BEVERAGES BACK IN THE DAY: SQUIRT!
Squirt is available nationally, but is regionally popular as a both a mixer and a soft drink that was first formulated in Phoenix, Arizona as a non-cola beverage called Citrus Club in 1938. Herb Bishop worked his Citrus Club recipe to a less tart and sweeter version he called Squirt because of the burst of flavor that his soft drink provided. Bishop took on a partner named Ed Mehren to earn distribution in the more populated markets.
They both realized that they had to build consistent awareness for their through advertising the brand and in 1941 created an iconic character named ‘Little Squirt’ to represent and personify the soft drink. The marketing plan worked and attracted new drinkers and kids began to love it coast to coast. In the 1950′s the brand became a popular mixer for whiskey, bourbon and brandy and by the 60′s and 70′s Squirt was a staple at home cocktail parties and was on the gun at bars across the midwest and Great Lakes States.
Herb Bishop sold Squirt to to a Holland Michigan based bottler named Brooks Products in 1977 and in 1983 they introduced Diet Squirt the first soft drink in the United States to be sweetened with aspartame. A& W Beverages purchased the brand in 1986 and with a commitment to marketing it became the fastest growing soft drinks in America in 1987 and sales continued to grow every year after.
The Squirt brand is now part of the Plano, Texas-based Dr Pepper Snapple Group, Inc.,that markets more than 50 beverage brands throughout North America.
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