Hawaiian Punch: Remember the retro tropical fruit drink & its tasty variations over the years

Vintage Hawaiian Punch (1960s)

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Let’s reminisce for a minute about Hawaiian Punch, the iconic red beverage that has a history as rich as its flavor.

The original product first hit the shelves in 1934 — not as a beverage, but as a tropical, syrupy ice cream topping. But it didn’t take long for people to realize that this fruity concoction was pretty refreshing when mixed with water — and a beloved drink was born.

Do you remember the punchline that made this bright red fruit drink a hit years ago? In the 60s, Punchy and Oaf, the brand’s cartoon mascots, were introduced, along with the (in)famous slogan: “How’d you like a nice Hawaiian Punch?”

YouTube video

Alas, this phrase became more than just a catchy advertising line. It became an enthusiastic playground game, with kids gleefully echoing the phrase before engaging in some light-hearted, playful “punching.” (Parents may have been less thrilled with this development, but it was clear the catchy slogan had struck a chord with the younger demographic.)

As you’ll see in the images below, the marketing of this punchy drink adapted over the years, adjusting its message to suit changing times and consumer preferences.

The brand transitioned from promoting the exotic appeal of the beverage, to focusing on its vitamin C content, and then to highlighting the seven fruits that gave it its unique taste. Besides the punchy cartoon characters promoting the stuff, that flavor blend is what differentiated it from competitors like the Hi-C drinks and retro Kool-Aid.

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How'd you like a nice Hawaiian Punch

Early drink concentrate ad (1946)

Delightfully different: The exotic fruit drink of the tropics

An exotic flavor from the South Seas. Pineapple, Papaya and other tropical fruit juices. Just add water for thrilling drinks. Makes luscious ice cream topping. Flavor the children’s milk with HAWAIIAN PUNCH — they love it!

Early Hawaiian Punch drink concentrate ad (1946)

Have a party with Hawaiian Punch (1954)

* So Good to Drink! * So Good with Food! * So Good for Everyone! 

They praise you as the perfect hostess every time you serve Hawaiian Punch. Youngsters of all ages love it. Contains five tropical fruit juices. Wonderful with food.

Every time you make Hawaiian Punch you know exactly how many delicious glasses you’ll get. Buy a bottle of Hawaiian Punch Base at your grocer’s. Serve Hawaiian Punch, the perfect party drink, soon and often.

Depending on your locality, you can buy Hawaiian Punch in large 46 oz. cans, ready to serve, or Hawaiian Punch BASE in small 6 oz. cans or pint bottles. (Pint bottle makes 16 tall drinks. Just add water.) Manufactured by Pacific Citrus Products Company. Fullerton, California USA.

Have a party with old-fashioned Hawaiian Punch (1954)

“Happy Halloween hospitality” (1959)

DELICIOUS LOOT. Hawaiian treats for thirsty tricksters! Delectable HAWAIIAN PUNCH — with its special enchantment of pineapple, guava, papaya and passionfruit. And delectable Hawaiian Golden Punch — new pineapple-passionfruit drink. Happy Hawaiian hospitality for Halloween-time or any time. At good grocers everywhere, in 46-ounce cans and fresh-frozen.

Old Hawaiian Punch for Halloween (1959)

1960s Pacific Hawaiian products (1963)

Pacific Hawaiian products now in national distribution include HAWAIIAN PUNCH in ready-to-drink form in 46-ounce cans (Rosy Red and Sunshine Yellow) and in carry-home cartons of six 12-ounce cans (Rosy Red); in frozen concentrate form in 6-ounce cans (Rosy Red).

Available in selected areas are Sunshine Yellow HAWAIIAN PUNCH frozen concentrate and Rosy Red HAWAIIAN PUNCH liquid concentrate; and KING OF THE ISLANDS Exotic Drinks in three flavors of fresh-frozen concentrate.

MORE: Anyone remember Keen fruit-flavored soft drink mixes for kids from the ’60s?

1960s Hawaiian Punch products (1963)

Vintage Hawaiian Punch playing cards – Women of Hawaii (1960s)

In the 60s, people could get the Hawaii vibe while playing solitaire or poker with these delightfully punchy Hula girls playing cards!

Vintage Hawaiian Punch playing cards - Hula girls - women of Hawaii (1960s)

MORE: See Hawaii in the 60s: How the tropical islands used to be, and how they changed

The 1960s punch came in several varieties  (1966)

Try all varieties of canned, frozen concentrate, and bottled concentrate Hawaiian Punch.

1960s varieties of Hawaiian Punch drinks (1966)

 That Hawaiian Punch guy, Punchy, starts making his appearance in the 1960s

Pop art ad (1967)

Now 4 fruit-juicy kinds of Hawaiian Punch — Red, Yellow, Orange and Grape…So you have no excuse not to drink it! “Taste the sunshine fruits” – Guava, papaya, passionfruit & pineapple

Hawaiian Punch pop art ad (1967)

Vintage Hawaiian Punch party punchbowl (1968)

HOLIDAY SUNSHINE PUNCH Pour a little sunshine into your winter holidays with some of Hawaii’s most delicious “sunshine” — “Taste Of Pineapple” Hawaiian Punch!

HAWAIIAN PUNCH is perfect for parties! Because Hawaiian Punch just naturally belongs wherever jolly people get together during this jolliest of seasons!

KRIS KRINGLE PUNCH made with “Fruit Juicy Good” Hawaiian Punch that’s as Red as Rudolph-the-Reindeer’s nose. What a merry-looking punch! You can bet the kids will love it!

MORE TO TRY: 38 cool, non-alcoholic drinks for an old-fashioned party punchbowl

Vintage Hawaiian Punch 1968 party punchbowl

Strange food: A Hawaiian Punch burgers recipe (1969)

Cook up hamburgers and pineapple slices, then skewer together. Brush them with this Hawaiian Punch Luau Sauce while cooking:

Recipe: Mix 1/2 cup Fruit Juicy Red Hawaiian Punch, with 1/2 cup ketchup, 1 tablespoon prepared light mustard, and 1 teaspoon onion salt. 

Hawaiian Punch burgers recipe (1969)

Hawaiian punch orange drink (1970s)

How’d you like a Hawaiian Punch for breakfast? HAWAIIAN PUNCH ORANGE

Has all the vitamins of orange juice plus — more fun flavor. Start the day with Sock, Bam, Pow! Drink Hawaiian Punch Orange for breakfast — and look out world! Hawaiian Punch Orange is a natural fruit punch. It’s a power combo of six fruit juices plus orange.

It has all the vitamins of orange juice — is enriched with vitamin C — and has more fun flavor. Kids love the natural sweet flavor, no pulp, no seeds, no sour taste. Glass for glass, sip for sip, Hawaiian Punch is the one with zip. Start your day with Hawaiian Punch and sock it to ’em.

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Hawaiian Punch orange drink (1970s)

Vintage Hawaiian Punch Sunshine Orange (1970)

A new taste experience: NEW SUNSHINE ORANGE — Made healthy and more delicious by a blend of 7 natural fruit juices.

Vintage Hawaiian Punch Sunshine Orange (1970)

Retro Very Berry Hawaiian Punch big cans (1971)

The natural flavor of all outdoors. New Hawaiian Punch Very Berry. This is the big new drink with the real outdoor flavor of sun-ripened berries. It’s naturally delicious because Hawaiian Punch is made with seven natural fruit juices. You’ll see, Very Berry is Berry good!

Old Very Berry Hawaiian Punch big cans (1971)

Old Hawaiian Punch flavors – Lemon Pink and Apple Red (1971)

Pick Apple-Red… Pick Lemon-Pink. Only Hawaiian Punch brings you these two great-tasting flavors. Delicious Apple-Red and refreshing Lemon-Pink. Both made with seven natural fruit juices.

Old Hawaiian Punch flavors - Lemon Pink and Apple Red (1971)

1970s Hawaiian Punch frozen concentrate flavors (1972)

Every Hawaiian Punch Frozen Concentrate flavor tastes fruit juicier than any other fruit drink you can buy. Because every Hawaiian Punch True Fruit Punch Frozen Concentrate flavor is made with seven natural fruit juices. And every flavor has as much Vitamin C as freshly squeezed orange juice.

Great Value Available in 6-ounce size. Makes 32 ozs. (1 quart) Fruit Juicy-Red, Great Grape, Very Berry, Apple-Red / Available in 12-ounce size. Makes 64 ozs. (1/2 gallon) Fruit Juicy-Red, Great Grape, Very Berry

ALSO SEE: Oh yeah! Do you remember these vintage Kool-Aid flavors?

1970s Hawaiian Punch frozen concentrate flavors (1972)

Punchy promotes a Kennedy half dollar offer for kids (1972)

From the 1970s: Hey kids. Earn a genuine Kennedy half dollar! All you have to do to earn this half dollar is vote for your favorite Hawaiian Punch flavor besides Fruit Juicy-Red. Then send three labels from your other favorite flavors, along with the completed ballot. We’ll send you prized Kennedy half dollar. It’s a beautiful coin… and it makes a great lucky piece. What a delicious way to earn fifty cents!

Hawaiian Punch - Kennedy half dollar offer (1972)

Vintage Punchy book covers for kids (1973)

Send them back to school with 4 free book covers: Each gloss coated, water resistant Punchy book cover comes with a different illustration on the front, and an assortment of educational tables and historical information on the back.

Vintage Punchy Book Covers from Hawaiian Punch for kids (1973)

Mix up your own Hawaiian Punch: Vintage concentrate bottles (1974)

MAKE YOUR OWN HAWAIIAN PUNCH! Just add water to Hawaiian Punch Base

Make your own Hawaiian Punch - Vintage concentrate bottles (1974)

70s low-sugar Hawaiian Punch (1975)

New Low Sugar Hawaiian Punch Fruit Punch contains 2/3 less sugar than regular Hawaiian Punch. And it’s made with 7 different fruit juices — a FULL 11% REAL FRUIT JUICE — for a great, fruit juicy-taste.

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Vintage low-sugar Hawaiian Punch (1975)

Retro Hawaiian Punch powdered drink mix (1976)

Tastes like no other powdered drink mix! New Hawaiian Punch Powdered Drink Mix. It’s got a taste you can’t get in any other powdered drink mix. And it comes in four delicious pre-sweetened flavors: Red Punch, Grape Punch, Cherry Punch and Strawberry Punch. Available in convenient 2-qt envelopes and in resealable 8- and 12-quart cans.

Retro Hawaiian Punch powdered drink mix (1976)

Retro Lemonade Punch flavor (1977)

New Hawaiian Punch Lemonade Punch — It’s bursting with flavor! Refreshing, delicious, Lemonade Punch from Hawaiian Punch! It’s got a full, rich lemonade flavor that’s not too tart and not too sweet — because it’s a blend of other natural flavors… If you like lemonade, you’ll love new Lemonade Punch Powdered Drink Mix from Hawaiian Punch!

ALSO TRY: 20 delicious & refreshing old-fashioned lemonade recipes

Retro Lemonade Punch flavor (1977)

Unsweetened Hawaiian Punch drink mix flavor envelopes (1978)

Try ’em! FREE SAMPLES ENCLOSED! NEW UNSWEETENED HAWAIIAN PUNCH DRINK MIX — 7 delicious, fresh-tasting flavors of the New Unsweetened Hawaiian Punch Drink Mix

Unsweetened Hawaiian Punch drink mix flavor envelopes (1978)

Vintage Hawaiian Punch to-go juice boxes (1985)

Vintage Hawaiian Punch to-go juice boxes (1985)

Sugar Free Hawaiian Punch drink mix (1986)

Everything ventured. Nothing gained. New! Sugar Free HAWAIIAN PUNCH Drink Mix. The taste that keeps you puttin’ on the red.

Sugar Free Hawaiian Punch drink mix (1986)

Golden Hawaiian Punch Passionfruit flavor (1989)

How About A Golden Punch With Passion? Introducing new Golden Passionfruit Hawaiian Punch fruit punch. With 7 kinds of fruit, 10% natural juices, and a one-of-a-kind passionfruit taste. So, try our new Golden Passionfruit Hawaiian Punch. And satisfy your passion for refreshment. “How about a nice Hawaiian Punch?”

Golden Hawaiian Punch Passionfruit flavor (1989)

1990s Hawaiian Punch mini box (1994)

New mini box. Mighty punch. New Hawaiian Punch Mini’s are just the right size for smaller thirsts.

1990s Hawaiian Punch mini box (1994)

Double C Hawaiian Punch (1994)


One C for vitamin C. One C for calcium. A full day’s supply of vitamin C in each serving. And now as much calcium as half a serving of milk in each 8 ounce glass.

It’s FruitCal, a source of calcium clinically proven to help build strong bones. And as always that one-of-a-kind fruit taste. New Double C Hawaiian Punch. Now we pack a healthier punch.

Double C Hawaiian Punch (1994)

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Comments on this story

One Response

  1. Great article! I never knew Hawaiian Punch was available in so many flavor varieties, had a base form or frozen concentrate. I still buy Hawaiian Punch original flavor from time to time and it is delicious.

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