Friday, August 7, 2015

Take A Look At These Great Retro Diet Drinks

I'm looking at a couple of diet drink ads from the 1960s and 1970s today. In the spirit of writing in a more relaxed way on my blog, I didn't want to write a tiny research paper, though I did look up a few odds and ends.

This started out as a post about the complete history of the diet replacement drink but ugh, I did not think you wanted to read about how many diet shake things suddenly came on the market around 1961. They did, though. Trust me, there were a lot. And by the time of this Sego ad  (1968) there were even more, mostly in cans - and mostly tasting pretty sugary.

Slender was supposed to make you, guess what. Notice that the actual ad is long and slender too, ha ha. My mother and I used to drink it in the summer, for lunch, when I was in my early teens. It was OK, pretty sweet though. I'll bet it had a ton of sugar in it.
Sego was first put on the market in 1961 by the Pet Milk Company and was one of the earliest of its kind. This ad is from 1968. It was available in 10 ounce cans and by 1968 they had about 225 calories per can but apparently they were originally 900 calories each which hardly sounds like a great idea if you're on a diet.

Metrecal was another 60s diet concoction. What do you think of this ad? I don't know that comparing Metrecal to a steak is such a good idea. I mean, it looks more like Pepto Bismol. Or Pepto Bismol soup. That is not the best look. Diet soda was already around by 1961. The first diet sodas were called No-Cal, made by Kirsch Bottling in Brooklyn starting in 1952. I remember my mom having a row of glass bottle of No-Cal in our fridge in the late 60s - coffee, chocolate, cream, root beer and cola flavors. My favorites were the chocolate soda and the coffee soda - they were really good! You could add a little milk to them, too, that was also good (skim milk, of course).

I used to add a little skim milk to Tab, too - that early diet coke in the pink can. (That pink can was also great - remember the craze for the color hot pink in the 60s and early 70s? It was my favorite magic marker, the hot pink one. That and purple. Because that was the closest a little kid like me was going to get to psychedelic grooviness.)

The original diet soda

That groovy lettering on the pink can is also very nice. And also, unlike the diet shake drink things (I think): Sugar Free!

Did anyone else do this, put skim milk in Tab? Anyone I've ever told this to thinks it sounds really weird, and I guess maybe it was. But there weren't a lot of exciting drinks back in 1968. You had to improvise. I wouldn't do it now, though. Now there's Diet Coke with Lime and that's just about perfect, I think (Diet Coke with vanilla was pretty good too, why don't they make that any more?). All they need to do is put it in a pink can and it would be flawless.

The ads are all from my Pinterest board about retro diet stuff, which is here. If you are also on Pinterest please let me know so I can follow and like your pins, too.

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