In 2022, there were approximately 2,450 companies in the USA involved in the production of sodas, juices, and other beverages. Despite this, only three companies — Coca-Cola, Pepsi, and Dr. Pepper Snapple Group — controlled 90% of the market. Nevertheless, there are numerous sodas and drinks sold in the USA that are certainly worth trying.
Snapple Fruit Juices and Teas
If there’s one American beverage I miss in our country, it’s Snapple. The fruit juices and iced teas have been produced in the Texas town of Plano since 1972. Snapple was initially bottled in 532ml glass bottles, and each metal lid hid something interesting underneath.
For instance, one could learn that a small jeans pocket was originally used to hold a pocket watch, or that 90% of all garlic consumed in America is grown in Gilroy, California. There are over a thousand such interesting facts in total.
By 2021, the glass bottles had been replaced with recycled plastic, arguably reducing the charm of Snapple. With over 20 flavours available, I recommend trying the strawberry/kiwi combination and the classic lemon, as well as mango, watermelon, cherry, and raspberry. Snapple is made without artificial colors and flavors.
AriZona Iced Teas
Arizona Beverage Company is a manufacturer of iced teas and fruit juices, recognized by its brightly colored 680 ml cans with a suggested retail price of $0.99. Arizona iced teas and juices contain a relatively high sugar content, making them essentially energy drinks.
AriZona was established under the name Ferolito, Vultaggio & Sons in 1971 in Woodbury, New York. Hence, the iced teas and juices do not originate from the state of Arizona, as one might presume.
Dozens of AriZona flavors are available. In addition to the classic lemon, peach, or raspberry, exotic variants such as pomegranate, grape, cranberry, mint, or mango are also offered.
Hawaiian Sun Juices
Hawaiian Sun is a brand of tropical juices made in Honolulu, Hawaii. Its history dates back to 1952.
Hawaiian Sun juices are sold in 340ml cans, and I recommend trying the strawberry and guava nectar. Other exotic flavors such as lychee green tea, natural lemon-pineapple iced tea, and passion fruit iced tea are also available.
Welch’s Grape Juice
Welch’s is a renowned brand of grape juice, established in 1869. Today, the company produces juices, concentrates, and jams, with white and red grape wine being the main ingredient in most cases.
The 100% grape juice sold in plastic bottles and cans is worth a try. Welch’s juices earn plus points for the absence of any added colorings, flavorings, or sweeteners.
Barq’s Root Beer/A&W Root Beer
Root beer isn’t actually a beer in the traditional sense, although it is sometimes translated as such. Root beer is a soda whose main ingredient is the root of the North American sassafras tree. Most manufacturers today use extracts, supplemented with extracts of vanilla, lime, licorice, and other plants. Some people may find the taste of root beer reminiscent of cough drops.
In the USA, root beer has a long tradition. It’s sold in cans, bottles, and you can get a serving of it at some fast food restaurants from the postmix.
The two most common brands of root beer you’ll encounter are Barq’s Root Beer and A&W Root Beer. Barq’s Root Beer was first introduced in 1898 by Edward Barq, originally from New Orleans, Louisiana, and is now manufactured by Coca-Cola. The competing A&W Root Beer was first produced in 1919 by Roy W. Allen in Lodi, California, who reportedly bought the recipe from a pharmacist. Today, A&W Root Beer is produced by the Dr Pepper Snapple Group.
MiO Liquid is more of a pocket-sized water flavoring than an actual soda. The manufacturer uses the term “water enhancer”. From a container only slightly larger than a Tic Tac candy box, you just drip a few drops into a glass of water, and voilà, you have a flavored drink. One 48 ml packet can make up to 5.5 litres of flavored water.
MiO Liquid pocket water flavoring was launched by The Kraft Heinz Company in 2011. It’s the ideal travel accessory for those who are not satisfied with plain water. However, it’s worth noting that MiO Liquid contains a significant amount of artificial colors and sweeteners.
MiO Liquid is available in flavors such as Black Cherry, Strawberry Watermelon, Fruit Punch, Orange Tangerine, and Lemon Lime.
Cherry Dr. Pepper
The classic Dr. Pepper soda is widely available globally, though it isn’t the best-selling soda at most outlets. However, in the United States, where there’s a different palate and demand for sweet drinks, several alternative flavors are produced.
For example, Cherry Dr. Pepper or Cherry-Vanilla Dr. Pepper are sold in the US. For a brief period between 2007 and 2008, a rather unusual sugar-free variant of Chocolate-Cherry Dr. Pepper was briefly available.
Raspberry Coca Cola
You can sample Raspberry Coca Cola at the giant Coca Cola store in Las Vegas. It’s sold exclusively from a touchscreen machine (backed by Ferrari) as Coca-Cola Freestyle and is available in select restaurants across the US, in addition to Las Vegas.
Interestingly, the flavor is mixed into the Raspberry Coca Cola after the base cola is dispensed. You can also try other variants like vanilla, lime, orange, cherry, or cherry-vanilla. All these variants are also available in sugar-free versions.
Fanta sodas, part of the Coca Cola company, are very popular in the United States and are available in a wide variety of flavors. The most interesting ones include pineapple, grape, grapefruit, blackcurrant, banana, and piña colada.