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I thought iced tea generally tasted like rust, but I was desperate and asked my mom for a sip. I was hit with the rush of sweet peach, and unlike the other teas I had choked down, this one didn’t clobber me with a heavy, tea-leafy aftertaste. Legions joined me not long after as Snapple fell out of favor and lost its dominance over the market and the popular imagination. How did something so widely loved and even revolutionary wind up as the My Space of soda alternatives? Their names were Leonard Marsh, Hyman Golden, and Arnold Greenberg, but friends called them Lenny, Hymie, and Arnie (they’ve all since passed away).
In 1986, they knocked the fruit content down to about 10%.
Then in 1987, they introduced flavored iced teas, and for the first time in history iced tea tasted appetizing. Lenny, Hymie, and Arnie built Snapple by following their guts.
They listened to Howard Stern’s radio show on their way to work, so they started advertising on it to hear themselves on the radio.
Stern liked these beverage peddlers from Long Island, and he’d go into long digressions about the wonders of Snapple, even though the company had paid for only 30 seconds of airtime.
Has the once-mighty beverage that captured our teenage hearts and wowed us with that hollow bottle cap-popping sound really sunk to this cheap ask?
I found myself feeling a pang of embarrassment on Snapple’s behalf.
Seeing a grown-up brand groveling for affection is a drag, like a past-his-prime standup comedian demanding laughs from an indifferent crowd.
Also, I thought, when’s the last time I drank one of those things?
My memories of Snapple are sun-dappled, like its logo.
I remember drinking it for the first time as a kid one summer. Our family had gone swimming at the city pool, and as we drove home in our gray Astro van I was dying of thirst.
I saw my mom had a Snapple Peach Tea in the cup holder.
The beads of water falling off the chilled bottle made it look as if it were sweating. The love affair lasted for a few years in the early 1990s, until I became a serious runner and gave up Snapple for water. Forty-three years ago, a pair of window washers here teamed up with a health food store owner to sell a line of fruit juices.