Saddest soda maker in the world gets a reason to live:
“I remember, I asked one guy to make Bubble Up and he said, ‘Why do you want it? Nobody’s gonna buy it.’ I just told him ‘If I don’t have it on my shelf, you’re right, nobody is ever going to buy it.’” It sold well and continues to sell at Galco’s.
What's the context? This. A guy has a small grocery store in LA that sells boutique sodas. Artisanal pop. Old brands, forgotten brands. If you peer at the picture you can make out some brands you might miss, like Nesbitt. There used to be hundreds of brands in the US, as local bottlers came up with variations on the old favorites. (So many Seven-Up knock-offs. Or all things to copy, they had to give us another Lemon-Lime.) (Like Bubble-up, to be honest.) Antique stores still have some old bottles, and I've collected a few over the years. No idea what "Dream" tasted like.
I bring this up to show how the world looks when you see things though a particular lens. Here's how Digg described the story:
"How One Soda Shop Owner Took On Big Cola When Pepsi tried to stiff-arm this shop owner into buying it's overpriced sugar water, he decided to stock his shelves with something out of the ordinary."
New York Times story:
A turning point came when a Pepsi retailer visited the store. The salesman waltzed in promising the best price on a pallet of Pepsi, but Nese would only make $30 from the hundreds of sodas and he’d have to charge customers more than they’d pay at a chain store. When he said he wasn’t interested, the salesman just laughed and insisted that customers would demand Pepsi. It seemed like the beginning of the end, and Nese was devastated. “Then, suddenly, I realized I oughta thank Pepsi Cola for reminding me that I own my shelf space, they don’t,” he says. “So I went out looking and found 25 little brands of soda by independent bottlers.”
Some scary strong-arming there. Take that, Big Cola!
Here's another lost brand.