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The History of Snapple

Leonard Marsh, his brother-in-law Hyman Golden, and his childhood friend Arnold Greenberg founded Snapple in 1972 with the goal of selling juice to health food stores. They partnered with Nat Langer, owner of L&A Juice, but Langer later walked away from the business due to concerns that the others were holding out on profits. They originally named the brand Unadulterated Food Products. The name Snapple came about after they began brainstorming new juice flavors. The founders developed a carbonated apple juice and decided to name it Snapple (a combination of the words “snappy” and “apple”). The juice never made it to store shelves — there was too much fizz and the bottle caps sometimes shot off! — but the founders decided to call the entire company Snapple. They began selling their juice and put out commercials that featured a Snapple employee named Wendy Kaufman (sometimes known as “The Snapple Lady”) reading fan letters on camera. (Interestingly, Kaufman was already responding to all of Snapple’s fan mail as a personal mission before being cast.) Until the late 1980s, Snapple remained a relatively small company that focused primarily on juice drinks. Then in 1987, Snapple introduced their first iced tea. The new introduction helped turn Snapple into a cool, quirky brand popular with young people and sales took off. Notably, the company went from making $3 million in sales in 1986 to a whopping $700 million in 1994. Despite this boost in success, sales decreased again after 1994 and Quaker bought the company soon after. Snapple has been providing its famous facts on the underside of the lid since 2002. The idea came about in a meeting wherein the marketing team was trying to find a way to “amaze and amuse” Snapple customers and decided to make use of the “unused real estate” under bottle caps to provide fun facts. The very first fact was, “A goldfish's attention span is 3 seconds." While Snapple claims that their facts are all completely true, news publications such as The Atlantic have fact-checked Snapple and found that some of these famous facts are actually inaccurate. The company has also weathered some additional controversies. One of the more straightforward ones centered on their use of the term "all-natural" while including high fructose corn syrup in their products. In 2009, the company switched from using high fructose corn syrup to sugar in their iced teas, likely in response to pressure from the FDA. Today, Snapple is still stocked on grocery store shelves and the drinks have many devoted fans.

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