Bubbling Facts About 7 Up

Written by: Michelle Gabriel
Reading time: 3 mins
Last updated: March 17, 2021

Did you know that the original name for 7 Up was "Bib-Label Lithiated Lemon-Lime Soda"?

Surprising Facts about 7up

Although it may not be as popular as Coca-Cola, 7 Up is among the top soda brands in the world.

This refreshing lemon-lime flavored soda is always perfect on a hot summer day.

Around since 1929, 7 Up has had plenty of time to make a name for itself, and that’s exactly what it did!

But being around for so long also means there’s an interesting history to learn, and facts to be read!

7 Up was derived from Orange Soda

7 Up was derived from Orange Soda

The founder of 7Up Charles Leiper Grigg, was an unsatisfied employee doing advertising and marketing for an orange soda company.

Eventually, he quit to create his own orange soda which he called “Howdy.”

Unfortunately with Orange Crush as his main competitor, Howdy was unsuccessful because it did not contain any actual orange juice.

Instead, it only had essential oils found in orange rinds, but it was not enough to compete with doctors now telling people how important Vitamin C is.

He turned his focus elsewhere, testing many different formulas over the course of two years.

Eventually, he developed a new drink called “Bib-Label Lithiated Lemon-Lime Soda” – what a mouthful!

This was eventually shortened to “7Up Lithiated Lemon Soda,” before it was shortened once more to just “7Up.”

The original recipe contained Lithium

The original recipe contained Lithium

Before the FDA banned lithium in beer and soft drinks in 1948, it was used by many people as an anti-depressant and mood lifter.

This is potentially where Griggs saw a business idea, realizing that by packing his new beverage with lithium was a great marketing strategy.

And he was right! Ingesting lithium in the form of a tasty and refreshing soft drink, 7Up was a success, even considering it was introduced right as The Great Depression hit.

With his background in advertisement and marketing from his previous employment, it’s no wonder he was able to drum up this brilliant idea.

Of course, when lithium was banned from beverages, the formula for 7Up was changed 2 years later along with many other notable soft drinks that contained mind-altering substances.

But we can still enjoy it for what it is – a delicious and bubbly potion!

No one knows where the name 7 Up comes from

No one knows where the name 7Up comes from

Even though we see the history of how the name was shortened to 7Up, nobody knows for certain what this came from or what it means!

There are a few theories, however.

The original recipe of 7Up contained just seven ingredients: sugar, carbonated water, essence of lemon and lime oils, citric acid, sodium citrate, and lithium citrate. Back then, lithium was considered a beneficial mood enhancer, which is where the “Up” aspect of the name comes in.

When 7Up was first sold, it was produced in 7-ounce bottles. Most of the other competitor soft drinks were only sold in 6-ounce bottles.

Another theory is that Charles Grigg happened to see cattle branded with a similar mark. He realized that if a brand is distinctive enough to differentiate cattle, having such a brand for his new drink would help identify his beverage to consumers.

Some say that 7Up is a coded reference to the lithium that was originally in this notable soft drink – because lithium has an atomic mass of about 7.

One more speculation is that Grigg thought of it on the spot while rooting for sevens during a game of craps – a game which he won, thanks to those sevens!

Similarly, it is rumored that he won a fortune at poker due to the seventh “up” card which was dealt to him. With two theories involving card games, is it possible one of them is legitimate?

However even with all of these theories, no one knows which one is true, if any!

Which one do you think could be the most believable?

No matter what the case, Griggs took that answer with him to the grave.


Which of these facts surprised you the most? Let us know in the comments below!

Either way, now that you know all the best and most interesting facts about the background of 7Up, drop this knowledge on the people around you next time you crack open a can of this bubbly beverage!

Leave A Comment