A Big Red Soda Bottle.
|Current Status:||Permanent Flavor (For some United States stores as a Region-Specific flavor)|
|Locations Available:||United States|
|Year(s) Available:||1937 - Present|
|Related Flavors:||Retro Big Red, Big Blue, Big Red Zero Sugar, Big Manzana, Big Peach, Big Pineapple, Big Red Vanilla Float, Big Orange, Big Honey Lemonade, Big Punch Fruit Punch|
|Related Promotions:||75th Anniversary of Big Red, 100 Days of BBQ|
Big Red (originally known as Sun Tang Red Cream Soda) is a red crème soda created in 1937 by Grover C. Thomsen and R.H. Roark in Waco, Texas. It is generally classified as an American variety of cream soda, and it is the original "red cream soda." The name was changed to "Sun Tang Big Red Cream Soda" in 1959, and to "Big Red" in 1969 by Harold Jansing, then president of the San Antonio bottling plant, after hearing a golf caddy refer to the soda by that name.
Until the late 1970s, Big Red was exclusively marketed in Central and South Texas and around Louisville, Kentucky, including parts of Southern Indiana such as Fort Wayne, Indiana. The drink is highly popular in the Southern United States and is well known for its unique taste and red color. Its unique taste, though often thought to be bubble gum, is created by mixing orange and lemon oils with the traditional vanilla used in other cream sodas. Big Red is produced and distributed by various independent soft drink bottlers including Keurig Dr Pepper, CCE, and Pepsi Bottling Group under license from Big Red, Inc., based in Austin, Texas.
Big Red was the sixth-highest selling soft drink company in the United States from 2002–2004, after Coca-Cola, Pepsi, Keurig Dr Pepper, Cott, and National Beverage Company. As a preeminent red creme soda in the Southern United States, it is a staple of many Juneteenth celebrations.
In 2007, Big Red Ltd. was purchased by Gary Smith with the backing from Citigroup Venture Capital and Goldman Sachs. Gary Smith now serves as the Chairman and CEO of Big Red and All Sport, Inc. In 2008, Keurig Dr Pepper purchased a minority interest in Big Red, Inc. Keurig Dr Pepper distributes almost 80% of the product that Big Red sells annually. Although the production facility is still in Waco, Texas, Big Red relocated their corporate headquarters to Austin, Texas in 2009.
- Main article: 75th Anniversary of Big Red
In Summer 2012, Big Red Inc. celebrated its 75th anniversary which gave out special prizes and with specially marked packages had this promotion.