TRIVIAL PURSUITS: What Was the First ‘Diet’ Drink Introduced in the U.S.?

What was the first “diet” drink introduced in the U.S.?

The Kirsch Bottling Company of Brooklyn was the first to produce a sugar-free ginger ale in 1952.  Brothers Hyman and Morris Kirsch invented the drink and called it No-Cal.  It was initially created for diabetic patients at the Jewish Sanitarium for Chronic Disease and only sold locally. 


The next company to market diet soda was Royal Crown Cola, who created Diet Rite in 1958.  Next Dr. Pepper released a diet version of their beverage in 1962, and then the Coca-Cola Company joined the market in 1963 with Tab.


Added trivia: Coca-Cola named its first diet soda Tab because it was marketed to consumers who wanted to “keep tabs” on their weight.