Teem soda: Remembering Pepsi’s lemon-lime soft drink before Sierra Mist

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Teem soda The crystal-clear lemon-lime soft drink

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.

Before the Pepsi company introduced lemon-lime Slice (starting in 1984), Storm (1998) and Sierra Mist (2000), they hit the market with Teem soda — a fizzy lemon-lime soft drink that seemed much the same, but with a different name.

Here’s a look back at the relatively brief history of Teem in the US, starting from its debut in 1960.

Teem, new lemon-lime drink, introduced (1960)

From The Progress Index (Petersburg, Virginia) November 9, 1960

“Teem,” a new lemon and lime beverage developed by the Pepsi-Cola Company, is being introduced today in the Southside Virginia area, it was announced by Norman Sisiky, vice president of The Pepsi-Cola Bottling Co. of Petersburg, Inc.

Crystal clear Teem soda from the sixties (1962)

In a statement from New York City, Herbert L. Barnet, president of the Pepsi-Cola Company, declared that the Southside Virginia area has been chosen as a focal point for national distribution, and that The Pepsi-Cola Bottling Company, of Petersburg Inc. has been selected as one of the first bottlers in the country to introduce Teem.

Announcing the introduction of Teem for the first time in this part of the country, Sisisky said that the product has been under development by Pepsi research chemists for four years.

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

Gerald McBoing-Boing in an old Teem soda ad (1963)

“Taste-testing and sampling has been conducted across the country for the past two years in efforts to achieve a high quality beverage of unique taste and maximum popularity,” Sisisky said.

According to overall industry figures, lemon-lime drinks have shown the highest rate of growth of any soft drink flavor in the nation.

Teem soft drink (1959)

Cola drinks account for more than two-thirds of total soft drink sales (and Pepsi-Cola sales growth is five times that of the industry), but the lemon-lime share presently accounts for 12 percent of the total soft drinks consumed in America.

In cities where Teem has already been introduced, sales have reflected immediate consumer demand quick distribution and excellent repeat purchases.

Vintage green bottle of Teem soda (1959)

New Teem comes in an emerald green bottle of crossed swirl design. For the introduction in Southside Virginia, The Pepsi-Cola Bottling Co., Inc., bottled in the traditional 10-ounce size.

The Pepsi-Cola Bottling Company, of Petersburg Inc. is planning a full scale advertising and promotion campaign in the area using The Progress Index.

For fun and flavor” is Teem copy line, and all the materials are of the green and yellow colors denoting clean, sparkling, refreshment.

The bottles, cartons, cases, trucks, and advertising materials all have been designed to reflect the qualities of the beverage itself.

Teem soft drink in a cooler with Pepsi (1961)


Retro sixties Teem soft drink – lemon lime soda (1962)

Its here! It’s here. Its crystal clear. Teem.

Pepsi-Cola Company makes this new soft drink — that’s why its so good!

In the bright green bottle! Tingling… refreshing… perfectly light — lemon and lime teamed up just right!

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

Retro sixties Teem soft drink - lemon lime soda (1962)


Vintage Teem soda ad with Gerald McBoing-Boing (1963)

Vintage Teem soda ad with Gerald McBoing-Boing (1963)

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


Vintage Pepsi drinks in cans and bottles from 1960

Sodas shown include Teem, Pepsi and Patio

Vintage Pepsi drinks in cans and bottles from 1960


Retro 1960s Teem soda thermometer (Pepsi)

Vintage 1960s Teem soda thermometer (Pepsi)


Stacks of old Teem bottlecaps (1962)

Stacks of old Teem bottlecaps (1962)

NOW SEE THIS: The history of 7-Up soda, and find out the soft drink’s (terrible) original name


Vintage Teem TV ad from the 1980s (in Spanish)


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