Soda Pop of the Week: Nesbitt’s Soda

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“Nesbitt’s Name on a Soft Drink is Like STERLING Stamped On Silver”


Hugh S. Nesbitt founded the Nesbitt Fruit Products Company in Los Angeles, California in 1924. The company produced various fruit and root beer soft drink syrups and sold them to pharmacies and other establishments with soda fountains. They also made other products, such as fruit-flavored ice cream toppings, hot fudge, caramel sauce and hot chocolate. In addition, they marketed a line of soda fountain equipment, such as dispensers, cups, dishes and glassware by other brand-name manufacturers.

Nesbitt’s Orange was first produced as syrup for soda fountains in 1927 and was first bottled in 1938. Nesbitt’s Orange actually had 10% California orange juice in it, where most other “orange” sodas usually did not contain any real fruit. Nesbitt’s Orange became the official orange soda of the Disneyland theme park when they opened in 1955. They remained the only orange drink sold there into the 1960’s.

Some of the other flavors of Nesbitt’s soda were Strawberry, Crème, Grape, Lemon-Lime and Root Beer. In the 1950s, they also produced Sprig brand soda. It was a lemon-lime soda promoted as being “Not too sweet, not too sour”. Nesbitt’s soda was franchised to independent bottlers, not only in the U.S., but worldwide.

In 1972 the Nesbitt Fruit Products Company was sold to Clorox. They formed Nesbitt Franchise Bottling, which was sold to Moxie Industries, Inc. in 1975. Today Nesbitt’s is a trademark of Big Red, Ltd. in Waco, Texas. Some of their old flavors are still available to purchase, but mainly online.

Nesbitt Fruit Products Company
Los Angeles, California

Information for this blog courtesy of the Nesbitt’s Memorabilia Page at http://nesbittsorange.com.

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Last updated: Jul 18, 2009
Filed under: Soda Pop Tagged with: Moxie Industries, Nesbitt Franchise Bottling, Nesbitt Fruit Products, Nesbitt's, Nesbitt's Soda