BEVERAGES BACK IN THE DAY: YOO HOO CHOCOLATE DRINK
Once called “The Drink of Champions” because of it’s connection and endorsement by New York Yankee players, Yoo Hoo chocolate drink has changed ownership through the years, but remains the most popular chocolate soft drink in America.
In the 1920′s Mr. Natale Olivieri and his wife had a small business producing Tru-Fruit flavored soft drinks by squeezing fresh fruit. Mr Olivieri knew that if he could produce a chocolate flavor that it would be popular, so he set his goal on producing a chocolate drink from natural ingredients without preservatives that wouldn’t spoil.
He experimented and ultimately used many of the same methods his wife used to can and preserve her homemade tomato sauce and after realizing that time, temperature and agitation would be necessary to heat the product uniformly. Natale Olivieri introduced his chocolate drink, that had small amounts of dairy added without fear of spoilage and immediately it became the favorite drink of consumers.
The name Yoo Hoo was already being used for the fruit drinks and was applied specifically to the new chocolate drink, and the name fit in for the times and became a popular expression to get someone’s attention. Yoo Hoo got attention and once it was bottled by a major company was quickly spreading its wings in supermarkets and beverage shops around the globe.
In the 1950′s and 60′s the Yankees officially sponsored the drink and backed it with a campaign that featured the popular Yankee catcher Yogi Berra. Berra drank a bottle of Yoo-Hoo in a suit, holding the bottle next to his face and smiled, “It’s Me-He for Yoo-Hoo!” The ad became wildly popular and the brand continued to introduce new drinkers of the chocolate drink.
The brand has had many owners from around the world through the years. Natale sold early to help get distribution and during the 50′s until 1976 , B.B.C. Industries owned Yoo-Hoo. They sold to Iroquois Brands in 1976 who sold it to private investors from 1981 to 1989 when they sold to Pernod-Ricard.
The change of ownership continued when Yoo-Hoo was purchased by Cadbury-Schweppes in 2201, who placed production in the hands of their Mott’s Group and promoted it under the Snapple advertising umbrella.
It gained new drinkers and new awareness and remains a popular drink for all ages and demographics. In 2008 Cadbury-Schweppes split into two companies and created the Dr. Pepper – Snapple Group and Yoo- Hoo hs been a part of that group from the start.
Yoo Hoo currently produces their classic Yoo Hoo chocolate drink, as well as a Lite Chocolate, a Double Chocolate and even a Strawberry Yoo Hoo.
Short URL: http://www.beverageunderground.com/?p=6659