Canada Dry Group Shot

Canada Dry

First created in 1904 by Canadian pharmacist and chemist John McLaughlin, Canada Dry gained much of its popularity during Prohibition as a mixer. Its sweet flavor was the perfect mask for the home-brewed liquor that was common at the time.


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Pharmacist and chemist John McLaughlin changed the soda shop standard by developing mass bottling techniques and serving Canada Dry where people gather in masses, such as ballparks and beaches. In fact, Canada Dry pioneered many of the products and practices now considered standard throughout the beverage industry.



During the '50s and '60s, Canada Dry was the first of the major soft drink companies to introduce sugar-free drinks and put soft drink beverages in cans. Canada Dry introduced black cherry and cranberry apple seltzers in the '80s.


John McLaughlin opened a small plant in Toronto, Canada, in 1890 to manufacture soda water, which he sold in siphons to drugstores as a mixer for fruit juices and flavored extracts. After hundreds of painstaking experiments, McLaughlin achieved the perfect formula for his Canada Dry Pale Dry Ginger Ale in 1904. In 1919, McLaughlin began to ship the product to New York City, and two years later the first Canada Dry plant in the United States was opened on 38th Street in Manhattan.

In 1923, P. D. Saylor and Associates purchased the entire company from the McLaughlin family and formed Canada Dry Ginger Ale, Inc. Consumer demand soon outgrew the production capacity of the New York City plant, which sparked a program of national expansion. It was during this growth that the famous "Down from Canada Came Tales of a Wonderful Beverage" advertising campaign was developed.

There's no doubt that the pleasant qualities of ginger ale made it the perfect mixer to mask the taste of home brew during Prohibition. For Canada Dry, the Roaring '20s roared with success. Even the high price of 35 cents for a 12-ounce bottle didn't hinder the progress of sales. The '30s saw the introduction of Canada Dry's Sparkling Water, quickly followed by tonic water, collins mix and other fruit flavors as mixers.

For Canada Dry, the '80s was also a time of several ownership changes. In 1986, Canada Dry found a home when it was acquired by Cadbury Schweppes of London. Today, Canada Dry is part of Plano, Texas-based Dr Pepper Snapple Group, the leading producer of flavored soft drinks in North America and the Caribbean.

Today, the Canada Dry portfolio also contains club soda, tonic water, sparkling water and other flavored beverages such as bitter lemon, pineapple and wild cherry.

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