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 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.
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.
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.
A product of the Coca-Cola company
Sprite with vodka (1963)
Natural Sprite soda (1960s)
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 melon ball punch recipe (1964)
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)
Trendy eighties girls roller skate with Sprite (1985)
Diet Sprite looking better than ever (1985)
Diet Sprite vs Diet 7-UP (1986)
Hip exercising people drinking Sprite soda (1985)
Sprite Soul Train sweepstakes (1992)