7 Up

From Academic Kids

This article is about a soft drink. There is also an unrelated 1964 documentary entitled Seven Up!.

7 Up (sometimes spelled Seven Up) is the brand name of a lemon-lime flavored soft drink marketed by Dr Pepper/Seven Up, Inc. (DPSU) in the United States (a unit of Cadbury-Schweppes since 1995). It has been bottled by Britvic in Britain since 1987. Outside the United States, the trademark to 7 Up belongs to PepsiCo. 7 Up, originally named Bib-Label Lithiated Lemon-Lime Soda, was concocted in 1929 in Saint Louis, Missouri. It originally contained lithium citrate, a mood-stabilizing drug. Many early soft drinks contained herbal or pharmaceutical ingredients. This was removed in 1950. In the 1970s, an advertising campaign dubbed 7 Up the "un-cola," playing on the drink's lack of caffeine. In 1998 in the first formula change since lithium was removed, 7 Up was flavor-enhanced, with no changes to sugar content or carbonation level.


7 Up was created by C. L. Grigg who launched his company The Howdy Corporation in 1920. His original product was the Howdy Orange drink. After spending over two years testing various formulations, Grigg decided on one that he hoped would meet his goal to create a refreshing and distinctive drink. He would launch the product just two weeks before the 1929 Stock Market crash.

The poor economy was just the beginning of the business challenges the product would face. In its early years, there were around 600 lemon-lime beverage brands being sold in the US. 7 Up was able to survive and become the market leader in the category by being one of the first to be nationally distributed as well as being marketed as more healthy than other sodas. Based on the success of the new drink, Grigg renamed his company to The Seven Up Company in 1936.

After establishing the category as more than a niche, major competitors set their sights on it such as The Coca-Cola Company with its Sprite brand introduced in 1961. Sprite would not challenge 7 Up's position seriously until the 1980s when Coke forced its major bottlers then distributing 7 Up to drop the beverage in deference to Sprite. 7 Up then became dependent on Pepsi's bottlers for distribution during the 1990s until PepsiCo launched its own serious entrant in the category with Sierra Mist in 2000. PepsiCo then adopted the previous Coca-Cola tactic and forced its bottlers to give up 7 Up for Sierra Mist which most did by 2003.

The result is that in the United States, DPSU does not have a network of bottlers and distributors, so some of their products are frequently bottled under contract by independent Coca-Cola or Pepsi bottlers, though in some areas independent distributors exist, either by Cadbury-Schweppes, or by individual independent bottling plants. These third-tier bottlers do not have the ability to reach much beyond major supermarket chains, so 7 Up is increasingly difficult to find in smaller stores and vending machines.

In other countries, Cadbury-Schweppes has licensed some distribution rights to The Coca-Cola Company. In Canada, it is distributed with Pepsi-Cola, in lieu of Sierra Mist.


Sugar-free 7 Up was introduced in 1970, and renamed Diet 7 Up in 1979. Cherry 7 Up and Diet Cherry 7 Up were introduced in early 1987. In 2002, the dnL product was created (its name is 7up inverted), with caffeine and green color, to compete with Mountain Dew. In 2004, a new version, 7 Up Plus, was introduced which is supplemented with calcium, vitamin C, real fruit juice and sweetened with Splenda, an artificial sweetener.

During the 1980s, a variety named 7-Up Gold was test-marketed in certain areas of the United States.

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