HOME > Chowhound > General Topics >
What's your latest food quest? Get great advice
TELL US

RC, Shasta, "generic cola's"

s
someyoungguyy Mar 20, 2008 03:51 PM

Most of these "generic" soda's are given/sold to hospitals.....although I remember my first real job at a local amusement park which sold only RC cola products.

And I used to live in the town which produced/distributed Shasta Cola, Hayward, CA.:)

Anyone else like the old fashioned generic cola's??? your reviews??? Thx.

  1. p
    pizza 36 Mar 21, 2008 03:22 PM

    I really like both RC Cola and Shasta. They can only be found sparingly in the Hartford, Ct area.

    1 Reply
    1. re: pizza 36
      r
      Rodi May 21, 2010 10:33 AM

      Hi Pizza36,

      You can find RC cola at Big Y markets (they are distributed by Polar out of Worcester) and I saw Shasta at Dollar Tree in East Hartford.

    2. k
      Kam7185 Mar 21, 2008 06:56 PM

      About 12 years ago, my Mom took us to the grand re-opening of th Jewel grocery store in a suburb of Chicago. They enhanced the store greatly and hosted quite a swarye. They gave away tons of samples and if you spent X then you were given certain free items. I remeber among the items we recieved was a case of President's Choice cola. It was so delicious and such a treat from the TAB we were allowed to drink!

      1. x
        xnumberoneson Mar 21, 2008 07:58 PM

        It's been a long time since I drank RC Cola, but I do remember that it was the official cola of the New York Mets and was served exclusively at Shea Stadium for several years. I also remember C&C Cola, which my grandfather used to drink. I was not a fan. These days I am strictly a Coke drinker when it comes to cola.

        2 Replies
        1. re: xnumberoneson
          p
          Panini Guy Mar 23, 2008 06:09 PM

          That's a while back. Do you still remember the words to the Rheingold song?

          Man, I'd forgotten all about C&C Cola. Mom used to get that ALL the time because it was so cheap. But, it was still better than the generic cola from First National and A&P. That stuff tasted like they left the nut shells in. I also recall our uncle had Hoffman sodas delivered to his house and we loved every variety except the cola.

          1. re: Panini Guy
            fromagina Mar 27, 2008 08:42 AM

            "My beer is Rheingold, the dry beer
            Think of Rheingold whenever you buy beer
            It's not bitter, not sweet
            Extra dry-flavored treat
            That is why I drink dry Rheingold beer"
            (or something like that)

            Just looked it up.. I was a bit off..:

            "My beer is Rheingold the dry beer.
            Think of Rheingold whenever you buy beer.
            It's not bitter, not sweet,
            it's the extra dry treat --
            Won't you try extra dry Rheingold beer?"

        2. bbqboy Mar 21, 2008 08:08 PM

          Shasta is widely available in the West. Are you sure you don't really mean Regional sodas not known outside their area?

          1. a
            aelph Mar 21, 2008 08:11 PM

            Yeah...in the Midwest RC(didn't realize it's a generic) is pretty ubiquitous. Don't know about the hospital distribution.

            6 Replies
            1. re: aelph
              a
              aelph Mar 23, 2008 02:46 PM

              yeah...I was being facetious about RC considered as a generic

              1. re: aelph
                ccbweb Mar 23, 2008 03:31 PM

                I caught that!

                1. re: ccbweb
                  a
                  aelph Mar 23, 2008 03:58 PM

                  :)

                  ...see...I like RC...it has it's place in the cola pantheon. I wish Shasta were available near me.

                  1. re: aelph
                    ccbweb Mar 23, 2008 04:07 PM

                    The thing I find hilarious about this thread on a personal level is that I'm actually in the hospital right now. And they do, indeed, have Shasta. So I'm getting my fill of many flavors.

                    (It's just not accurate that "most" of it is "given/sold" to hospitals.)

                    1. re: ccbweb
                      a
                      aelph Mar 23, 2008 04:34 PM

                      very strange, I must admit...too bad the o.p. is awol

              2. re: aelph
                j
                jlawrence01 Mar 29, 2008 03:23 AM

                Shasta is favored by some hospitals because they package their product in 8 oz cans which fits on the hospital trays a lot better.

                You will find RC/7up products in hospitals as in some hospitals, the dietary department is required to seek competitive bids on all food items. Whatever beverage company is the cheapest gets the contract.

              3. ccbweb Mar 21, 2008 09:25 PM

                I'm a big fan of Shasta. Haven't had much RC.

                They're not "generic" soda...they're just other brands. Shasta has been around since before 1900 and has had a soda flavor since like 1930. RC has been around since just after 1900 with their first cola. Not sure why you think that "most" of these are given/sold to hospitals; they're readily available in stores all over the country.

                18 Replies
                1. re: ccbweb
                  k
                  Kam7185 Mar 22, 2008 03:52 PM

                  That's what confused me about the OP. "generic" refers to private label or house brand items, which is why I mentioned the President's choice cola. RC cola, which is Royal Crown, and Shasta are not generic. They are simply more afforable and aim at a different market.

                  1. re: Kam7185
                    ccbweb Mar 22, 2008 08:01 PM

                    Is President's Choice the one in Safeway? Or is it the one in Harris Teeter in the states? I'm a big fan of the "generic" Safeway grapefruit soda, personally.

                    1. re: ccbweb
                      Emme Mar 23, 2008 06:22 PM

                      funny, i LOVE the Diet Shasta Grapefruit, and i can't stand the Safeway brand Grapefruit... the taste is just off and not up to par w/ the Shasta (which is avail at the 99 cent store)

                      1. re: Emme
                        ccbweb Mar 23, 2008 08:15 PM

                        I didn't even know Shasta made grapefruit!

                        1. re: ccbweb
                          Emme Mar 23, 2008 08:48 PM

                          diet and stellar! when i was a wee tot, my grandmother used to make an ice cream soda w/ vanilla ice cream and diet shasta grapefruit. yummy memory.

                          1. re: Emme
                            s
                            Sean Mar 24, 2008 07:10 AM

                            Job Lot in my area used to carry RC all the time, now we only see Polar as "the other brand" of cola in the RI area...

                        2. re: Emme
                          Catskillgirl Mar 26, 2008 11:16 AM

                          I grew up drinking a grapefruit soda named "Squirt". Wonderful stuff. It's not available in NYC (or wasn't in 2001 when I moved out). I still miss it and buy cases when I visit the Buffalo area.

                          1. re: Catskillgirl
                            bbqboy Mar 26, 2008 12:21 PM

                            We get Mexican Squirt here in Southern Oregon. Regular old american style too. +Ruby Red grapefruit Squirt is even better.

                            1. re: Catskillgirl
                              marmite Mar 26, 2008 12:24 PM

                              We have Squirt in Westchester, I see it all the time. Good stuff!

                              1. re: Catskillgirl
                                ccbweb Mar 26, 2008 04:45 PM

                                I remember when I was a kid they had "Teem" on the fountain at the snack bar at the pool we swam at during the summers. I've seen a sign for "Teem" in front of a now closed old restaurant on Rt. 64 toward Skyline Dr. in Virginia, but I've never actually seen a bottle of "Teem."

                                1. re: ccbweb
                                  alkapal Mar 28, 2008 01:42 PM

                                  i remember teem. it was a dark green bottle, iirc. wasn't that a pepsico product?

                                2. re: Catskillgirl
                                  l
                                  libgirl2 Mar 28, 2008 01:23 PM

                                  I buy Squirt all the time in the Chicago area.

                                  1. re: libgirl2
                                    alkapal Mar 28, 2008 01:41 PM

                                    my mom just got out of the hospital, in cape coral florida, and LOVED the squirt! lemonade-type drink, right?

                                    1. re: alkapal
                                      bbqboy Mar 28, 2008 01:47 PM

                                      grapefruit :)

                                      1. re: bbqboy
                                        alkapal Mar 28, 2008 02:03 PM

                                        ok. makes sense. it is tart. i'll look for some for my mom. she is 86, and the nurses say a lot of older folks lose their taste for all but very sweet or sour -- or rather, very strong flavors.

                                        1. re: alkapal
                                          Catskillgirl Mar 31, 2008 10:42 AM

                                          When I was in high school and experimenting with alcohol (at 17 it was so sophisticated, don't you know) my friends and I consumed a ton of Squirt with sloe gin. Now the thought is nauseating - then it was cool. *G* Then again, those were the days of tequila sunrises.

                                          1. re: Catskillgirl
                                            alkapal Apr 1, 2008 11:52 AM

                                            oh yeah. tequila sunrises! and sloe gin.....whew! remember sloe gin fizz?

                              2. re: ccbweb
                                mamachef Dec 16, 2010 08:48 AM

                                I used to love that stuff, and drank it by the case, but then Ruby Red grapefruit soda came out and i've never looked back. Back to the OP though; I'm completely brand-loyal to Pepsi (I said, Pepsi! Not coke!) but if the difference is more than a buck when Pepsi's not on sale, though it frequently is here, I head straight for a low-cost brand called Stars and Stripes, and it'll do!

                          2. marmite Mar 24, 2008 01:54 PM

                            I used to drink RC at my friend's house growing up and really loved it (though that might also have had something to do with not being allowed soda at home). I still really like it! And I believe Diet Rite is their diet version, which is my super-favorite diet cola.

                            3 Replies
                            1. re: marmite
                              a
                              aelph Mar 24, 2008 02:03 PM

                              Diet Rite's surprisingly good. I especially like their orange.

                              1. re: aelph
                                Catskillgirl Mar 26, 2008 11:18 AM

                                Faygo makes a really good orange soda too.

                                1. re: aelph
                                  alkapal Mar 27, 2008 06:13 AM

                                  i've only had the diet rite cola, but it was probably the best diet cola at the time (this was long after diet coke was introduced, even with the lime, etc.). (tho' i am liking coke zero -- just wish it were fizzier).

                                  does pepsi still make diet pepsi with lemon? i liked that!

                              2. kimeats Mar 25, 2008 08:13 AM

                                i love RC you can still get it in stores here (western NY ) and also at various restaurants. I find that alot of BBQ restaurants serve RC.
                                However, when I was younger we always teased the kids that brought Shasta. Presumably because their parents couldn't afford Coke/Pepsi. Horrible I know.

                                1. WCchopper Mar 25, 2008 09:21 PM

                                  If we're talking regional and not generic (RC not being generic) how about Cheerwine and Sundrop!

                                  2 Replies
                                  1. re: WCchopper
                                    marmite Mar 26, 2008 10:24 AM

                                    I LOVE Cheerwine, though it's technically not generic or cola. :)

                                    1. re: marmite
                                      WCchopper Mar 26, 2008 10:58 PM

                                      Cheerwine float with Breyer's natural vanilla........

                                  2. s
                                    swsidejim Mar 26, 2008 11:22 AM

                                    I'm a Coke / Pepsi guy(3 cans a day), but I will enjoy an RC at a Mexican restaurant if they do not offer Cokein a bottle.

                                    I do not like the other "2nd tier"/generic colas at all.

                                    1. PommeDeGuerre Mar 26, 2008 11:24 AM

                                      The house brand of soda sold at Whole Foods is made with sugar instead of corn syrup. Delicious.

                                      1. c
                                        charlesbois Mar 26, 2008 11:29 AM

                                        The further north you go in Michigan, the more apt you'll be to find RC Cola, especially in vending machines at highway rest stops. I love RC, remember it from childhood, and it makes a nice alternative to being "Coked out". And I'd take RC over Pepsi any day.

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. re: charlesbois
                                          collieb Mar 28, 2008 11:02 AM

                                          Or just get a 2 liter at Meijer. I have a friend who drinks only RC or Faygo, and I have to agree, RC has this nice fruity taste.

                                        2. monkeyrotica Mar 27, 2008 07:43 AM

                                          When I buy cola, it's RC or nothing. Tastes more cola-like than Coke or Pepsi, which to me just taste like sugar water. But I like Moxie, so there it is.

                                          1. c
                                            CDouglas Mar 27, 2008 11:16 AM

                                            During hospital stays, I always liked White Rock ginger ale in the 8oz. cans.

                                            1. a
                                              adventuresinbaking Mar 28, 2008 11:26 AM

                                              Has anyone else had the "Adirondack" brand? It was our alternative soda in Updstate NY and came in great flavors like black cherry and vanilla creme.

                                              1 Reply
                                              1. re: adventuresinbaking
                                                s
                                                Sean Mar 28, 2008 11:52 AM

                                                Yes, when I was on a budget in college I used to buy Adirondack Cola by the case from Stop and Shop in RI. I don't recall the quality of it since it has been so many years. Our Stop and Shop markets still carry a variety of Adirondack flavors...

                                              2. o
                                                Oh Robin Mar 28, 2008 03:44 PM

                                                RC is so good. Used to love those blue cans as a kid.

                                                Wish Ralphs (Kroger) still made "private selection" (ps) cola. Had the sweetness of Pepsi and the bite of Coke. Good stuff.

                                                2 Replies
                                                1. re: Oh Robin
                                                  j
                                                  jumpingmonk Mar 28, 2008 05:45 PM

                                                  Since this thread has touched on other generic sodas (rather than just cola) I would like to broach the subject of Mountain Blank soda's (Just what is the taste classification for Mountain Dew type sodas, poly-citrus? (as opposed to lemon-lime) In the case of these I actually prefer ANYTHING to Mountain Dew which i do not like at all (I think it has a bitter, grapefuit aftertaste) I like Mello Yello, but don't live in one of the regions where it is sold by Coke (does anyone know why Coke doesnt sell Mello Yello nationwide. You'd think they want their Mountain Dew analouge availble wherever Dew is sold to compete but I digress) My current generic "Mountain Blank" of choice is Mountain Charge, the the generic put out by Shoprite. I also used to enjoy Stop and Shop's Mountain Frost but I think the stopped making it when they struck a deal with Faygo whose version I find too watery (ditto problem with Frosh) Mountain Ramp (Top's Food brand) was alright too. Beyond this I'm drawing a blank (a lot of supermarkets don't have a Dew version in thier generic line)

                                                  1. re: jumpingmonk
                                                    alkapal Mar 28, 2008 05:50 PM

                                                    does mountain dew hurt anyone else's stomach, or is it just me?

                                                2. h
                                                  hveagle Mar 28, 2008 10:35 PM

                                                  To me, RC always had a kind of "one-note" taste -- I'd drink it in a pinch, but: 1) Coke 2) Pepsi.

                                                  I like Shasta's fruit flavored sodas.

                                                  2 Replies
                                                  1. re: hveagle
                                                    monkeyrotica Mar 29, 2008 05:36 PM

                                                    Interesting. What "notes" do Coke or Pepsi play? Because to me, they're indistinguishably corn syrupy.

                                                    1. re: monkeyrotica
                                                      mamachef Dec 16, 2010 08:51 AM

                                                      i get cinnamon, vanilla, and maybe even a little nutmeg in Coke and Pepsi.

                                                  2. e
                                                    embee Mar 31, 2008 06:49 AM

                                                    RC is a "branded" product, but much of the generic cola sold in North America is actually RC Cola. Cott Corp makes most of the generic colas on the market and has the rights to use the RC formula. President's Choice cola (the original version) is actually RC cola. The formulas Cott bottles may vary from store to store, but I suspect that the RC version is very common among the generic cola brands.

                                                    1 Reply
                                                    1. re: embee
                                                      monkeyrotica Mar 31, 2008 08:33 AM

                                                      That's interesting. I've tried many house brands of generic colas, but I have yet to encounter any that taste like RC. To me, they all tend to taste like weak Pepsi.

                                                    2. toodie jane Apr 3, 2008 07:39 PM

                                                      It Hasta be Shasta!

                                                      1 Reply
                                                      1. re: toodie jane
                                                        s
                                                        Sean Apr 4, 2008 05:16 AM

                                                        It's got to be Cott to be good...

                                                      2. MsDiPesto May 23, 2010 07:48 PM

                                                        Anyone else remember "Zeeh's"? It was in the Hudson Valley in the 60s.

                                                        1. Bob W May 24, 2010 09:07 AM

                                                          Back in the 1970s, RC was well-known enough to be included in a cola taste test that Archie gave Meathead on All in the Family. Mike had no trouble identifying Coke, Pepsi, and Royal Crown.

                                                          Was that the geezer alarm I just heard going off?

                                                          1. m
                                                            ManicRaider May 30, 2010 01:54 PM

                                                            Hi guys, if any of you still visit this article or if you're just finding it, I know what the OP is saying. Before I read the comments I too thought that RC and Shasta were generic. I haven't seen RC in stores or vending machines since I was a young tyke and Shasta is only found in a few places around here (mainly in Dollar Tree). So just forgive him for his mistake. I think it's because we're on the East coast. As for the question, I'm drinking a Shasta right now, lol.

                                                            1. p
                                                              pammyfay Dec 16, 2010 08:20 AM

                                                              Reviving this (again):

                                                              To the RC drinkers (current or past)--do you think the formula has changed over the years? I bought a bottle a little while ago and thought it tasted bland, not the "bright" taste I recall from, say, the mid- to late '80s -- when I was just out of college and recall walking to a convenience store near my first apartment and buying a bottle or can of RC -- or even when my dad used to get it when I was a bit younger. Maybe it's the difference between a pure cane sugar base and high-fructose corn syrup? Or maybe my tastebuds have just dulled now that I'm older...

                                                              (I recall Cott soda--I grew up in West Hartford; we also had soda delivered from Pequot, glass bottles in a wood crate, and seltzer--in the real "trigger" seltzer bottles--from a company in New Britain.)

                                                              1 Reply
                                                              1. re: pammyfay
                                                                monkeyrotica Dec 16, 2010 03:59 PM

                                                                I agree the taste of RC is not as bright as it once was. I recall it having a stronger cola flavor than either Coke or Pepsi. Not quite as "medicinal" as Dr Pepper or the root beers, but RC's cola flavor was distinct, whereas Coke/Pepsi have a dull, syrup flavor.

                                                              Show Hidden Posts