you will never have the pleasure of tasting ever again:
Welcome back, Howdy!
In 2010, Orca Beverages of Mukilteo, Washington began reissuing classic sodas in retro-style glass bottles featuring their vintage logos. Howdy is back, as well as Lemmy, Nichol Cola and many others. Whether they are exact recreations of the original recipes or simply homages to iconic lost beverages is not clear. Orca bottles over 100 different types of sodas. Some of these are still available in limited distribution elsewhere, such as Moxie and Green River, and others are new creations like Earp's Sarsaparilla. Here is a growing list of once-extinct soda pops that you will no longer need a time machine to be able to taste once again:
Copyright 2016 Matt Bergstrom • about Delicious Sparkling Temperance Drinks