See how Sprite lemon-lime soda hit store shelves in the ’60s, and soon bubbled its way to the top

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Sprite lemon-lime soda hit store shelves in the 1960s

Note: This article may feature affiliate links to Amazon or other companies, and purchases made via these links may earn us a small commission at no additional cost to you. Find out more here.

Although it seems to be everywhere now, Sprite, Coca-Cola’s lemon-lime soft drink, was only introduced back in the sixties.

Even back then, though, it wasn’t a guaranteed success, since Sprite was diving into a market already covered by similar sodas like Teem (from Pepsi), Bubble Up and 7 UP

Here’s a look at how it all began!

The birth of Sprite: Coke test-marketing lemon-lime soft drink (1960)

By Jim Montgomery – The Atlanta Constitution (Atlanta, Georgia) September 29, 1960

The Coca-Cola Co. is preparing to bring out a new lemon-lime flavored soft drink and mixer beverage called Sprite, The Constitution learned Wednesday.

A company spokesman here verified that bottlers have just begun test-marketing the new specialty drink at two locations in the Midwest — Sandusky, Ohio, and Lansing, Mich.

Sprite tastes like today (1964)
Sprite tastes like today (1964)

Sprite apparently is intended to compete with such beverages as Seven-Up, consumed both as a soft drink and a mixer of highballs.

The new Coca-Cola line is being test-marketed in both capacities in two sizes — seven-ounce and 12-ounce green bottles with applied color labels.

The company said a permanent bottle design will be adopted if the market tests indicate that general distribution is warranted.

Sprite with vodka (1966)
Sprite with vodka (1966)

It described the new drink as having “its own distinctive taste experience… with special appeal to the young adult group.”

A spokesman said Sprite is not like the lemon-lime flavored drink in the company’s Fanta group of fruit-flavored soft drinks.

He also said Sprite is not related to the Fanta line, which is expected to gain general nationwide distribution during the spring and summer months of 1961.

Originally developed in Europe, Fanta has been sold overseas since 1955.

Coca Cola Sprite and other drink products - 1960-1961
Sprite, Fanta and other Coca Cola drink products (1960/1961)

Sprite was developed here prior to Coca-Cola’s recent move to acquire Minute Maid Corp., but it is indicated that a target date for general distribution of Sprite will depend on the outcome of the market tests just now getting started.


Sprite is for adult tastes. Naturally tart. And not so sweet.

Sprite is for adult tastes (1964)

A product of the Coca-Cola company


Sprite with vodka (1963)

Sprite with vodka (1963)


Natural Sprite soda (1960s)

Natural Sprite soda (1960s)


Sprite in a Mad Russian drink (1964)
Sprite in a Mad Russian drink (1964)

Taste its tingling tartness (1964)

Here’s Sprite…the spring-a-ling, spark-a-ling new soft drink in the bright green bottle with bubbles.

On its own, Sprite is light and icy. As a mixer, clear and nicey. From the same company that bottles Coca-Cola.

ALSO SEE: Why vintage Squirt soda wasn’t sweet like other soft drinks, plus five ’60s cocktail recipes with Squirt

Sprite - Taste its tingling tartness (1964)


Sprite melon ball punch recipe (1964)

Sprite melon ball punch recipe - Food 1964


Sprite with rum and pineapple (1965)

Sprite with rum and pineapple (1965)

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


Scuba diving with Sprite (1984)

Scuba diving with Sprite (1984)


Trendy eighties girls roller skate with Sprite (1985)

Trendy eighties girls roller skate with Sprite (1985)


Diet Sprite looking better than ever (1985)

Diet Sprite looking better than ever (1985)


Diet Sprite vs Diet 7-UP (1986)

Diet Sprite vs Diet 7-UP (1986)


Hip exercising people drinking Sprite soda (1985)

Hip exercising people drinking Sprite soda (1985)


Sprite Soul Train sweepstakes (1992)

Sprite Soul Train sweepstakes (1992)

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