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The History of Grape Soda

Grape soda debuted in 1940. It was reportedly created by an Arkansas man named Benjamin Tyndale Fooks. Fooks made the first batch of Grapette, which went on to be one of the best-selling soft drinks for decades. (Walmart later purchased the brand.) Eventually, other manufacturers also began to make grape soda. Most are made with a chemical called methyl anthranilate (MANT), which provides the iconic scent and flavor most of us associate with grape soda and other grape-flavored products. Some brands do, however, use real grape juice in their products, including the Milwaukee-based Sprecher Brewing Company. Grape soda was especially popular among kids in the 1990s and many brands made a version of the drink, including Crush, Faygo, Sunkist, and Fanta. Today, grape soda is less iconic than it once was but is still available at many grocery stores across the country.

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