Saturday, March 16, 2013

Soda Through the Years

   In the early 1900's, Coca Cola bottling operations were built in Cuba, Panama, Canada, Puerto Rico, the Philippines and Guam.  In 1916 bottler's convention, the contour bottle was chosen over other entries and was on the market in the same year.  In the Philippines a woman's shapely figure was called ‘coca cola body’.  

   During the WWII post war depression soda was an expensive item.   Filipino hospitality dictates depriving themselves to give guests, even the uninvited, the best.  Filipinos served guests soda while the children hid behind curtains.  As soon as the guests walked out the front door, they ran to grab the left overs in the bottle. 

   The Filipinos used 7Up primarily as a marinade ingredient (along with soy sauce, calamansi juice, salt and pepper) or a cocktail mix (it made gin taste better) until in 1965 the Wet and Wild 7Up ad campaign came out with a beautiful woman coming out of the water amid the waves.  She was wet and looked wildly sexual.  7Up became a soda of choice for the teens who during that era all wanted to be called ‘wild’, the ultimate compliment to a woman coming out of the conservative 50’s.  In 2007, Cadbury Schweppes entered into a licensing partnership with Vita Food Products to produce a line of barbecue sauces and marinades flavored with 7Up.  The Filipino cook would say “been there, done that”.

   The Philippines has one soda that was not imported, the Cosmos Sarsaparilla, later renamed Sarsi.  It was cheaper than the imported soda but tasted just as good as any foreign brand Root Beer.  

   Currently there are probably a thousand kinds of soda in the market and millions of soda addicts scattered all over the world.  A big number of those are Filipinos.  Unfortunately there is no rehab for this addiction.

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