Bubble Up lemon-lime soda: The old soft drink with a surprisingly long history

Bubble Up lemon-lime soda - Old soft drink brand

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Bubble Up lemon-lime soda had its ups and downs since the brand name was registered back in the 1920s, but it never got ahead of 7-UP, or could compete with the likes of Sprite and Teem. Find out more about this retro soda here!

Bubble-Up history: Other ‘Up’ rejoins the lemon-lime soda market (1973)

George Lazarus – Chicago Tribune (Chicago, Illinois) October 16, 1973

WITH ALL ITS advertising firepower, shrewd advertising strategy [the Uncola campaign], and distribution, it is unlikely that Seven-Up Co. will ever relinquish the lemon-lime soda sales lead.

To Seven-Up’s credit, the firm practically doubled the lemon-lime share of the soft drink business to 16 percent in the last two decades.

That share, incidentally, is second only [a distant runner-up] to the 63 percent share enjoyed by the colas.

Vintage Bubble Up lemon-lime soft drink (1959)
Vintage Bubble Up lemon-lime soft drink (1959)

DOES THIS MEAN that 7-Up doesn’t have to worry about the constant sniping from Pepsi-Cola’s Teem, Coca-Cola’s Sprite, Royal Crown’s Upper 10, and other lemon-lime contenders?

Not by a longshot. Competition always will be there, and another competitor, a lemon-lime brand, has been resurrected by diversified giant I. C. Industries, of all people.

The brand, Bubble Up, actually predates 7-Up; the former was registered in the early 1920s; the latter, later in that decade.

For one reason or another [lack of capital, poor management, etc., which ultimately led into bankruptcy], Bubble Up’s performance has been spotty at best. Its top year was 1961, when 20 million cases were sold nationally.

But I. C. Industries, impressed with the records of its recently acquired Dad’s Root Beer Co. and Pepsi-Cola General Bottlers, thinks it can revive Bubble Up.

Ice cold... Bubble Up has pa-ZAZZ (1962)

EVEN BEFORE I. C. bought the brand earlier this year [the deal was officially closed in May], the company did considerable research on consumer awareness of Bubble Up. In market after market, even cities where the brand wasn’t sold, people either recognized the brand and/or thought it was a lemon-lime drink.

When I. C. took over, Bubble Up was distributed in less than half of the 200 markets of its peak year in 1961.

But things are getting better. “We’ve added 12 major and secondary markets in this country,” reports Roy Garvey, executive vice president of Bubble Up and Dad’s Distribution in Canada [an entirely new market] has been opened.

Bubble Up vs 7-Up soda (1975)

BY YEAR END, Bubble Up hopes to open 50 more markets nationally, Gurvey said.

The goal is 400 markets. One of the newer markets is right here in Chicago, where Bubble Up hasn’t been sold for several decades. Trucks of Pepsi-Cola General Bottlers loaded with Bubble Up were streaming around town yesterday.

Gurvey merely hopes Bubble Up “can derive a bigger piece of the action” among lemon-lime drinks. Bubble Up — because of its name — obviously will ride on Seven-Up’s coattails.

In the long run, Bubble Up and Sugar-Free Bubble Up will get varied marketing pitches, including a mixer tie-in. Even advertising [MM Fisher Associate has the Bubble Up account] will help.

It could be that I. C.’s new property will win some skirmishes in the soft drink trade’s new “Upmanship” battle.

Ice cold… Bubble Up has pa-ZAZZ (1962)

You can see it… taste it… feel it!

What’s pa-zazz? it’s what you’ve always wanted in your soft drink [party time or any time].

More lift. More life. More fun.

A light crisp taste. That’s pa-zazz. That’s what Bubble Up has.

[with the famous kiss of lemon & kiss of lime]

Bubble Up soda (1962)

Vintage Sugar-Free Bubble Up lemon-lime soda (1963)

Plenty of Pa-ZAZZ (but no pounds) less than 2 calories per 6 fl. oz.!

Try this new all-family refresher with the famous kiss of lemon, kiss of lime taste…without sugar! Plenty of taste (but no unpleasant aftertaste.) Plenty of fun for the whole family …from kids to calorie counters. Pick up a six pack today! 

Original NEW Sugar-free Bubble Up Bubble Up – BOTH AVAILABLE NOW AT YOUR FAVORITE STORE!

Bottled by COCA-COLA in Eau Claire

Vintage bottle Sugar Free Bubble Up soda (1963)

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Comments on this story

One Response

  1. I was listening to an old song – Drinkin’ that Green Bubble up and Eatin’ that Rainbow Stew and it made me curious about the once popular drink. So I googled my curiosity. And. . . Tah Dah.
    I find it is back! I am looking forward to seeing it on the shelves of our local market on the Central Coast of California

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