La Shanda C.Haslip
MGT 101 Intro to Business
Professor Marcia Peterson
January 15. 2013
Faygo Beverages Inc. is a regional soft drink bottling company based in Detroit, Michigan, that distributes its products to stores in 33 states, with Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, and western Pennsylvania its primary sales area. In addition to sodas, Faygo also makes non-carbonated sweetened fruit-flavored drinks and seltzer waters. Faygo products are sold at a lower price than national brands, and many flavors are directly inspired by popular competitors such as Mountain Dew, Dr. Pepper, Vernors, and Canada Dry Ginger Ale. The company was purchased in 1987 by National Beverage Corporation of Florida, which also owns West Coast soda maker Shasta and several other beverage companies.
Faygo was founded by two brothers, Ben and Perry Feigenson, who had immigrated to Detroit, Michigan, from their native Russia. Trained as bakers, the Feigensons adapted the flavorings of some of their cake frostings and, under the name Feigenson Brothers Bottling Works, began to bottle strawberry, fruit punch, and grape-flavored soft drinks in November 1907. They would manufacture a batch of drinks, then close the production line and take their products around on a horse-drawn wagon to sell them, as the beverages contained no preservatives and were best consumed fresh. They charged three cents for one soda, and a nickel for two. In the winter, when beverage sales dropped, they also sold bread and fish to make ends meet. To save money the brothers and their families lived above the small bottling plant. Over the next decade the soda business grew, and the Feigensons were soon able to buy their own homes. They also hired their first employees and bought a second horse-drawn wagon for deliveries. New flavors were added, including Sassafras Soda and Lithiated Lemon, which used lithium salt as a flavoring agent. Taking a cue from the sound the carbonated beverages made when a bottle was opened, they also began calling their products "pop." The company's success was such that a new plant was needed, and one was built on Beaubien Street in Detroit. In 1921 the firm abbreviated its name to "Faygo" because it fit more easily on the bottles. The Feigenson brothers also purchased their first delivery truck and began to make home deliveries in 1923. A vanilla flavored soft drink, a seltzer water, "Ace Hi" (an imitation of the popular soda NeHi), and the destined-to-be classic Rock & Rye flavor were introduced during the 1920s as well. Rock & Rye, a fruity, spicy soda, took its name from the popular jazz-age drink of Rye whiskey served over a "rock" of sugar. In 1935 Faygo moved its operations to a larger bottling plant on Gratiot Avenue in Detroit. The 1940s was a decade of transition for the company. The postwar years saw a new generation of Feigensons enter the business when Perry's son Mort and his cousin Phil joined the firm. Television was also beginning to take hold with Americans, and the company decided to begin advertising in the new medium. Faygo hired the Detroit-based W.B. Doner Co. to create the spots. New flavors developed during the decade included chocolate crème, a richer-tasting root beer, and Uptown, a lemon-lime soda inspired by 7 Up.
Television Leading the Way to Greater Success: 1950s-70s
The early 1950s saw an increase in television advertising and the debuts of animated characters The Faygo Kid and Herkimer the Bottle Blower. Spots featuring the former used the memorable tagline, "Remember Black Bart? Which way did he go? Which way did he go? He went for Faaaaygoooooo!" In ads featuring Herkimer, the character changed from tired to energetic after taking a sip of the fizzy...
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