What Flavor Is Big Red Soda? – Everything You Need To Know

  • By: Max S.
  • Date: August 22, 2022
  • Time to read: 5 min.

Big red soda is a creamy soft drink with a unique taste and flavor. Created in 1937 out of Waco, Texas, by Grover C. Thomsen and R.H. Roark, the big red pop has grown to become a big part of many Texas family traditions. 

Big red soda was called Sun Tang Big Red Cream Soda until the late fifties when Harold Jansing, the San Antonio bottling plant director, heard some golf caddies refer to the soft drink as ‘Big Red.’ However, the name wasn’t changed until some years later, in 1969.

It became the most popular in the southern US, big red was rated as the sixth highest selling soft drink company from 2002 to 2004 behind Pepsi, Coca-Cola, Dr. Pepper/7UP, Cott, and National Beverage Company.

Frequent drinkers of big red soft drinks are eager to tell you about the soda’s creamy, fruity, and sweet taste, but the flavor of big red soda is hard to place.

Due to the elusive nature of the big red pop flavor, the drink is often referred to as having a liquid bubble-gum flavor.

What flavor is big red soda supposed to be

What flavor is big red soda supposed to be?
What flavor is big red soda supposed to be? 

Only a few drinks match the unique flavor of big red soda. Its flavor is a mixture of orange and lemon oils blended with pure vanilla, giving the drink a creamy aftertaste. FD&C red 40 food color gives the soft drink its red color.

The deliciously different taste of big red cream soda endears it to many kids in Texas. While the allowable age for kids to drink soda is still being debated, kids of different ages in Texas can’t get enough of the soft drink.

A caffeinated beverage with a fair share of sugar, big red cream soda is not very appealing to adults. However, when mixed with tequila in a brightly colored Texas sunrise, adults do not mind having one or more glasses. 

Also, sugar-free big red sodas (Big Red Zero), a variety of big red soft drinks, offer a more convenient beverage for adults.

Is Big Red a Cream Soda? 

Big Red Cream Soda
Big Red Cream Soda

The answer is yes. Big red soda is considered an American variety of cream soda and the original cream soda. Before Harold Jansing changed its name to ‘Big Red Soda’ in 1969, it was called ‘Sun Tang Big Red Cream Soda.’

Big red is similar in some ways to Barq’s Red Crème Soda and Dad’s Red Crème Soda.

Who Owns Big Red?

Big Red Inc manufactures Big Red Soda. Gary Smith, now the CEO of Big Red Inc, bought the company in 2007 with help from Citigroup Venture Capital and Goldman Sachs. 

In addition to the significant shares bought by Keurig Dr. Pepper in Big Red Inc in 2008, which made them part company owners, Dr. Pepper also distributes about 80% of Big Red Sodas annually.

Big red soft drink is one of the few remaining original sodas created, owned, and operated by Texans. Although the production facility is still in Waco, Texas, the Big Red corporate headquarters moved to Austin, Texas, in 2009.

Where is Big Red Sold?

Where is Big Red Sold?
Where is Big Red Sold?

Initially, Big red was marketed and sold exclusively in Texas, Kentucky, and southern Indiana, with Kentucky being the first state the big red pop was sold. 

However, the 1970s saw an expansion of the company across North and South America, which included 28 states, Panama, and British Columbia. By early 2002, big red was available nationally in 43 states, including Florida and Southern California, and in Tahiti, the only foreign country where the big red soft drink was available.

Big red soda was not sold on their website for an extended period, making it difficult for big red drinkers who had moved from states where big red was sold to get the big red cream soda. However, big red soda is now sold on various online platforms such as Amazon and Walmart.

What is in Big Red Soda? 

What is in Big Red Soda?
What is in Big Red Soda?

Big red soft drink is made from carbonated water, high fructose corn syrup, natural and artificial flavors, red #40, citric acid, caramel color, and caffeine. 

With 150 calories per 12-ounce can, big red has a low sodium quantity of 40mg, which makes up about 2% of its total amount, and hydrocarbon content of 38g, which is mostly sugar.

Big red enthusiasts will agree that the sciences can hardly explain the awesomeness in the big red pop, and its unique ingredients can not qualify the sensation that big red gives to the taste buds. 

When complementing a Texas barbecue, a big red pop tastes like home, and that fantastic feeling is an essential ingredient of the big red soda.

What Flavor is Big Red and Big Blue Soda?

Big Red and Big Blue Soda flavor
Big Red and Big Blue Soda flavor

Unlike the big red soda, the flavor of big blue soda is less complex and widely known as blue crème. With a color similar to the Crush Berry Punch, the big blue soda has a flavor that tastes like cotton candy or blue bubble gum.

As a variation of the big red pop flavor, the big blue was developed by Big Red Inc in 2008. Observing a trendy shift in the market towards blue flavors, the heads of the Texas institution decided to create a new tasty flavor.

Since it’s soft-launch in late 2008, the big blue soda has had tremendous growth and contributed considerably to the expansion of the big red products. While the big blue is still most popular in the south, having a Walmart full distribution indicates a promising future.

Other varieties of Big Red are Big Red Zero (formerly Diet Big Red) and Retro Big Red, sweetened with cane sugar rather than high fructose corn syrup. 

Some current Big Red flavors with limited availability are Big Red Vanilla Float, Big Honey Lemonade, Big Blue, Big Pineapple, Big Peach, and Big Manzana (apple flavored).

Big orange, Sugar-Free Big Red Vanilla Float, and Big fruit punch flavors are no longer available.


Since its creation many decades ago, big red soda has quenched the thirst of individuals and families with its creamy feel and sweet taste. 

Manufactured in Texas with an addictive flavor and a mysterious recipe, the big red soft drink is expanding beyond several borders. 

Keeping the promise of its slogan ‘deliciously different’, big red combines unique ingredients and a splash of ‘home’ to satisfy its drinkers.