What is Nehi Soda?

  • By: Max S.
  • Date: December 23, 2022
  • Time to read: 7 min.

It’s time for a history lesson – not the boring kind.

You might have heard of a little something called Nehi Soda. This refreshing drink is an iconic part of the U.S. beverage industry — for a good reason, too. 

It remains a household name in the States today, thanks to its unique taste, enticing presence, and nostalgic appeal. Seriously. What’s not to love?

So how did Nehi originate? What are the different flavors? Is it still available in stores today? Don’t worry! We’ve got answers to all of your questions. Keep reading to learn more about the drink that took America by storm!

How Long Has Nehi Been Around?

America’s favorite soda has been around since the early 1900s. It was created by American inventor Claud A. Hatcher and quickly became the talk of the town. Today, the drink can still be found at select stores and on select websites!

Did you see that one coming? Yes, believe it or not, Nehi has been around for that long! The history of the beverage is as exciting as it gets, and we’re here to tell you all about it! It’s time for a little trip down memory lane. 

The magic began in 1924. This is the year the Cheri-Cola company added Nehi Cola to its beverage offerings to provide consumers with exciting new flavors. And hey, it worked like a charm, thanks to a genius by the name of Claud A. Hatcher.


That’s right! Meet Hatcher, an American pharmacist, inventor, and businessman from Columbus, Georgia. To put it simply, this guy was an absolute force to be reckoned with. What couldn’t this man do?

In 1905, he began formulating beverages in the comfort of his grocery business’ basement and created the Royal Crown Ginger Ale. Then, in 1907, Chero-Cola, which was (you guessed it) cherry-flavored soda, was officially introduced to the world. And voilà! Union Bottling Works was officially born. 

Given the success of the soda, Hatcher decided to change the name of the company to (you guessed it once again) Chero-Cola. Sales were through the roof, but this man was hungry (or thirsty) for more. So in 1924, he decided to kick things up a notch and introduce new fruit-flavored beverages we all know and love as Nehi. 

Fun fact: the brand was named Nehi to remind customers that the beverage came in knee-high bottles, which means they were a bang for your buck. Isn’t that cool?

What happened afterward was nothing short of spectacular. Chero-Cola had already been a part of the soda industry for a couple of years, but the instant success of the Nehi Cola boosted the organization’s growth to new heights. It was almost like a miracle! It was so fascinating, in fact, that the company decided to change its name to Nehi Corporation in 1928. Wow.

Soon enough, it was listed on the New York Curb Exchange, so it’s safe to say that business was booming. However, much to everyone’s dismay, the happiness was short-lived. The Great Depression soon hit in 1930, and a series of disastrous consequences came with the economic contagion. Yikes. 

Sales quickly began to decline, and by 1932, the company started to lose money. Hatcher passed away in 1933, leaving the company in the hands of Vice President H. R Mott.

Luckily, Mott’s unwavering ambition and effective strategies soon brought the company back to life. In 1934, Royal Crown Soda was reintroduced, and it became a huge success. The drink’s popularity skyrocketed over the years, and before you knew it, Nehi Corporation became the Royal Crown Company in 1962

In 2008, the Dr. Pepper Snapple Group officially purchased Nehi. That means the drink has been around for about a century. Woah. What a sweet, sweet journey.

Does Nehi Soda Have Caffeine? 

Are you looking for a fuss-free, caffeine-free soda? Look no further! You’ll be happy to know that Nehi has zero caffeine. For customers, this is a massive part of its appeal.

nehi bottled variety

Who would’ve thought? Most popular sodas we see in stores (Coke and Pepsi, we’re looking at you) are loaded with caffeine. So naturally, you’d expect Nehi to be no exception. But nope! This drink contains no caffeine whatsoever.

Here are the ingredients in the Nehi Peach Soda;

  • Carbonated Water
  • High Fructose Corn Syrup
  • Citric Acid
  • Malic Acid
  • Potassium Benzoate
  • Potassium Citrate 
  • Artificial Flavors 
  • Gum Acacia 
  • Red 40 

Okay, we hate to be the bearer of bad news, but this list isn’t as harmless as it might seem. As delightful as this fruity drink might be, some of its ingredients are pretty bad for you and your body.

For instance, high fructose corn syrup is linked to obesity and can even increase your risk of developing diabetes and heart disease. Unfortunately, it has the power to reduce your overall life expectancy as well. 

Red 40, too, doesn’t come without its fair share of controversy. The synthetic dye is linked to migraines and mild allergic reactions. Plus, it can even potentially worsen the conditions of children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). 

Now let’s look at the drink’s nutritional value, shall we?

According to Walmart, here are the nutritional facts of a 12-ounce can of the Nehi Peach Soda:

  • 190 calories 
  • 49 grams of sugar
  • 35 grams of sodium

Okay, let’s be honest. Those numbers don’t look so good. The problem with liquid sugar is that it just doesn’t make you feel full, no matter how hard you try. It’s a curse! The darn thing may be sweet and irresistible, but it’s also pretty awful for you.

To stimulate fullness, you’ll naturally drink more of these beverages, leading to excessive calorie consumption and inevitable weight gain. On top of that, a high sugar intake is also linked to diabetes and heart disease. Ouch. 

Now listen. We’re not trying to say that you should never grab a bottle of Nehi. It’s OK to indulge in a guilty pleasure sometimes, but don’t turn this into a habit! Your body will thank you for it later. Trust us.

What Flavor was Nehi Soda?

Lucky for you, Nehi Soda comes in an array of exciting flavors! From the initial days of its launch, some of the most popular options have been grape, orange, peach, root beer, and cream soda. Whether you like the sweetness of the peach or the tanginess of the orange, there’s something for everyone. 

Who Drank Nehi Soda?

Aside from its deliciously fruity taste, Nehi Soda owes its success to its incredible promotion and brand presence. Over the years, the beverage was featured in many movies, and it was also endorsed by celebrities. Honestly, it’s like the whole country was drinking Nehi! 

This is a no-brainer, but Nehi Soda was consumed and enjoyed by countless individuals in the States. Americans just couldn’t get enough of these tasty treats. And honestly, we get it. 

Let’s be honest: advertising and promotion can do absolute wonders. Did you know that the brand’s logo of a woman wearing knee-high (get it? Nehi?) stockings were featured in Paper Moon? The scene featured Ryan O’Neal buying Tatum O’Neal a Nehi at a diner, and given the success of this film, it’s safe to say that it probably increased the drink’s popularity.

But wait, there’s more. A more provocative version of the logo was featured in Jean Shepherd’s story, “My Old Man and the Lascivious Special Award That Heralded the Birth of Pop Art,” in the book, In God We Trust, All Others Pay Cash. Interestingly enough, the book was later made into a movie titled A Christmas Story. 

nehi stockings ad

But wait, there’s even more! Ropert Ripley also advertised the beverage on his show, Ripley’s Believe It or Not! And something tells us that this decision probably significantly impacted overall sales.

As the company’s popularity skyrocketed in the next couple of years, several celebrities began to promote Nehi and join in on the fun. Some key highlights included Bing Crosby, Bob Hope, and Joan Crawford.

In 1947, the legendary Hedy Lamarr was also featured in Nehi advertisements. It’s no wonder the fruity soda practically had all of America in a chokehold! It doesn’t get any better than that now, does it?

See our point? The drink was everywhere! Talk about domination. 

Is Nehi Soda Still Available?

You’re in luck! Yes, Nehi Soda is still available in the U.S.! Though it is not as common as it was in the 1900s, you can still find it at select stores or on Amazon and Walmart. And, of course, the classic flavors like orange, peach, and grape are admittedly much easier to find. 


Hopefully, that little history lesson was enjoyable for you!

Nehi Soda has had quite the journey, hasn’t she? The beverage’s fruity flavor, incredible advertising, and alluring charm have contributed to its success. 

The drink may not be as widely available or popular as before, but it still holds a special place in the hearts of countless Americans. And if you’re curious about the taste, just visit a trusted store or website and try it out yourself!