What is a Cactus Cooler?

  • By: Max S.
  • Date: December 22, 2022
  • Time to read: 4 min.

If someone tells you about a Cactus Cooler, you might give them a weird look, or at least, that’s what I did. The first thing that popped up in my mind was succulent. However, if you’ve been around since the ’60s, you might know about the orange-pineapple-flavored beverage with the name.

History of Cactus Cooler

Cactus Cooler is a soft drink introduced to the world in the 1960s by the Canada Dry company. It is famous for being inspired by an animated sitcom, The Flintstones.

In the 1960s, The Flintstones began to air. It was a popular comedy sitcom set in the Stone Age and revolved around the life of a family named The Flintstones and their neighbors. During the sitcom, it was revealed in an episode that Fred Flintstone’s favorite beverage was a Cactus Coola. This drink became the inspiration that led to the creation of the Cactus Cooler.

Around that time, the Flintstones Vitamins were also a big hit. You could also find the Flintstones on Fruity Pebbles, a cereal box. Adults and kids both were fond of these products. Then, Canada Dry launched the Cactus Cooler soda in light of the sitcom. It’s sold mainly in Southern California and the Southwest. 

Today, however, Cactus Cooler is owned and produced by Keurig Dr. Pepper, a beverage company famous for the brands Dr. Pepper, Canada Dry, Snapple, etc.

cactus cooler canada dry

What flavor is Cactus Cooler?

Cactus Cooler is only available in one flavor – its classic orange-pineapple flavor. As a result, it is reminiscent of sodas like Fanta and Orange Crush because of its orange flavor. But the pineapple gives it a unique taste.

This soda has a tangy, refreshing taste, a particular favorite in the summertime. It also tastes fruity and tropical, making it a good mixer in some alcoholic drinks like vodka. Add some of this soda to vodka, along with some peach juice, for a delicious cocktail. Throw in some ice cubes, and the resulting concoction will leave you feeling cool and energized!

cactus cooler shot

What is Cactus Cooler made of?

Cactus Cooler has an orange and pineapple flavor. However, most of the flavor comes from artificial flavors in the soda, not all of it naturally from oranges or pineapples. 

The main ingredients in Cactus Cooler, which are similar to other sodas, are carbonated water, citric acid, high fructose corn syrup, artificial flavors, and sodium benzoate as a preservative. However, it also contains acacia gum and ester gum. 

Acacia gum is found on certain trees. It has a neutral taste which is preferable because it acts as an emulsifier in beverages like soda to stabilize the oil and water. Ester gum has a similar role in soda drinks but is also used as an alternative to vegetable oil. According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, these additives are safe for consumption.

Is Cactus Cooler discontinued?

Cactus Cooler has been discontinued by the Canada Dry company. However, the current owner of the soda, Keurig Dr. Pepper, still manufactures the soda, and you can find it in limited regions in California and some Southwest areas. 

Cactus Cooler is available in limited places, but it’s more or less discontinued nationwide. No one knows why Cactus Cooler was discontinued. It’s possible that the pineapple-flavored beverage became unappealing to consumers. But, on the other hand, it’s also possible that it couldn’t compete with more popular sodas like Coca-Cola, Mountain Dew, Fanta, etc. 

However, the problem may not have been in the pineapple flavor. Keurig Dr. Pepper is also the owner of another brand, Crush Soda. These sodas originated in 1911, with their pineapple flavor being quite popular. So even though Crush soda began way before Cactus Cooler, it is still widely available in the pineapple flavor.

It is not just sold in many parts of the U.S. but is also available internationally in countries like Mexico, Argentina, and Chile, among others. This shows that maybe there was more to Cactus Cooler being discontinued than what meets the eye. We may never know.

So there you have it. If you want a blast from the past and taste this soda again, you’ll have to travel to Southern California. Or you could always ask a friend to bring some over the next time they visit you! 

can of cactus cooler

Why is Cactus Cooler so expensive?

Cactus Cooler is expensive for many reasons, ranging from the price of its ingredients to the cost of high-quality packaging. 

Cactus Cooler is famous as an orange-pineapple-flavored soda. The two main natural ingredients that give it this flavor, oranges, and pineapples, are an added expense, particularly the latter. Pineapple is a tropical fruit known in particular for being expensive and exotic. 

According to its nutritional value, the soda is fat-free and has no caffeine or alcohol. These traits make it a staple family beverage, so people are more inclined to buy it. In addition, both kids and adults can enjoy this soda.

The packaging also plays a part in the high price. Although similar to most soda cans, Cactus Cooler cans are relatively easier to open, making it easier for little children to open them.

Finally, since the soda has been discontinued except in very few places, it’s available in minimal stock. Thus, it’s an expense people are willing to pay to get a taste of the good old days whenever they get the opportunity. 

Conclusion

Cactus Cooler was once quite popular back in its day. Its sweet, orange, and pineapple flavor was a favorite during the summertime to cool down and relax. However, like all good things, it’s time had to end. 

Although the soda was discontinued more or less nationwide, it is still available in limited regions like Southern California. It may not have the popularity it did back in the day, but it can still transport you back to the good old days whenever you have an occasional sip.