I’ve always liked grape soda and Grapette is one of the most well-known brands.
But, I wondered about the history of Grapette.
So, I did some research, and here’s what I found.
There’s a bit more to the story, and there a tonne of brands that make grape soda now including Crush, and Fanta.
Below, I’ll explain more about Grapette, how their company evolved over the years, and whether you can still buy it.
Timeline Showing the history of Grapette soda
Here’s a table which shows the history of Grapette soda from its beginning in 1940:
|1940||First bottles of Grapette soda are sold|
|1944||Operations were expanded to serve the Central and South American markets|
|1947||Created a new drink – Orangette|
|1950||Became the most consumed grape soda in the USA|
|1962||Grapette became available in Asia and Australasia|
|1977||Grapette was acquired by a competitor Nu-Grape – and changed its name|
|1980-1990||Grapette started manufacturing sodas for other brands|
|1993||Walmart acquires the rights to use Grapette under their brand Sam’s Choice|
|2000||Grapette buys back ownership of the Grapette formula|
|2004||Sam’s Choice Grapette available exclusively in Walmart|
Sam’s Choice is a Walmart brand named after Sam Walton who is the founder of Walmart, as explained on it’s Wikipedia article.
Is Grapette soda still made?
You can find some unopened vintage Grapette soda on Ebay.
A 6 pack costs around $200. I’m not too sure if you’d want to drink it though, because it’s expired.
But if it’s never been opened it might still taste ok.
The good news is, there are a lot of grape sodas available on the market today, and they have a similar taste to the original Grapette, but not exactly.
Ranker.com has a web page where users can rate grape sodas which you see here.
And currently, the highest-rated grape sodas are:
Another option is to make your own grape soda by creating a grape extract using grape juice, and sugar.
I wrote an article about craft soda’s and towards the end of the article I explained how to make your own sodas. You can read that article by clicking What Is Craft Soda?.
Does Grapette soda have caffeine?
Caffeine in sodas
Coca-Cola has stated that they use caffeine in their sodas to enhance the flavor.
And they say that caffeine has a slightly bitter taste to it, which balances out the sweeteners they use.
Interestingly, the ‘kola nut’ that was an original ingredient in the first colas has caffeine in it, according to this article published in the Encyclopedia of Food and Health.
In my opinion, it could have been added to give their sodas a kick once soda manufacturers stopped using kola in their sodas.
You’ve likely noticed that coffee makes you more alert, and gives you more energy.
What was the first grape soda?
It’s likely the case that there were a few craft-style grape sodas around at the time when sodas first started becoming popular in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s.
During that time, it’s safe to say people would have been experimenting with different soda flavors.
As reported on the website Oldest.org, the oldest soda’s are:
- Barq’s Root Beer – invented in 1989
- Pepsi – invented in 1893
- Coca Cola – invented in 1886
- Dr Pepper – invented in 1885
Which are a few of the earliest brands that are still very popular today.
However, the absolute first grape soda remains a mystery.
Where can you buy Grapette soda?
Grapette International is the company that makes the syrup used to make Grapette.
But, they don’t make Grapette soda itself, that you used to be able to buy in stores.
It appears that they mostly sell their syrups in bulk orders.
But, you may be able to buy Grapette soda syrup directly from them and make your own by adding the syrup to soda water.
Making your own carbonated water to make a grape soda
You can also carbonate your own water using a Sodastream or a soda siphon.
A Sodastream is a benchtop device that pumps CO2 gas into water to make it fizzy.
A soda siphon looks like a flask.
But, it doesn’t need electricity to operate.
To make the water fizzy you insert a small gas canister into it and hold down the trigger.
A Sodastream costs less to run than a Sodastream.
But, a soda siphon is cheaper to buy. – a soda siphon is around $50, whereas a Sodastream costs around $100 and up.
But, each individual gas canister to use a soda siphon is more expensive than refilling the large gas canister that’s used in a Sodastream.
I did a full cost breakdown in Sodastream Vs. Soda Syphon article.
Grapette was one of the original grape sodas and was invented in 1940.
They were in operation for around 40 years, before they started making syrups, concentrates, and powders.
Grapette used to only be available in Walmart stores, under the brand name Grapette.
But, it appears as if it has been discontinued and you can no longer buy it.
You can find vintage unopened bottles of Grapette on Ebay.
The original recipe didn’t contain caffeine.
It may be possible to buy Grapette syrup from Grapette International, but you can also make your own grape soda yourself, or purchase some of the other popular grape sodas such as Fanta grape, and Crush grape.