Soda Pop of the Week: Orange Crush Soda

Retro Staff Comments

Orange Crush Soda

“Made from fresh oranges”

Orange Crush soda has become one of the most popular sodas in the world, being sold in South America, Europe, Africa and New Zealand. The orange soda that so many people love today began over 90 years ago as Ward’s Orange Crush. Neil Ward, a California chemist, partnered with Clayton J. Howell, president and founder of the Orange Crush Bottling Company in 1916 to make a more flavorful orange syrup. Together, they incorporated the Orange Crush Company, and Ward set to work trying improve the original Orange Crush formula invented in Chicago by J. M. Thompson in 1906. Howell was the creator of Howel’s Orange Julep, so they named their new Orange Crush syrup after Ward: Ward’s Orange Crush.

The new Ward’s Orange Crush was so successful that within just two years it was made available in Canada. The name was abbreviated to simply Orange Crush. By 1924 there were roughly 1200 Orange Crush bottlers internationally. They were success enough to be able to afford to hire Norman Rockwell to paint a series of 12 advertisements in 1919. The original Orange Crush flavor was joined by Lemon Crush and Lime Crush in 1919 and 1920. There was even a Crush Chocolate. Additional Crush flavors added over the years were Grape in 1960 and Cherry in 1962. Pineapple Crush was added to the lineup in 1966.

In 1962 Charles E. Hires, Co. purchased the Orange Crush brand. It was then sold to Proctor & Gamble in 1980. Cadbury Schweppes Americas Beverages (CSAB) acquired Crush International in 1989 and brought the Orange Crush name back to the forefront of the soft drink market with new packaging and the addition of Crush Tropical Punch and Crush Peach. Orange Crush continues to be available and enjoyed by millions of soda drinkers today.

Dr Pepper Snapple Group, Inc.
Plano, Texas

Last updated: Sep 09, 2009
Filed under: Soda Pop Tagged with: Cadbury Schweppes, Orange Crush, Proctor & Gamble, Schweppes