Birthplace geography of iconic pop/soda/cola brands


Source: pinterest.com

Source: pinterest.com

The following list identifies well-known soft drink brands (pops, sodas, and colas) from across much of North America. The criteria for inclusion in the list includes:

  • Founded a minimum of 40 years ago – Vernor’s leading the way at 150 years old!
  • Founded as an independent entity (not an offshoot of another brand/corporation).
  • Remain in business today.
  • Date of founding is based on the original product, not offshoots or subsidiaries.

A link is also provided here to a Zee Map showing the geographical distribution of these brands across the continent. The map is color coded to show how certain types of soft drinks are regional in nature. Root beer is particularly obvious (shown in brown), as all iconic root beer brands are from a swath of Middle America except Barq’s which began in New Orleans. Colas (red) tend to have begun the American South and not surprisingly, citrus-flavored drinks (shown in dark yellow) tend to have begun in warmer and/or tropical climates. Lastly, with the exception of Shasta, all ginger ale brands were founded in the Eastern United States and Canada.

Several cities are home to multiple brands (Detroit, New Orleans, and St. Louis). Clicking on the first icon for these cities allows one to scroll through the other ones founded there.

Source: detroithistorical.org

Source: detroithistorical.org

As usual, any additions or corrections are welcome. For those wondering why Nehi is not included, the reason is that Nehi was started by Royal Crown (then Chero-Cola) in 1924, so it was not an independent company/product. Enjoy!

  • Ale-8-One – Winchester, Kentucky (1926)
  • A-Treat – Allentown, Pennsylvania (1918)
  • A & W Root Beer – Lodi, California (1919)
  • Barq’s Root Beer – New Orleans, Louisiana (1898)
  • Blenheim Ginger Ale – Hamer, South Carolina (1903)
  • Bubble Up – Sandusky, Ohio (1919)
  • Canada Dry Ginger Ale – Enniskillen, Ontario, Canada (1904)
  • Cheerwine – Salisbury, NC (1917)
  • Choc-Ola – Indianapolis, Indiana (1944)
  • Coca-Cola – Atlanta, Georgia (1886)
  • Crush – California (1916)
  • Dad’s Root Beer – Chicago, Illinois (1937)
  • Dr. Brown’s – New York City, New York (1869)
  • Dr. Pepper – Waco, Texas (1885)
  • Escuis – Tampico, Mexico (1912)
  • Faygo – Detroit, Michigan (1907)
  • Fitz’s Root Beer – Richmond Hts, Missouri (1947)
  • Foxon Park – East Hartford, Connecticut (1922)
  • Frostie Root Beer – Catonsville, MD (1939)
  • Frostop – Springfield, OH (1926)
  • Grapico – New Orleans, LA (1914)
  • Hires Root Beer – Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (1876)
  • IBC Root Beer – St. Louis, Missouri (1919)
  • Jarritos – Mexico City, Mexico (1950)
  • Mountain Dew – Knoxville, Tennessee (1940)
  • Moxie – Lowell, Massachusetts (1876) Thank you, John Henry!
  • Mug Root Beer – San Francisco, California (1940)
  • Pepsi – New Bern, North Carolina (1893)
  • Polar – Worcester, Massachusetts (1882)
  • Royal Crown Cola – Columbus, Georgia (1905)
  • Seven-Up – St. Louis, Missouri (1929)
  • Shasta – Mt. Shasta California (1889 – first soft drink in 1931)
  • Squirt – Phoenix, Arizona (1938)
  • Stewart’s Root Beer – Mansfield, OH (1924)
  • SunDrop – New Haven, MO (1949)
  • Sussex – Sussex, New Brunswick, Canada (ca 1900)
  • Ting – Jamaica (1976)
  • Towne Club – Detroit, MI (mid-1960s)
  • Vernor’s – Detroit, Michigan (1866)
  • White Rock – Waukesha, WI (1871)

Sources: personal knowledge and en.wikipedia.org

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This entry was posted in advertising, branding, Canada, commerce, consumerism, culture, economic development, economic gardening, Food, fun, geography, history, Maps, marketing, Mexico, North America, product design, States, Statistics and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Birthplace geography of iconic pop/soda/cola brands

  1. John Henry King says:

    How about ‘Moxie’? I think it was a New England product from the 1870’s and is still available, regionally, today.

    Liked by 1 person

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