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Pop in Canada compared to USA

What you call your carbonated drink is corrolated to your location in North America

According to a Canadian linguistics survey, we each call our favourite drinks something different depending on where we live.

British Columbians, Albertans, Sasketchewaners, Ontarians and all the maritime provinces call it Pop. However Manitobans call it soda and the Quebecois call it soft drinks. Our American neighbours are the reason behind why Canadians have different names for our bubbly beverages.  Americans have a similar naming preference with the addition of the generic use of the word “coke”. That is a form of “genericide” something I talk about as well in the Kraft Dinner piece. However, the states bordering Canada refer to the drink as pop. While coke is popular in the south-east, and soda in pockets of the northeast, south-east and parts of the mid-east. Our culture of sharing among our border friends is the biggest reason for our name-sharing. 

Pop Consumption in Canada vs USA

A study analyzing beverage habits using data from the 1999 to 2002 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey revealed some interesting differences between young adults aged 20 to 39 in the United States and Canada.

In this age group, Canadians seemed to consume slightly more fruit juice, milk products, and coffee than their American counterparts. However, Americans were found to drink more than double the amount of soft drinks compared to Canadians.

This preference for soft drinks was consistent across all age groups in the United States. The only notable difference was in tea consumption: middle-aged Canadians (40 to 59 years old) drank less tea, while older Canadians (60 and above) drank more.

Ginger Ales: Schweppes vs Canada Dry

It’s pretty unanimous that Canada Dry tastes better than Schweppes. However Canada Dry is not really made with real ginger, it has even been sued and in the united states it can no longer say “made with real ginger”, what a hit to Canadian pride. But it doesn’t matter because Keurig Dr.Pepper owns them both.

If you are wondering if Americans drink Canada Dry, yes 17% of Americans drink Canada Dry

Crush Flavours: What you can't get in America

Crush is a popular fruity soft drink brand also owned by Keurig Dr.Pepper (they also own Canada Dry). They have developed lots of flavours over the years including speciality flavours for Canada. Weirdly enough only the province of Newfoundland and Labrador get special flavours, having a population of only 530,000 making it one of Canada’s least populated provinces and smaller than Vancouver Islands population. They have a unique Birch Beer flavour of Crush only available in the province, and Pineapple which is now available elsewhere in Canada. 

Why does Newfoundland get its own flavours of Crush pop? Because of Browning Harvey. In Canada soda giant Pepsi distributes and produces many Dr.Pepper Keurig brands in agreement, including Crush. Due to this local production in St.John, there was some room for local adjustments. To this day Crush is still a favourite, with Pineapple Crush being the top-selling pop in Newfoundland. This distinctive preference may be linked to the region’s strong allegiance to Pepsi. A notable factor contributing to this loyalty is an incident from the 1980s involving a union dispute at Coca-Cola’s St. John’s facility. The conflict led to layoffs of the production staff, and eventually, the closure of the plant, making Pepsi the sole distributor of soft drinks in Newfoundland.

Some other oddities Canadians may find strange, even though Crush is a mainstream brand in America they lack one of the all-time flavours – Crush Cream soda. Why? Who knows. Cream soda is always clear in America (sometimes brown) but in most of Canada it’s pink. Lots of unanswered questions, why? maybe local production adjustments or possibly food colouring additives that are not allowed; in Quebec it’s clear. 

Fresca in Canada vs Fresca in America

Fresca can design different in Canada vs USA

Canada has had the same Fresca can for as long as anyone can remember. American Fresca recently had a quiet can redesign in 2018. It was much needed as their old can was from a nostalgic 90’s fever dream.  They also rebranded from “sparkling flavoured soda” to “sparkling soda water.” The new can redesign was introduced in Canada recently, but possibly backtracked, as I have yet to see new cans.

The new American cans look like generic soda water from a marketing perspective. The Canadian can is timeless and identifiable.

American Coke vs Canadian Coke

You went to America and the Coke tasted better than Canadian Coke? 

Canadian Coke used to have more sugar than American Coke (weird right? Maybe they think we put maple syrup on everything).  Coke reduced sugar levels in 2015. However I compared ingredients and nutrition labels from American Coke to Canadian Coke, there is no difference. 

There seems to have been a sweetness difference at one point in time, and that may be the case with other pops as well. But Coke seems to be the same product across the border. Is there a difference? No. Not anymore. 

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