Sun Drop was developed in New Haven, Missouri, by Charles Lazier, a salesman of beverage concentrates.While riding around town in the family car, Lazier quickly scribbled a recipe for a new soft drink on a small piece of paper which he handed to his son, Charles Jr. The younger Lazier worked as a lab technician at his father’s plant, and soon began work on the formula. Two years later, Sun Drop Cola debuted at the American Bottlers of Carbonated Beverages Conference in Washington, D.C. The Sun Drop formula was patented on April 15, 1930.
The drink was marketed in several Southern states under names such as “Sundrop Golden Cola” or “Golden Girl Cola.” The brand was acquired and standardized by Crush International in 1970. Crush International was purchased by Procter & Gamble in 1980, which sold its soft drinks holdings to Cadbury Schweppes plc in 1989. Cadbury Schweppes plc demerged in 2008, with its beverages unit becoming Dr Pepper Snapple Group, which currently produces Sun Drop.
Prior to the sale to Cadbury Schweppes, Procter & Gamble introduced several new Sun Drop flavors in 1985, including a reformulated Diet Sun Drop brand using aspartame instead of saccharin. A third brand, Cherry-Lemon Sun Drop, was introduced that same year. In February 2002, the brand introduced Caffeine-Free Sun Drop to the portfolio after the company received numerous requests from loyal consumers for a caffeine-free version of their favorite citrus soft drink.
Sun Drop has maintained popularity in many parts of the southern United States, especially in Tennessee, North Carolinaand parts of the Midwest, including Wisconsin and western Minnesota. Similar to other regional drinks with a cult following, fans outside bottling areas have been known to pay large amounts to have the drink shipped to them. Families have sent it to U.S. soldiers serving in Afghanistan.