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Five Alive

This post is part of Show & Tell, a retro blogging event hosted by Retro Ramblings.

This week’s topic is forgotten snacks.


When I think back on my childhood, some of my fondest memories were spent with my grandmothers. I was lucky to have two wonderful women in my life who were almost complete opposites, with exception of their love of cooking. So, when I think back to my favorite moments, it usually has something to do with food. Maybe it’s a special meal or a certain snack that just one of them bought, like Five Alive a drink my Nanny always seemed to have in the fridge.

Before we get too far along, let me clear the air with Five Alive. It is indeed still in production by Coke/Minute Maid. Sadly, it’s no longer available here in the United States.

Five Alive is a citrus juice blend that consists of orange, lemon, grapefruit, tangerine, and lime. There are several other varieties produced, but I only remember the original citrus flavor being available.

First introduced in the late 70’s, Five Alive gained popularity in the 80’s and was sold in traditional juice cartons as well as cans. However, it was discontinued in the United States sometime in the late 90s, for reasons I’ve been unable to figure out. In 2012, Walmart brought back frozen concentrate cans of Five Alive for a short period of time, but other than that Five Alive has been missing from American grocery stores for quite some time.

Five Alive was not something we ever bought in our home since my dad wasn’t much of a juice drinker, so it was always a treat to have some when visiting my grandmother. I’m not much of a juice drinker either, but there is something about the light, crisp mixture that Five Alive consists of that really does it for me. It’s got just a bit of a bite, and isn’t overly thick. I’ve never been a fan of the way orange juice sometimes coats your throat and I’m definitely not a fan of Sunny D’s aftertaste, but Five Alive hit all the right notes and consistency for me.

Five Alive became a distant memory sometime around middle school and then maybe five years ago I noticed some orange juice concentrate in the freezer section of the grocery store. I’d forgotten all about mixing up that frozen block of juice and just thinking about that reminded me of how much I used to love Five Alive. I decided to see if they still made it and was disappointed to find out it wasn’t available in the States anymore. I was able to find some folk selling cartons from Canada on Amazon with a massive markup, but I added it to my Amazon Wishlist thinking one day I’d pull the trigger and pay $20 for a liter of juice.

Then fate intervened, my buddy Michael had a trip to Canada last year and a few days later, I received a massive box FILLED with Five Alive. I don’t typically drink beverages with calories, but I demolished the Five Alive he sent. I was shocked by how my memories of the taste were spot on and how delicious it still was. It truly is the perfect juice for me.

Five Alive is one of those forgotten snacks and that doesn’t get much attention online. I don’t think it had quite the impact on others as it did on me, but I’m thankful to have a spot where I could share a few words on this delicious treat my neighboring Canadians still get a chance to enjoy!


Be sure to check out the other Show and Tell bloggers this week:

Pikapal chats about one of my favorite snacks, fruit snacks! Specifically Darkwing Duck fruit snacks

Jeff talks Turtle PIzza!

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