Ruth Millard invented the idea for Emerson Drug Company, manufacturer of Bromo-Seltzer, by adding a fruit flavor that children liked. Once perfected, Emerson named the creation Fizzies. The tablet was dropped into a glass of water, then fizzed and dissolved, creating a sweet, effervescent drink. Fizzies were first introduced by Emerson on a regional basis in July 1957. In 1962, the Emerson Drug Company was acquired by Warner–Lambert, which sold the product nationally that same year. In the 1950s and 1960s Fizzies came in seven flavors: grape, orange, cherry, lemon-lime, strawberry, root beer, and cola. Fizzies’ sales grew both nationally and internationally until 1968, achieving more than double the sales volume of Kool-Aid.[full citation needed]
The successful beverage became a cultural icon of its time. In the motion picture National Lampoon’s Animal House, set in 1962, Dean Wormer reads a list of pranks committed by members of the Delta House fraternity, which included dumping an entire truckload of Fizzies into a swimming pool during a varsity meet.
The product’s ingredients changed over time and as various artificial sweeteners were banned by the FDA. At various times it was sweetened with cyclamates andsaccharin. At one point the directions instructed children to add sugar and ice. In the early seventies, the manufacturer finally concluded that it would not be able to make a version that was both legal and sufficiently palatable to be profitable, and so discontinued the product.
After the introduction of NutraSweet, the brand was resurrected by Premiere Innovations, Inc. in the mid-1990s but its availability was short-lived and the company disappeared. Premiere Innovations, Inc. marketed Fizzies as “Instant Sparkling Drink Tablets” that were “also great in milk”, “only 10 calories” and “Vitamin C enriched”.
The Fizzies brand reappeared in the 2000s. Currently owned and manufactured by Amerilab Technologies in Plymouth, Minnesota, Fizzies Drink Tablets are available in candy stores and through online retailers. As of 2012, Fizzies are available in nine flavors: lemonade, root beer, cherry, orange, blue razz, hot cocoa, hot apple cider, cherry cola, and grape. They are marketed as a nostalgic drink to the baby boomer generation and as a fun way for kids to make their own flavorful drinks. In this present incarnation, the product has 5 calories, is sweetened with sucralose, and contains Vitamin C in the form of ascorbic acid.