Faygo Beverages, Inc., is a soft drink company headquartered in Detroit, Michigan. The beverages produced by the company, branded as Faygo or Faygo Pop, are distributed in the Midwestern, Mid-Atlantic, and Central Southern regions of the United States, as well as southern Canada. Faygo is imported in Europe by American Fizz, an official distributor of Faygo. Faygo Beverages, Inc., is a wholly owned subsidiary of the National Beverage Corporation and started in Detroit, Michigan, in 1907 as Feigenson Brothers Bottling Works. [1]

Faygo Beverages, Inc.
Formerly
Feigenson Brothers Bottling Works
Private
IndustryBeverages
FoundedNovember 1907; 112 years ago (1907-11) in Detroit, Michigan
FoundersBen and Perry Feigenson
Headquarters,
US
Products
ParentNational Beverage Corporation
Websitewww.faygo.com/ Edit this on Wikidata

Flavors that are suggested for new products by a committee that meets quarterly, which also remove low sellers off the market. The company's best seller is Red Pop. The company introduced the now industry standard twist-off cap and the term pop for the product. This came from the sound made when the twist-off cap is removed.[1]

HistoryEdit

 
The original logo used circa 1940

Faygo was founded in Detroit, Michigan in November 1907,[2] as Feigenson Brothers Bottle Works by Russian baker immigrants Ben and Perry Feigenson.[1] The original flavors of Faygo (fruit punch, strawberry, and grape) were based on cake frosting recipes used by the Feigensons in Russia.[1] Initially, the brothers used a horse drawn wagon for deliveries and lived above the bottling plant.[2]

The business grew over the next ten years. The Feigensons were able to purchase houses, hire their first employee and a second wagon and horse for deliveries. More flavors were added including Sassafras Soda and Lithiated Lemon. They built a new plant due to their success on Beaubien Street in Detroit.[2]

In 1921 as the company expanded, they decided the brand name "Feigenson Brothers" was too long and changed it to Faygo.[2][3] The brothers bought their first delivery truck in 1922, and started home deliveries the following year.[4] New flavors in the 1920s were a vanilla flavored soft drink, a seltzer water, "Ace Hi" (a copy of Nehi) and Rock & Rye.[2] The company opened its currently operating bottling plant in 1935 on Gratiot Avenue in Detroit. [5] Also, the company briefly entered into beer productions.[6]

The brothers ran the company until the mid-1940s, when they turned it over to their sons.[1] In 1956, the company created a series of radio and television advertisements featuring a fictional cowboy called the Faygo Kid, who was portrayed in animation for television commercials for Faygo Old-Fashioned Root Beer.[1]

Because the drink had a limited shelf life, the company only sold its products in Michigan until the late 1950s. Company chemists later resolved this issue by installing a filtration system to remove impurities from the manufacturing plant's water system.[1] In the 1960s, the soda's regional popularity expanded when the company began advertising during broadcasts of Detroit Tigers games.[1] With the Tiger ads reaching beyond Faygo market area at the time and inability to cancel the ads, Faygo shipped products to the wholesalers' warehouses. This increased company sales from $6 million in 1966 to $20.4 million in 1971.[2] Commercials produced in the 1970s featured "everyday people" on a Boblo Boat singing the "Faygo Boat Song".[1] In the 1980s, they introduced flavored carbonated water.[4]

They also introduced a low-calorie version in the 1960s called Ohana.[4] Faygo introduced diet version of its line in the 1960s, this sub-line soon becomes a majority of company sales. In 1961, the Royal Line is launched as a premium product line. The Royal Hawaiian Pineapple Orange initial run's extract was not sterilized and became rancid causing a buildup of gases such that after hitting store shelves the bottles exploded. The soda was recalled and Dole gave Faygo enough sterilized juice to offset the company's losses. Six other flavors were also started into production in the 1960s.[2]

With Michigan's beverage container deposit law passed in 1978, Faygo though people would prefer returnable cans instead of glass, which Pepsi and Coke pushed. With this choice being incorrect, the company had a hard time switch back to bottles cutting into profits for several years.[2]

Taking stock of the industry and the second generation's pending retirement, the company was put up for sale.[2] TreeSweet Products Corp. bought the company from the Feigenson family in early 1986 for $105 million.[7] TreeSweet in turn sold the company to National Beverage Corp. a year later in 1987.[8] In the 1980s, they introduced flavored carbonated water.[4]

Faygo expanded in 1996 with a non-carbonated drink line, Ohana, which included punches, iced tea and lemonade.[2] In 2007, Faygo celebrated its 100th anniversary in which they held a new flavor and label design contests. Ten thousand entries were received wit a fourth-grade Ohio teacher won with Centennial Soda.[1] In March 2014, the company introduced its ginger soda, Faygo Gold, rivaling cross town company, Vernors's flagship drink.[9]

ReceptionEdit

Faygo brands were praised in the September 2009 issue of Bon Appétit, ranking Faygo Root Beer as the best-tasting American root beer, describing it as "dry and crisp, with a frothy head, a good bite and a long finish".[10][11]

Detroit-based hip hop group Insane Clown Posse include references to Faygo in several of their songs.[12][13] Positive audience reaction to an early concert performance in which Violent J threw an open bottle at a row of hecklers resulted in the group continuing to spray their audiences with the drink.[13] They repeated this practice which developed into the Juggalo culture's "Faygo Showers".[14]

ProductsEdit

  • Seltzer water[2]
  • Ohana (1996) non-carbonated drink line[2]
    • Punch
    • Mango Punch
    • Lemon Iced Tea
    • Lemonade
    • Kiwi-Strawberry[2]

FaygoEdit

flavored soda line with 42 flavors (as of 2019) currently produced out of 100 produced[15]

  • Ace Hi (1920s) a copy of Nehi[2]
  • Black Cherry (1950s)[2]
  • Brau (early 1960s) a ginger beer [2]
  • Centennial Soda (2007) contest winner[1]
  • Chateaux Faygeaux (early 1960s) nonalcoholic wine-like soda[2]
  • Chocolate creme (1940s)[2]
  • Creme Soda[1]
  • Fruit punch (1907) original flavor[1]
  • Faygo Gold (March 2014) ginger soda[9]
  • Grape (1907) original flavor[1]
  • Lithiated Lemon (1910s) which was flavored by lithium salt[2]
  • Ohana (1960s)low-calorie version[4]
  • Redpop (1907) original flavor,[1] formerly Strawberry Soda; renamed in the late 1960s[2]
  • Rock and Rye (1920s) a fruity, spicy soda; took its name from a jazz-age drink[16]
  • Root beer<ref name=appetit> (1940s) reformulation[2]
  • Royal (1960s) line
    • Hawaiian Pineapple Orange (1961)[2]
  • Sassafras Soda (1910s-1940s)[2]
  • Tango (1950s) Squirt inspired[2]
  • Uptown (1940s) lemon-lime soda inspired by 7 Up[2]
  • vanilla flavored (1920s)[2]
  • Frosh (early 1960s) Fresca imitation[2]
  • Moonshine (early 1960s) Mountain Dew inspired, discontinued then revived later[2]
  • Dr. Faygo (early 1960s) Dr. Pepper inspired; original called Dr. Mort after Mort Feigenson, then the company's president; discontinued then revived later[2]
  • Eve (early 1960s) apple-flavored soda[2]
  • Rhubarb[15]
  • Coconut Cream[15]
  • Apple[15]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o Smith, Joel (March 2, 2007). "Faygo celebrates 100th birthday". The Detroit News. Retrieved October 30, 2008.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab ac ad "History of Faygo Beverages Inc.". International Directory of Company Histories, Vol. 36. St. James Press. 2001. Retrieved November 20, 2019 – via Funding Universe.
  3. ^ Anders, Melissa (April 28, 2013). "What's in a name? Here are the stories behind Biggby, Zingerman's, Founders, Faygo, Domino's". The Flint Journal. Retrieved April 28, 2013.
  4. ^ a b c d e Grimm, Joe, The Faygo Book (Detroit, Michigan: Wayne State University Press, 2018), 6-11.
  5. ^ Lawrence L. Rouch (2003). The Vernor's Story: From Gnomes to Now. University of Michigan Press. pp. 34–. ISBN 0-472-06697-8.
  6. ^ Zadikian, John (October 11, 2019). Press and Guide http://www.pressandguide.com/news/faygo-detroit-beverage-maker-remembered-in-storied-history/article_697eaf36-eb97-11e9-94f7-9bfb5f736182.html. Retrieved November 21, 2019. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  7. ^ Lazarus, George (February 19, 1986). "TREESWEET BUYS SOFT-DRINK FIRM". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved November 5, 2019.
  8. ^ Bovee, Tim (February 19, 1986). "Faygo Sold to National Beverage Corp". Associated Press. Retrieved November 5, 2019.
  9. ^ a b Lacy, Eric (March 14, 2013). "Detroit's Faygo unveils new 'Gold' flavor; it appears to rival another popular brand with city ties". Mlive Detroit. Mlive Media Group. Retrieved November 21, 2019.
  10. ^ "root beer". Bon Appétit. 54 (9): 26. September 2009.
  11. ^ Rector, Sylvia; Powers, Nancy Chipman (August 28, 2009). "What's going on: Faygo Root Beer ranked No. 1". Detroit Free Press. Archived from the original on July 2, 2013. Retrieved February 15, 2015.
  12. ^ Dominic, Serene (October 29, 2008). "(Not) just a juggalo". Metro Times. Retrieved October 30, 2008.
  13. ^ a b Brant, Marley (2004). Tales from the Rock 'n' Roll Highway. Billboard Books. pp. 43–52. ISBN 0-8230-8437-X.
  14. ^ Sunderland, Mitchell (April 30, 2015). "Tears of a Clown: The American Nightmare That Created the Insane Clown Posse". Vice. Retrieved April 30, 2015.
  15. ^ a b c d Bloch, Jim (March 28, 2019). "Pop history: Detroit export Faygo turns 107". The Voice. MediaNews Group. Retrieved November 21, 2019.
  16. ^ Cite error: The named reference Rouch2003 was invoked but never defined (see the help page).

External linksEdit