|Manufacturer||The Coca-Cola Company|
|Country of origin||United States|
|Flavor||Grapefruit Citrus, Black Cherry Citrus, Peach Citrus and Blackberry Citrus|
Fresca is a grapefruit-flavored citrus soft drink created by The Coca-Cola Company. Borrowing the word Fresca (meaning "fresh") from Spanish, Italian and Portuguese, it was first introduced in the United States in 1966. Originally a bottled sugar-free diet soda, sugar sweetened versions were introduced in some markets.
Currently, Fresca has been rebranded as "Fresca Sparkling Soda Water", reformulated in four flavors – Grapefruit Citrus, Black Cherry Citrus, Peach Citrus and Blackberry Citrus – and described as "The original no sugar, no calorie sparkling beverage". In the US, Fresca is currently sold in plastic bottles and aluminum cans.
According to the United States Patent Office, "Fresca" was first trademarked by The Coca-Cola Company in July, 1962 as a trade name for "frozen concentrated orange juice" and "frozen concentrated tangerine juice". The company also applied for a trademark for "Fresca" in 1962 as a "Non-alcoholic Maltless Soft Drinks and the Syrups for Preparing Soft Drinks". In 1969, the company applied for a trademark for "Fresca" as a trade name for "soft drinks and syrups and concentrates for making same".
The Coca-Cola Company described the original Fresca soft drink formula as "a citrus-based, sugar free product - a soft drink, a low-calorie beverage, a mixer, all in one" and said the Fresca name was picked because "it (the word) is "short, memorable and distinctive". Fresca was the second artificially sweetened, low-calorie product launched by The Coca-Cola Company. Coca-Cola's Tab, an artificially sweetened, low-calorie cola made its debut in 1963.
Fresca is a rarity in Coca-Cola's beverage portfolio as PepsiCo does not offer an equivalent product.
Coca-Cola began limited test marketing of Fresca in 1964. 1965 saw expanded test marketing in Providence, Rhode Island and Seattle-Tacoma, Washington.
Fresca was introduced across the United States and in international markets in 1966.
Since its introduction, Fresca has been marketed in the United States as a sugar-free, citrus (lime and grapefruit) flavored diet soft drink. In 1966 then Coca-Cola Company president J. Paul Austin announced the company's profits had doubled since 1959 and said "Other developments, notably the introduction the introduction of Fresca, now underway, promise further advancement in the refreshment industry".
Multiple references in contemporary newspapers and Coca-Cola corporate websites refer to a wide 1966 US and international rollout of the Fresca soft drink brand. A single entry on one Coca-Cola website erroneously refers to a 1958 introduction of Fresca in the United States. There are no newspaper articles or media references that support that date.
In 1967 Larrie L. Isenring, general manager of the Coca-Cola Bottling Company of Madison (Wisconsin) said the "newly introduced Fresca and pre-brewed coffee were the company's fastest growing products".
Sales of Fresca quickly exploded. By March 1967, Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Inc. forecast increasing profits for Coca-Cola, saying "we believe Fresca... may be the nation's number three soft drink by the end of the year".
By 1969, Fresca had the highest market share of all artificially sweetened soft drinks in America.
Fresca was originally sold in 10 ounce bottles designed by the industrial design firm Hodgman-Bourke of New York, New York. The green glass bottle featured a groove under the logo panel designed to catch condensation from the top half of bottle. Dimples on the bottle's lower half were meant to represent bubbles from the soda's carbonation.
F. William Free, creative director of the Marschalk Company advertising agency, created the initial marketing campaign for Fresca, branding the soda "the 'Blizzard of Flavor'. Free had earlier orchestrated the introduction of Sprite and Tab for Coca-Cola.
The agency's unifying theme for the brand's marketing centered around Fresca having a "blizzard" of "frosty taste". The soda was said to be "cool, crisp, frosty and refreshing". A 1966 newspaper ad headline read "Here. The frosty taste of Fresca. It's a blizzard". The ad copy used 25 adjectives to describe Fresca's "blizzard taste".
The "Blizzard" campaign included a major market, full color pre-print newspaper advertising program reported to have cost "over a million dollars" which launched in the spring of 1967. The campaign consisted of three successive themes. The first was "Blizzard Kickoff", aimed at supporting the local introduction of Fresca by regional bottlers, the second was "Fresca and Sherbert" which explained how to use Fresca and other food ingredients for snacks and drinks. The third was named "Blizzard Girls" which featured "The Fresca Girls", models dressed in fur-trimmed parkas with hoods, photographed drinking Fresca in falling snow while riding a zebra, a miniature car, a Vespa scooter and walking a Saint Bernard. The campaign achieved some of the highest levels of consumer awareness for any consumer product at that time.
The marketing campaign included a theme song "The Blizzard Song", written by Gary McFarland which was recorded by Mitch Miller and Trini Lopez. Both versions were used in TV ads for Fresca and were also issued as a four-song 45 rpm record.
The Miller record "Mitch Miller – Singin' Up A Blizzard", featured a sleeve printed with the slogan "Hey gang, sing up a blizzard with us! Mitch". The reverse of the sleeve featured a headline "Have a Singing, Swing Blizzard of a Party With Fresca" and included recipes of food and mixed drinks that used Fresca as an ingredient. The Miller record was used in a promotion campaign which encouraged consumers to save Fresca bottle caps and redeem them for a copy of the record.
The Lopez record "Trini Lopez – Sings His Greatest Hits" featured three songs from Lopez' repertoire as well as his version of McFarland's "The Blizzard Song". This record was issued with a printed sleeve with an ad on the back that said "The frosty taste of Fresca. It's a blizzard!" The sleeve had a flap with a die-cut hole and was hung from a bottle in six and eight-pack bottle cartons of Fresca. The record was included at no charge.
F. William Free orchestrated an elaborate formal marketing debut on February 7, 1967, held at the Four Seasons Restaurant in New York city's Seagram's building. The fountain in the middle of the restaurant was frozen, and six "Fresca bottles", women who wore replicas of the top half of Fresca bottles covering their head to their waists skated and danced through the night while the Mitch Miller Orchestra entertained guests with the Fresca "Blizzard Theme" and other hits.
The "Blizzard" campaign took advantage of an incredible, unplanned marketing opportunity. The day after the Four Seasons premiere, New York City received a foot of snow. Free took advantage of the snow storm and created memorable marketing for the new brand. Free was photographed holding a bottle of Fresca in the middle of the snow storm. His photograph appeared in full-page Fresca New York newspaper ads the next day with the headline "New York - We're Sorry".
President Lyndon B. Johnson was known to a big fan of the soft drink, which was introduced late in his tente. Most days Johnson push his "Fresca button" to order his favorite fizzy drink, often accompanied by his favorite chicken fried steak and mashed potatoes. 
Bravo network television host Andy Cohen often drinks a "Frequila" during his show. The cocktail is a mixture of Fresca and tequila.
David Plotz, former editor of online magazine Slate and founder and CEO of the local-news podcast network, City Cast is said to be "a hard-core addict of the citrus-flavored soft drink" Fresca.
Fresca was originally marketed in the United States as a sugar-free, citrus (lime and grapefruit) flavored diet soft drink.
Fresca has undergone several major ingredient and formula changes since its introduction. Fresca was originally sweetened with cyclamates which were banned by the FDA in 1969. They were replaced with saccharin and in turn, they were replaced by NutraSweet-brand aspartame.
According to The Coca-Cola Company, in 1980 an improved Fresca formulation, supported by new packaging, brand graphics and advertising, reached full national availability. The brand refresh was supported by "the most extensive sampling program ever conducted for a soft drink product". Around the time of the 2005 Fresca redesign, acesulfame potassium was added as a secondary sweetener.
Coca-Cola marketed a sugar sweetened version of Fresca in Latin America. In 1997, The Coca-Cola Company responded to requests for this product from immigrant communities by launching it throughout the US as Citra. This was a success but is instead sold as the Citrus flavor in Coca-Cola's Fanta line in areas with large Hispanic populations. In Colombia and Argentina sweetened Fresca is called Quatro and marketed using Fresca's colors and logos.
Fresca was made available in South Africa during the early 1990s with a series of colorful ads featuring British-Nigerian actor Hakeem Kae-Kazim with the slogan "Nothing tastes like Fresca". The soft drink developed a cult following but sales were discontinued.
Fresca packaging has been redesigned several times. In 2005, Coca-Cola gave Fresca a more contemporary look, Fresca's first packaging makeover since 1995. During this redesign, two new flavors were introduced (Sparkling Peach Citrus and Sparkling Black Cherry Citrus) and the original grapefruit flavor was renamed Sparkling Citrus. Later, "Sparkling" was dropped and the original flavor was renamed Original Citrus. Several additional flavors were added to the line-up after 2005, but those flavors were dropped.
Coca-Cola announced revamped packaging again in 2018 along with a new marketing campaign targeted towards millennials – the first Fresca advertising since 2008 – with the stated intention of "reeling in a new generation of drinkers unfamiliar with the brand". The marketing described it as a "sparkling flavored soda", meant to compete with other sparkling beverage products such as La Croix and Izze.
Currently, Fresca has been rebranded as "Fresca Sparkling Soda Water", reformulated in four flavors, Grapefruit Citrus, Black Cherry Citrus, Peach Citrus and Blackberry Citrus and described as "The original no sugar, no calorie sparkling beverage". In the US, Fresca is currently sold in plastic bottles and aluminum cans.
United States and Canada: