June 15, 2011
Grapette soda was developed by Benjamin Fooks in Camden (Ouachita County) in 1939. Sold in six-ounce clear bottles, it became one of the best-selling non-cola soft drinks in the United States. Sold to a competitor by the 1970s, the drink virtually disappeared from the market by the 1990s. In 2000, Grapette International in Malvern (Hot Spring County) re-acquired the trademark. Grapette is distributed nationwide in Wal-Mart stores as one of its store-brand soft drinks. In 2020, the company began a licensing deal with National Fruit Flavor Co. to manufacture branded lines of syrups, concentrates, and cocktail mixes.