Sprite is actually a German beverage. It was developed in West Germany in 1959, where it was known by the moniker “Fante Klare Zitrone,” or “Clear Lemon Fanta” in English. 7-Up had been gaining steady popularity in the United States during the late fifties and early sixties, so Coca-Cola needed a product to compete. The soft drink entered the American market in 1961, where it has occupied a comfortable niche ever since.
Sprite is marketed as a drink that has a “lymon” flavor, which is a combination of lemon and lime. During the 60’s, one could “taste the tingling tartness” of a Sprite. The 70s brought a “naturally tart” Sprite to market, but the company eventually settled on “It’s Sprite” as the catch phrase.
The Sprite name was fairly catchy too. It eclipsed the original German name, and the drink was formally renamed in 1968. Contemporary readers might remember the slogan “Great Lymon Taste Makes it Sprite,” which was the mantra throughout the 1980s, followed by “I Like the Sprite in You.”
Sprite has also spawned several variations on he formula. The most popular is probably Sprite Zero, which has been in production before as “Diet Sprite.” The formula calls for no sugar, and it now joins Coke on its Coke Zero line of soft drinks.
World travelers may recognize Sprite Blue, a minty flavored refreshment with a blue hue to it. The Chinese have been drinking “Sprite Finger Lemon” or “Sprite on Fire,” a variation with ginger mixed into to recipe.
About the Author: Phineas Upham is an investor at a family office/ hedgefund, where he focuses on special situation illiquid investing. Before this position, Phin Upham was working at Morgan Stanley in the Media and Telecom group. You may contact Phin on his Phineas Upham website or LinkedIn page.