Sprite
Logo since 2022
A 600ml plastic bottle of Sprite
TypeLemon-lime
ManufacturerThe Coca-Cola Company
Country of origin Germany (drink)
United States (branding)
Introduced1961; 63 years ago (1961)
ColorColorless
VariantsSee variations below
Related products7 Up, Starry, Mitsuya Cider
Websitewww.sprite.com Edit this on Wikidata

Sprite is a clear, lemon-lime flavored soft drink created by the Coca-Cola Company. Sprite comes in multiple flavors, including cranberry, cherry, grape, orange, tropical, ginger, and vanilla. Ice, peach, Berryclear remix, and newer versions of the drinks are artificially sweetened. Sprite was created to compete primarily against 7-Up.

History

The Sprite brand name was created by T. C. "Bud" Evans, a Houston-based bottler who also distributed Coca-Cola products, circa 1955 for a line of drinks with flavors such as strawberry and orange; the rights to the name were acquired by the Coca-Cola Company in 1960.[1][2]

The lemon-lime drink known today as Sprite was developed in West Germany in 1959 as Fanta Klare Zitrone ("Fanta Clear Lemon" in English) and was introduced in the United States under the Sprite name in 1961 as a competitor to 7 Up.[3]

Marketing

Former logo

Sprite advertisements often make use of the portmanteau word "lymon", a combination of the words lemon and lime.[4] Additionally, the bottle of the beverage has several concave spots, an attempt to emulate the bubbles caused by the soda's carbonation.[5]

By the 1980s, Sprite had developed a large following among teenagers.[5] In response, Sprite began to cater to this demographic in their advertisements in 1987. "I Like the Sprite In You" was the brand's first long-running slogan, and many jingles were produced around it before its discontinuation in 1994.

The evolution of Sprite bottles

In 1993, marketing agency Lowe and Partners created a new slogan, "Control your thirst" with commission from the Coca-Cola Company.[6] The new, more vibrant logo stood out more on packaging and featured a blue-to-green gradient with silver "splashes" and subtle white "bubbles" in the background. The product name, "Sprite" had a logo with a blue backdrop shadow. The words; "Great Lymon Taste!" which had been present on the previous logo, were removed. This logo was used in the United States until 2006, and similar variants were used in other countries until this year as well.

The brand's slogan was changed to "Obey Your Thirst", and jingles containing it became urban-oriented, featuring a hip-hop theme. One of the first lyrics for the new slogan was, "never forget yourself 'cause first things first, grab a cold, cold can, and obey your thirst." Under the new slogan, Sprite tapped into hip-hop culture by leveraging up and coming, as well as underground rap artists including; LL Cool J, A Tribe Called Quest, KRS-One, Missy Elliott, Grand Puba, Common, Fat Joe, Nas and others in television commercials. Sprite expanded its urban connections in the late 1990s by featuring both amateur and accomplished basketball players in their advertisements. Famous NBA players and hip-hop artists such as LeBron James, Trae Young, Vince Staples, and Lil Yachty appeared in Sprite ads.[7]

In 1998, one commercial poked fun at products that featured cartoon mascots in the style of a horror film. In it, the mascot for a fictitious orange juice drink called "Sun Fizz" comes to life, terrifying the children and mother, and starts to chase them.[8][better source needed]

In the 1990s, one of Sprite's longest-running ad campaigns was "Grant Hill Drinks Sprite" (overlapping its "Obey Your Thirst" campaign), in which the well-liked basketball player's abilities, and Sprite's importance in giving him his abilities, were humorously exaggerated.[9][10]

In 2000, Sprite commissioned graffiti artist Temper to design limited edition art,[11] which appeared on 100 million cans across Europe.[12]

In 2004, Coke created Miles Thirst, a vinyl doll voiced by Reno Wilson, used in advertising to exploit the hip-hop market for soft drinks.[13]

In 2006, a new Sprite logo, consisting of two yellow and green "halves" forming an "S" lemon/lime design, made its debut on Sprite bottles and cans. The slogan was changed from its long-running "Obey Your Thirst" to just "Obey" in the United States and was outright replaced with "Freedom From Thirst" in many countries. This was the decade's first major shift in advertising themes.

Chinese bottle of Sprite

The "Sublymonal" campaign was also used as part of the alternate reality game the Lost Experience.[14] This also resurrected the "lymon" word.

Sprite redesigned its label in 2009, removing the "S" logo.[citation needed]

In July 2022, the Coca-Cola Company announced that Sprite will discontinue its green bottles on August 1 and switch to clear plastic bottles. The green plastic contains green polyethylene terephthalate (PET), an additive that cannot be recycled into new bottles.[15]

In 2022, Australia released lemon flavoured variants Sprite Lemon+ and Sprite Lemon+ Zero Sugar.[16]

Formula changes

In France in 2012, the drink was reformulated removing 30% of the sugar and replacing it with the sweetener Stevia,[17] leading to the drink containing fewer calories. This soon spread to Ireland, the UK, the Netherlands and Poland in 2013.[18][19]

A further formula change happened in the UK in 2018. This formula change, done to coincide with the sugary drinks tax in the country, reduces the sugar amount and replaces Stevia with Aspartame and Acesulfame K.[20] This formula was later extended to other regions across the world to coincide with similar sugar tax rules.

In the Netherlands in March 2017, Coca-Cola announced that Sprite would be re-launched exclusively as a sugar free drink, with the standard variety being discontinued and Sprite Zero being renamed as simply Sprite.[21] This change was expanded to Ireland in 2018.[22]

In Australia, Sprite was relaunched with a new recipe containing 40% less sugar (compared with old Sprite) in August 2019. Unlike most of the reformulations which use Aspartame, this version doesn't, instead using Sucralose in addition to Acesulfame K.[23][24]

In March 2023, Coca-Cola announced another further formula change for Sprite and Sprite Zero Sugar in the United Kingdom, produced to differentiate the two varieties. The new formula has slightly increased sugar content but still contains Aspartame and Acesulfame K.[25]

Variations

This section needs additional citations for verification. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources in this section. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. (October 2015) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)
Name Launched Notes
Sprite 1961 The original variety.
Sprite Zero Sugar 1974 Sprite without the sugar. It was originally produced in the United States as "Sugar Free Sprite" in 1974, then was renamed to "Diet Sprite" in 1983, with some countries having the drink known as "Sprite Light" ("Sprite Lite" in the United Kingdom). In September 2004, it was rebranded as "Diet Sprite Zero" in the US and "Sprite Zero" ("Sprite Z" in the United Kingdom, until rebranding as Sprite Zero) in Argentina, Australia, Bolivia, Brazil, China, Colombia, Europe, India, Pakistan, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay, New Zealand, and the UK. "Diet" was dropped from the product's name, to become simply "Sprite Zero," when new logos debuted in June 2006. The "Zero" designation for low-calorie sodas from the Coca-Cola Company was first used on Diet Sprite Zero before being used on the flagship Zero product, Coca-Cola Zero. Re-branded as "Sprite Zero Sugar" in 2019 to align with the Coca-Cola Company's 2017 re-branding of Coca-Cola Zero as Coca-Cola Zero Sugar.
Sprite Lemon-Lime Herb 1970s Sprite with a herb taste. Only known to be sold in Germany.
Chinotto 1990s (purchase by Coca-Cola) The name Sprite is known as in Venezuela. It was originally an independently produced beverage alongside Hit before Coca-Cola purchased the bottler and later rebranded the graphics of both as Venezuelan counterparts to their existing drinks, with Chinotto becoming the counterpart to Sprite.
Recharge by Sprite Early 2000s A Sprite Energy Drink variant sold in Australia until 2006. The drink was also turquoise in color, different from how Sprite is usually clear.
Sprite Ice 2002 Sprite with a minty aftertaste. Originally released as "Sprite Blue" in Korea in 2002, and has been released under various names, such as "Sprite Ice" in various countries like Canada, '"Sprite Ice Cube" in Belgium, "Sprite Ice Blue" in Italy and Chile, "Sprite Icy Mint" in Mainland China, "Sprite Mynta" in Sweden and "Sprite Mynte" in Norway.
Sprite Remix Tropical 2003 Sprite with Tropical Flavors, and the first in the Sprite Remix series of sodas sold in the United States. It was sold from 2003 to 2004, until being replaced with the "Berryclear" variety.[26]
Sprite Super Lemon 2003 A Slurpee Variant of Sprite, released in Hong Kong in 2003.
Sprite on Fire 2004 Sprite with a ginger flavor, which was marketed as having a burning sensation. It was introduced in Hong Kong in 2003, and later debuted in China in 2004.
Sprite Remix BerryClear 2004 Sprite with Berry flavors, and the second in the Sprite Remix series of sodas sold in the United States. It was sold from 2004 to 2005, until being replaced with the "Aruba Jam" variety.[27]
Sprite Remix Aruba Jam 2005 Sprite with Fruit Flavors, and the last in the Sprite Remix series of sodas sold in the United States. It was sold from 2005 to 2006.[28]
Sprite 3G 2005 A Sprite energy drink variant originally launched in the United Kingdom in 2005. Ingredients include glucose, caffeine from green coffee beans, and guarana. It was also released in various other countries but was discontinued in the UK in 2007 due to poor sales, and that Coca-Cola wanted to focus more on Relentless.[29]
Sprite Duo 2007 A variant with less carbonation and extra lemon juice. Was released exclusively in Spain in Spring 2007.[30]
Sprite Green 2009 A variant sweetened with Truvia (a natural zero-calorie sweetener made from stevia).[31] It however, wasn't a success and was discontinued not long after being released.
Sprite (Stevia Formula) 2012 In France in 2012, Sprite was reformulated removing 30% of the sugar and replacing it with the sweetener Stevia. This led to the drink containing fewer calories. This reformulation soon spread to Ireland, the United Kingdom, and the Netherlands in 2013.

It was discontinued in the Netherlands in 2017 when the Coca-Cola Company rebranded Sprite Zero as simply Sprite. This was followed on in the United Kingdom and Poland in 2018 when the formula was changed and Aspartame and Ace-K were added as replacements (although Poland reverted back to solely using Sugar in 2020), while France reverted back to the original sugar-sweetened formula in 2020.

Sprite Winter Spiced Cranberry 2013 Sprite flavored with spices and cranberry. It was first sold for the holiday season in 2013 and has been sold every holiday season since.

[32] The variant competes with PepsiCo's Mist Twst Cranberry, which unlike Sprite Cranberry is sold year-round. An advertisement for this beverage featuring LeBron James inspired an Internet meme and later, a horror game.[33]

Sprite 6 Mix 2014 Sprite with additional Cherry and Orange Flavors in addition to the Lemon and Lime. It was released as a collaboration between Sprite and LeBron James in the United States in 2014. It was sold again as "Sprite LeBron's Mix" in 2015.
Sprite Blast 2014 Sprite with sweet and sour Flavors. It was released for the Summer of 2014 in the United States, exclusive to 7-Eleven stores (at time of sale), and was sold only in 7.5 ounce single cans. The variety was also released in New Zealand in summer 2017 and was sold in all sizes.
Sprite Tropical 2015 A Re-Release of Sprite Remix Tropical, it was sold for a limited time in 2015, and again as "Sprite Tropical Mix" in 2016.
Sprite Cucumber 2017 Sprite with a Cucumber flavor. Launched in 2017 in Russia and in June 2018 in Romania.

In September 2021, the Russian version of the drink was made available in the United States at the reopened Club Cool attraction at Epcot in Walt Disney World.

Sprite Cherry 2017 Sprite with a Cherry flavor. Launched in 2017 in the United States as a permanent variety.
MIX by Sprite: Tropic Berry 2018 Sprite with a tropical berry flavor. Similar to Sprite Tropical Mix, and fountain-exclusive to McDonald's. Distribution reduced in the spring of 2021 after the re-introduction of Hi-C Orange Lavaburst, which it replaced.[34]
Sprite Lymonade 2019 Sprite mixed with lemonade and 1% lemon juice.[35]
Sprite 40% Less Sugar 2019 Sprite re-launched in Australia with a new recipe containing 40% less sugar (compared with old Sprite) in August 2019. It has no Aspartame but replaces some of the sugar with Ace K and Sucralose.[36]
Sprite Ginger 2020 The product is Sprite with an added note of ginger to complement the classic lemon-lime flavor.
Sprite Lemon+ 2022 A lighter and tangier variety containing caffeine. Sold in Australia as a replacement to the Australian beverage Lift
Sprite Lymonade Legacy 2023 Strawberry-Lemonade flavored variant of Sprite. it was sold in the United States in May 2023 to coincide with the 50th Anniversary of the Hip-Hop craze.
Absolut Vodka and Sprite 2024 A ready-to-drink vodka/lemon-lime canned cocktail that was produced as part of a partnership between The Coca-Cola Company and Absolut Vodka. It was first introduced into the United Kingdom in February 2024,[37] and will also be released in other European territories such as the Netherlands, Spain, and Germany later on in the year. The UK variety contains 5% ABV which varies depending on the market.[38]

References

  1. ^ Shearer, John (July 6, 2012). "John Shearer: Original Sprite Bottles Found In Former Cartter Lupton House". The Chattanoogan. Archived from the original on October 20, 2022. Retrieved July 5, 2022.
  2. ^ "Trademark Status & Document Retrieval: Serial Number 71681502". United States Patent and Trademark Office. Archived from the original on February 18, 2020. Retrieved July 5, 2022.
  3. ^ "Sprite". Snack History. Archived from the original on October 14, 2022. Retrieved April 19, 2020.
  4. ^ Bing, Jonathan (June 12, 2006). "Subliminal ads with a twist of lymon". Variety. Archived from the original on July 15, 2019. Retrieved July 15, 2019.
  5. ^ a b "A Brief History of Sprite". Rock Hill Coca-Cola. August 30, 2019. Archived from the original on October 20, 2022. Retrieved July 20, 2020.
  6. ^ "Obey Your Thirst". pages.cs.wisc.edu. Archived from the original on August 12, 2022. Retrieved February 23, 2021.
  7. ^ "Lil Yachty Stars in New Sprite Ad With LeBron James - XXL". October 12, 2016. Archived from the original on March 15, 2017. Retrieved March 2, 2017.
  8. ^ "Sprite Sun Fizz - 90's Commercial". YouTube. July 26, 2010. Archived from the original on November 17, 2021.
  9. ^ metacafe.com. "Video is temporarily not available". Archived from the original on October 30, 2016. Retrieved March 2, 2017.
  10. ^ AdvertisementAve.com - A Better Basketball Player? Archived October 13, 2007, at the Wayback Machine
  11. ^ BBC. "The millionaire graffiti artist". www.bbc.co.uk. Archived from the original on March 2, 2022. Retrieved July 20, 2020.
  12. ^ "Temper". www.turnerfinearts.com. Archived from the original on July 20, 2020. Retrieved July 20, 2020.
  13. ^ Howard, Theresa (April 26, 2004). "Coke creates hip-hop figure to inject Sprite with attitude". USA Today. Archived from the original on June 24, 2012. Retrieved September 15, 2017.
  14. ^ [1] Archived March 15, 2009, at the Wayback Machine
  15. ^ "Sprite will no longer be sold in green bottles". CNN. July 27, 2022. Archived from the original on August 12, 2022. Retrieved July 28, 2022.
  16. ^ Poposki, Claudia (October 3, 2022). "Sprite releases two new flavours with a caffeine twist". news.com.au. Retrieved September 5, 2022.
  17. ^ "Stevia Sweetener UK: The New Zero-Calorie Sweetener From Natural Origins - Coca-Cola GB". Coca-cola.co.uk. April 13, 2010. Archived from the original on March 30, 2015. Retrieved November 7, 2013.
  18. ^ "Coca-Cola: Sprite eerste drank met stevia (Dutch)". Distrifood.nl. July 2, 2013. Archived from the original on July 7, 2013. Retrieved June 16, 2014.
  19. ^ "Sprite w Polsce tylko ze stewią".
  20. ^ Arthur, Rachel (March 8, 2018). "Sprite reduces sugar but ditches stevia, citing best taste for lower sugar UK recipe". Beverage Daily. Archived from the original on November 29, 2020. Retrieved July 28, 2018.
  21. ^ "Sprite Zero will become Sprite in the Netherlands". March 10, 2017.
  22. ^ "Sprite Goes No Sugar". April 23, 2018. Archived from the original on April 4, 2019. Retrieved April 4, 2019.
  23. ^ "Sprite Varieties - Classic & No Sugar | Coca-Cola Australia". Archived from the original on October 26, 2020. Retrieved January 16, 2021.
  24. ^ "Fanta and Sprite join the No Sugar Movement". www.coca-colacompany.com. Archived from the original on June 10, 2022. Retrieved August 29, 2022.
  25. ^ "SPRITE UNVEILS A NEW 'IRRESISTIBLE' TASTE AND STRIKING NEW LOOK".
  26. ^ "Sprite Remix vs. Mountain Dew LiveWire". BevNET. April 1, 2003. Archived from the original on February 25, 2021. Retrieved November 7, 2013.
  27. ^ "Coca-Cola To Sell Berry-Flavored Sprite Remix In April". BevNET. February 13, 2004. Archived from the original on February 1, 2016. Retrieved November 7, 2013.
  28. ^ "Coke tinkering with lineup for 2005". Times Argus. December 24, 2004. Archived from the original on March 14, 2016. Retrieved November 7, 2013.
  29. ^ "Coca-Cola scraps Sprite 3G and focuses on Relentless". Marketing Week. August 1, 2007. Archived from the original on November 7, 2017. Retrieved October 21, 2012.
  30. ^ "Coca-Cola - Siente el Sabor". Archived from the original on July 19, 2006. Retrieved March 2, 2017.
  31. ^ "Coca-Cola North America Announces 2008 Launch of Sprite Green - BevNET.com". December 17, 2008. Archived from the original on November 28, 2020. Retrieved March 2, 2017.
  32. ^ "Sprite Launches New Flavor to "Berry" up the Holidays". The Wall Street Journal. October 10, 2013. Archived from the original on May 9, 2014. Retrieved November 7, 2013.
  33. ^ "Lebron James is the main antagonist of a popular horror game". Epicbuzzer. August 8, 2019. Archived from the original on June 13, 2020. Retrieved June 7, 2020.
  34. ^ "McDonald's is bringing back Hi-C to its menu after a customer revolt". WDJT-TV. CNN. February 11, 2021. Archived from the original on June 9, 2021. Retrieved June 9, 2021.
  35. ^ Meyer, Zlati (October 30, 2018). "Coca-Cola: Sprite lemonade, Minute Maid veggie juice debuting next year". USA Today. Archived from the original on February 9, 2019. Retrieved March 11, 2019.
  36. ^ "New Sprite recipe delivers great taste but with 40 per cent less sugar". Archived from the original on February 4, 2021. Retrieved January 26, 2021.
  37. ^ "Absolut Vodka & SPRITE ready-to-drink cocktail now available in Great Britain".
  38. ^ "Coming Next Year: Absolut Vodka and Sprite in a Ready-To-Drink Can".