drink box

Hi-C (drink)

Hi-C is a juice drink made by the Minute Maid division of The Coca-Cola Company. Hi-C was created by Niles Foster, a former bakery and bottling plant owner, in 1946. It took Foster over a year to develop the ideal formula for Hi-C orange drink, containing orange juice concentrate, peel oil and orange essences, sugar, water, citric acid and ascorbic acid (vitamin C). The name "Hi-C" stressed the vitamin content. Hot-packed in enamel-lined 56-ounce cans, the product needed no refrigeration before opening. After test marketing in 1947, Hi-C orange drink was introduced in 1948 with a massive promotional effort, spending thousands of pre-inflation dollars weekly per market on promotions. Foster entered into an agreement with Clinton Foods, Inc., to produce and market Hi-C, with Foster managing the Hi-C business.Originally marketed in the southern United States, Hi-C was introduced into the Los Angeles and San Francisco markets in 1949. As markets for Hi-C were expanded nationwide, so were the contract operations, strategically located near major market areas. The multi-plant system facilitated quick product shipping, minimizing out-of-date merchandise problems. New flavors of Hi-C fruit drinks were developed as an outgrowth of the contract packer system. Grape, the second flavor introduced, evolved naturally from the fact that the Geneva, Ohio, co-packer was also processing fresh grapes. Apple and cherry drinks were introduced as a result of the fresh fruit processing operations at the Paw Paw, Michigan co-packer plant. The contract packing concept is still being used today by the Coca-Cola Foods Division. As the Hi-C business continued to grow, it attracted the attention of the Minute Maid Corporation, and in 1954 Clinton Foods, Inc. sold its Florida holdings including Hi-C fruit drinks to Minute Maid.Niles Foster left the Minute Maid Corporation shortly after the Hi-C brand was purchased. George Roberts, assistant sales manager for Niles Foster when Hi-C was introduced, stayed on, first as National Sales Manager for Hi-C, then later as Director of Contract Packer Operations for the Houston, Texas based Coca-Cola Foods Division, ensuring the successful marketing, promotion, and distribution of Hi-C. The Hi-C business continued to expand with new flavors and innovative marketing techniques. By 1958, Hi-C fruit drinks had become an American supermarket staple, available in every grocery store nationwide.

A historical display of Hi-C packaging can be viewed at the following link

Hi-C contains 10% fruit juice. There are currently 3 product lines of Hi-C - the drink box, Hi-C Blast, and Hi-C Sour Blast.

The Hi-C products used to be the color implied by their flavor, but in 2002, Hi-C was re-introduced as a yellowish clear beverage that would not stain clothing. Thus, flavors like Shoutin' Orange Tangergreen lost their distinctive colors.

Subsequent growth of the Hi-C product line included globalization to selected markets worldwide. Keith W. Laakko, led global brand development of the Hi-C brand for the Minute Maid Division of The Coca-Cola Company. While at Minute Maid, he was integral in the new positioning and re-launch of the Hi-C brand, growing the business over 10% in one year.


Hi-C Drink Box

  • Blazin' Blueberry
  • Boppin' Berry
  • Ecto Cooler (renamed Shoutin' Orange Tangergreen in 2001, then later renamed Crazy Citrus Cooler in 2006, Finally discontinued in 2007)
  • Flashin' Fruit Punch
  • Fruity Bubble Gum (no longer produced)
  • Grabbin' Grape
  • Orange Lavaburst
  • Peach (no longer produced)
  • Poppin' Pink Lemonade
  • Smashin' Wild Berry
  • Strawberry Kiwi Kraze
  • Torrential Tropical Punch
  • Wild Cherry
  • Frightening Fruit Punch (Halloween edition, released in 2005)
  • Boppin Berry (no longer produced)
  • Candy apple cooler

Hi-C Blast

  • Berry Blue
  • Blue Watermelon
  • Fruit Pow
  • Fruit Punch
  • Orange
  • Orange Supernova
  • Pink Lemonade
  • Raspberry Kiwi
  • Strawberry
  • Strawberry Kiwi
  • Wild Berry

Hi-C Sour Blast

  • Green Apple
  • Strawberry
  • Wild Cherry

Ecto Cooler

Ecto Cooler was a product tie-in with the cartoon series The Real Ghostbusters, based on the 1984 live-action film, Ghostbusters. Hi-C struck a deal in 1987 to promote the series by developing a drink. Expected to last only as long as the series, the drink was successful beyond expectations and continued after the series' 1991 cancellation to be produced for more than a decade. The Ecto Cooler box featured The Real Ghostbusters character Slimer, as did the commercials. Slimer left the box sometime around 1997, but Minute Maid did not discontinue the product until 2001, at which point it was renamed Shoutin' Orange Tangergreen. Slimer was replaced on the packaging by a similar-looking blob of lips. Except for the flavor, the only other unchanged aspect of the product is that it is still being noted as ecto cool on many store receipts.

In 2006, Shoutin' Orange Tangergreen was renamed Crazy Citrus Cooler.

In 2007, Crazy Citrus Cooler was discontinued. The formula to make the Ecto Cooler and its counterparts is no longer made. Though the flavor is basically a combination of oranges and tangerines.

[1] Foodline Volume 16/Number 5/1983, The Coca-Cola Company Foods Division

[2] FoxFire Marketing Inc


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