Shasta, the Soda Brand, Rules the Hospital

Different brands get their mystique from where they are distributed. Shasta, the drinks brand, was born as a regional water company on the West Coast. The brand started as Mount Shasta Mineral Springs Company; according to the Shasta Museum it was founded in Dec. 6, 1889. The company also operated a health spa and resort.

The brand gained cachet during Prohibition, when its water was transported in special glass-lined redwood lined railroad tank cars. It started selling ginger ale in 1931, and claims to have been the first to sell diet drinks, and first to sell soft drinks in metal cans. During the conglomerate era of the 1960s, it became a unit of Sara Lee. It was eventually purchased by National Beverage Corp., which owns Faygo and La Croix brands.

Today, the brand seems to have a health-inspired feel. It is less often seen on grocery aisles and more often seen in hospitals and institutions. It is often the first drink patients get after surgery, and during their hospital stays. Perhaps that might be a new direction for the brand?

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