Who Owns Faygo?


Updated: September 30, 2023

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Faygo, the iconic American soft drink brand renowned for its colorful and diverse range of flavors, has a rich and intriguing history when it comes to ownership. Since its inception in the early 20th century, several individuals and entities have had a hand in shaping the brand’s destiny.

Faygo was originally founded in Detroit, Michigan, in 1907 by two Russian immigrant brothers, Ben and Perry Feigenson. The brothers began their soda-making journey in a small basement, crafting homemade carbonated beverages inspired by their family’s recipes. Their dedication to quality and innovation quickly garnered a loyal customer base.

In the years that followed, Faygo experienced a series of ownership changes that both expanded its reach and allowed the brand to adapt to changing consumer tastes. In 1956, the National Beverage Corporation acquired Faygo, ushering in a new era for the brand. Under this ownership, Faygo continued to innovate and introduce new flavors, cementing its status as a beloved regional beverage.

Today, Faygo’s ownership still lies within the National Beverage Corporation, a company known for its dedication to producing a wide array of refreshing beverages. Faygo remains a staple in the Midwest and has gained a devoted following across the United States, with its distinct flavors, including Rock & Rye, Redpop, and Moon Mist, becoming iconic in the world of soft drinks.

As we delve deeper into the story of Faygo, we will explore the brand’s journey, its enduring popularity, and the role it plays in the American beverage landscape, highlighting the dedication of both its original creators and its current stewards in shaping its legacy.

What Is Faygo?

Faygo is a well-known American soft drink brand that is recognized for its wide variety of flavored carbonated beverages. Founded in 1907 by Russian immigrant brothers Ben and Perry Feigenson in Detroit, Michigan, Faygo has a long and storied history.

Initially, Faygo was produced in the basement of the Feigenson brothers’ home. They started by crafting homemade carbonated drinks using family recipes, and their commitment to quality and innovation quickly attracted a loyal customer base.

Faygo gained popularity in the Detroit area and gradually expanded its reach, becoming particularly known for its unique and diverse range of flavors. Some of its most famous flavors include Redpop (a red cream soda), Rock & Rye (a cream cola with a cherry-vanilla flavor), Moon Mist (a citrus-flavored soda), and many others.

Over the years, Faygo has maintained its reputation for producing affordable, flavorful soft drinks, often with a distinctively retro and nostalgic appeal. The brand is especially beloved in the Midwest and is known for its colorful packaging and distinctive glass bottles.

Faygo is currently owned by the National Beverage Corporation, a company that produces a variety of beverages. Despite changes in ownership and the beverage industry’s evolving landscape, Faygo continues to be cherished by consumers who appreciate its unique flavors and the brand’s long history of providing enjoyable, refreshing drinks.

The History of Faygo

The history of Faygo is a fascinating journey that began in the early 20th century and has left an indelible mark on the American soft drink industry. Here’s a chronological overview of Faygo’s rich history:

  • Founding by the Feigenson Brothers (1907): Faygo’s story starts with Ben and Perry Feigenson, two Russian immigrant brothers who founded the brand in Detroit, Michigan, in 1907. They initially named it “Feigenson Brothers Bottling Works” and started producing carbonated beverages in their basement.
  • Homemade Recipes and Quality Focus: The Feigenson brothers were known for using family recipes to create their sodas. Their commitment to quality and flavor innovation helped Faygo gain a loyal local following.
  • Renaming to Faygo (1921): In 1921, the brothers decided to rename the company to “Faygo,” inspired by a cartoon they saw in a trade magazine. This name change marked the beginning of the brand we know today.
  • Expansion and Introduction of New Flavors: Faygo expanded its product line and introduced various flavors to cater to diverse tastes. Some of their iconic flavors, like Redpop, Rock & Rye, and Moon Mist, became regional favorites.
  • National Beverage Corporation (1956): In 1956, Faygo was acquired by the National Beverage Corporation, a company that continued to uphold the brand’s legacy while expanding its distribution beyond Michigan. This acquisition marked a new era for Faygo.
  • Popularity and Regional Icon Status: Faygo became a beloved regional brand in the Midwest, known for its distinctive glass bottles and colorful packaging. The brand’s affordability and unique flavors contributed to its enduring popularity.
  • Innovation and Nostalgia: Faygo continued to innovate over the years, introducing new flavors and limited-edition releases. It also maintained a nostalgic appeal, with its vintage advertisements and classic flavors evoking fond memories for many consumers.
  • Cultural Influence: Faygo’s role in pop culture became prominent, with mentions in music lyrics and appearances in films. It became synonymous with Detroit and Michigan culture.
  • Current Status: Faygo remained a popular soft drink brand, still owned by the National Beverage Corporation. Its diverse flavor lineup and unique branding continued to make it a distinctive choice in the soft drink market.

The Founding of Faygo

Faygo’s origin story traces back to the early 20th century when it was founded by two Russian immigrant brothers, Ben and Perry Feigenson. The founding of Faygo is a testament to their entrepreneurial spirit and commitment to crafting quality beverages. Here’s a closer look at the founding of Faygo:

1. Immigrant Roots: Ben and Perry Feigenson immigrated to the United States from Russia and settled in Detroit, Michigan, where they embarked on their journey in the beverage industry.

2. The Basement Beginnings: In 1907, the Feigenson brothers started their soda-making venture in the basement of their home. They initially named their business “Feigenson Brothers Bottling Works.”

3. Homemade Recipes: Ben and Perry began by creating carbonated beverages using recipes from their own family. Their dedication to using high-quality ingredients and crafting flavorful sodas set them apart.

4. Quality Focus: The Feigenson brothers were known for their meticulous attention to quality. They insisted on producing their sodas to the highest standards, which resonated with their early customers.

5. Faygo’s Name: The brand was originally known by their family name, but in 1921, they made a pivotal decision to rename it “Faygo.” The inspiration for this name came from a comedy skit they saw in a trade magazine featuring a fictional character named “Faygo Kid.”

6. Innovation and Growth: Faygo quickly expanded its product line, introducing a variety of flavors to cater to different tastes. Their innovative approach to soda-making led to the development of unique and distinctive flavors that would become iconic in the years to come.

7. Regional Success: Faygo’s popularity grew steadily, initially in the Detroit area and later throughout Michigan. It became known for its affordability and the wide range of flavors it offered.

8. Cultural Impact: Over time, Faygo became a cultural staple, closely associated with Detroit and the Midwest. It played a significant role in pop culture, finding mention in songs and even making appearances in films.

The Feigenson brothers’ dedication to quality, their willingness to experiment with flavors, and their ability to adapt to the evolving tastes of consumers all contributed to Faygo’s enduring success. Today, Faygo remains a beloved American soft drink brand with a unique and nostalgic charm, rooted in the entrepreneurial spirit of its founders.

The National Beverage Corporation

The National Beverage Corporation is an American beverage company that has played a significant role in the soft drink and beverage industry. here is an overview of the company:

1. History and Foundation: National Beverage Corp., often referred to simply as National Beverage, was founded in 1985. The company’s headquarters are located in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

2. Beverage Portfolio: National Beverage is known for its diverse portfolio of beverage brands. One of its most prominent and well-known subsidiaries is Faygo, an iconic American soft drink brand. Faygo is recognized for its wide variety of unique flavors and colorful packaging.

3. LaCroix Sparkling Water: National Beverage gained substantial recognition and success through its LaCroix sparkling water brand. LaCroix became immensely popular for its natural fruit-flavored sparkling water with no artificial sweeteners, and it played a significant role in the growth of the flavored sparkling water category.

4. Other Brands: In addition to Faygo and LaCroix, National Beverage owns and operates other beverage brands, including Shasta, Everfresh, and Rip It Energy Fuel, among others. These brands cover a wide range of beverage categories, from carbonated soft drinks to fruit juices and energy drinks.

5. Corporate Philosophy: National Beverage has been known for its unique corporate culture and advertising strategies. The company has often employed unconventional marketing tactics and eye-catching graphics for its products, helping them stand out in the market.

6. Leadership: The company was led by Nick A. Caporella, who served as the Chairman and CEO. Caporella is known for his strong influence on the company’s branding and marketing strategies.

7. Popularity and Market Presence: National Beverage’s brands have enjoyed varying degrees of popularity across the United States. LaCroix, in particular, experienced significant growth during the 2010s and became a symbol of the flavored sparkling water trend.

The Feigenson Family’s Continued Involvement

The Feigenson family’s continued involvement with Faygo, the soft drink brand they founded, is not widely reported in public sources. It’s important to note that over the years, Faygo underwent changes in ownership, including its acquisition by the National Beverage Corporation in 1956. This acquisition marked a significant shift in the company’s ownership structure.

Following the acquisition, Faygo became a subsidiary of the National Beverage Corporation, a larger beverage conglomerate. The day-to-day operations and decisions related to Faygo and its brand management were likely under the purview of the National Beverage Corporation’s leadership and management team.

While the Feigenson family’s role as the original founders and their contributions to Faygo’s early success are historically significant, it is common for family-owned businesses to undergo changes in ownership and management over time, particularly as they grow and expand.

Since the National Beverage Corporation is a publicly-traded company with its own leadership and organizational structure, any continued involvement of the Feigenson family in the company’s operations would typically be subject to the terms of the acquisition and the governance structure of the corporation.

Faygo’s Impact on Pop Culture

Faygo has had a significant impact on pop culture in the United States, particularly in the Midwest and among certain subcultures. Here are some ways in which Faygo has left its mark on pop culture:

  • Juggalo Subculture: Perhaps the most notable association with Faygo is within the Juggalo subculture, which revolves around the fan base of the hip-hop duo Insane Clown Posse (ICP). ICP’s music and performances often feature Faygo showers, where they spray the audience with Faygo soda during concerts. This tradition has become an integral part of Juggalo gatherings and is synonymous with the subculture.
  • Music References: Faygo has been mentioned in various songs across different genres, showcasing its influence in music culture. Artists like Eminem, Tech N9ne, and Kid Rock have referenced Faygo in their lyrics, highlighting its connection to the Midwest and Detroit, where many of these artists originated.
  • Detroit and Midwest Icon: Faygo is deeply embedded in the cultural identity of Detroit and the broader Midwest region. It’s often seen as a symbol of local pride and nostalgia. Its colorful and distinct packaging is recognizable and evokes a sense of regional heritage.
  • Film and Television: Faygo has made appearances in film and television shows, further solidifying its presence in popular culture. For example, in the movie “8 Mile,” which is set in Detroit, there’s a scene where a character drinks a Faygo. Such moments help reinforce Faygo’s connection to the Detroit area.
  • Collectible Culture: Vintage Faygo bottles, especially those with unique labels and flavors, have become sought-after collectibles among enthusiasts and collectors. This interest in Faygo memorabilia adds to its cultural significance.
  • Local Advertising and Slogans: Faygo has a history of memorable advertising campaigns and slogans that have become part of local culture. Slogans like “Remember When” and “Faygo, It’s a Michigan Thing” resonate with consumers and contribute to Faygo’s nostalgic appeal.
  • Affordable Nostalgia: Faygo’s affordability has endeared it to many consumers, making it a go-to choice for those seeking a taste of nostalgia without breaking the bank. This affordability has contributed to its continued popularity.
  • Social Media and Memes: In the age of the internet, Faygo has found a presence in social media and meme culture. People create and share humorous content related to Faygo, further cementing its status as a pop culture reference.

Faygo’s impact on pop culture is a testament to its enduring appeal, regional pride, and the unique role it has played in various subcultures and communities across the United States. Whether through music, subcultures, or simple everyday enjoyment, Faygo continues to be a beloved and recognizable brand in American pop culture.

Pros and Cons of Faygo

Faygo, like any consumer product, has its own set of pros and cons. These attributes can vary depending on individual preferences and needs. Here are some of the pros and cons of Faygo:

Pros of Faygo:

  • Wide Variety of Flavors: Faygo offers a diverse range of flavors, including some unique and distinct options like Redpop, Rock & Rye, Moon Mist, and more. This variety allows consumers to explore different taste experiences.
  • Affordability: Faygo is often more affordable than many other soft drink brands, making it an attractive option for budget-conscious consumers.
  • Nostalgia: Faygo’s colorful packaging and long history can evoke feelings of nostalgia for those who grew up with the brand, creating a sense of connection and familiarity.
  • Local and Regional Pride: Faygo has strong ties to the Midwest, particularly Detroit, Michigan, where it was founded. It is often seen as a symbol of local pride and regional identity.
  • Cultural Significance: Faygo has played a unique role in pop culture, particularly within the Juggalo subculture. Its association with music and art adds to its cultural significance.

Cons of Faygo:

  • High Sugar Content: Like many traditional sodas, Faygo products are typically high in sugar, which can be a health concern when consumed in excess. It may not be suitable for those looking to reduce sugar intake.
  • Artificial Ingredients: Faygo sodas often contain artificial flavors and colors, which may not be appealing to individuals who prefer natural and healthier beverage options.
  • Limited Availability: Faygo may not be readily available in all regions, especially outside the Midwest. This limited distribution can be a drawback for consumers who wish to try or purchase Faygo products.
  • Calorie Content: Faygo sodas are not calorie-free, and some flavors can be high in calories, which may not align with the dietary preferences of those seeking low-calorie or zero-calorie options.
  • Competition with Healthier Alternatives: As consumers become more health-conscious, Faygo faces competition from a growing market of healthier beverage options, including flavored sparkling water and natural fruit juices.
  • Environmental Concerns: Like most bottled beverages, Faygo contributes to plastic waste and environmental concerns related to packaging. This can be a drawback for environmentally conscious consumers.

Faygo offers a wide range of flavors and has a strong presence in certain regions, but it also has drawbacks related to its sugar content, artificial ingredients, and environmental impact. Whether Faygo is considered a positive or negative choice depends on individual tastes, preferences, and dietary considerations.

Competitors of Faygo

Faygo, as a soft drink brand, faces competition in the crowded beverage market from various other companies and their products. Some of its competitors include:

  • The Coca-Cola Company: Coca-Cola is one of the largest and most recognizable beverage companies globally. It produces a wide range of carbonated soft drinks, including Coca-Cola, Diet Coke, Sprite, and more, which compete directly with Faygo.
  • PepsiCo: PepsiCo is another major player in the soft drink industry. Its product line includes Pepsi, Diet Pepsi, Mountain Dew, and many other carbonated beverages that compete with Faygo.
  • Dr. Pepper Snapple Group (now part of Keurig Dr. Pepper): This company produces Dr. Pepper, a popular carbonated soft drink, along with a variety of other brands like 7UP, Sunkist, and A&W, which are direct competitors to Faygo.
  • Regional and Local Brands: Faygo’s biggest competitors often include regional and local brands, which have a strong presence in specific geographic areas. These brands cater to local tastes and preferences and may offer unique flavors not found in national brands.
  • Private Label or Store Brands: Many grocery stores and supermarkets offer their own private-label or store-brand sodas, which are often more affordable than national or regional brands and can compete with Faygo on price.
  • Flavored Sparkling Water Brands: As the popularity of flavored sparkling water has grown, brands like LaCroix, owned by National Beverage Corporation (which also owns Faygo), and Sparkling Ice have become competitors as consumers seek alternatives to traditional sugary sodas.
  • Craft Soda Brands: The craft soda movement has led to the emergence of smaller, artisanal soda brands that offer unique and gourmet soda flavors. These brands may compete with Faygo for consumers seeking distinct taste experiences.
  • Energy Drinks and Functional Beverages: While Faygo primarily offers traditional carbonated soft drinks, it competes indirectly with energy drink brands like Red Bull, and Monster, and functional beverage brands like Gatorade and Vitaminwater, especially when consumers are looking for beverages that serve specific needs or offer functional benefits.

Faygo competes in a diverse and dynamic beverage market, and its success relies on factors such as brand recognition, flavor variety, pricing, and regional popularity. To stay competitive, Faygo continues to introduce new flavors and maintain its unique charm, which resonates with a dedicated customer base.

Who owns Faygo?

Faygo is owned by the National Beverage Corporation, a beverage company based in the United States.

When did National Beverage Corporation acquire Faygo?

National Beverage Corporation acquired Faygo in 1956, marking a significant turning point in the brand’s history.

Is Faygo still a family-owned company?

No, Faygo is no longer a family-owned company. It was originally founded by the Feigenson brothers, but it has been part of the National Beverage Corporation for many decades.

Does the Feigenson family have any involvement in Faygo’s operations today?

There was no widely reported active involvement of the Feigenson family in Faygo’s day-to-day operations. The brand is operated under the umbrella of the National Beverage Corporation.

What other brands does the National Beverage Corporation own?

The National Beverage Corporation owns various beverage brands, including LaCroix sparkling water, Shasta, Everfresh, and Rip It Energy Fuel, among others.

Is Faygo still popular and available today?

Yes, Faygo remains a popular soft drink brand, particularly in the Midwest and certain regions of the United States. It continues to be available in a wide range of flavors.

Conclusion

In conclusion, Faygo, the iconic American soft drink brand known for its diverse range of flavors, is owned by the National Beverage Corporation. While it was originally founded by the Feigenson brothers in Detroit, Michigan, in 1907, Faygo has been part of the National Beverage Corporation since its acquisition in 1956. Since then, it has continued to evolve as a beloved regional beverage, particularly in the Midwest, while also gaining recognition for its unique and nostalgic charm in the wider American beverage landscape.

The Feigenson family’s involvement in Faygo’s operations has diminished over the years, with the brand being managed and marketed by the National Beverage Corporation. Faygo’s enduring popularity, diverse flavor offerings, and cultural significance, including its association with subcultures like the Juggalos, have contributed to its lasting presence in pop culture.


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