What Is Orangina?

Whenever I want to look like a fancy lad, I wear my little beret, go down to the cafe, and, since espresso shots hurt my little tummy, I order an Orangina. Orangina is that tasty orange drink that seems fancier than other drinks but is also oh-so delicious. But what is Orangina drink? What happened to Orangina? Can you buy Orangina in the U.S.? How do you pronounce Orangina? Let’s get to the bottom of the question: What is Orangina?

What is Orangina?

Orangina is a carbonated orange drink and considered a French beverage. Orangina was developed in 1933 by a Spanish chemist in Algiers and brought to France in 1935. It’s been extremely popular in France for decades and is enjoyed all over Europe, North Africa, and, to a lesser extent, North America. Orangina combines carbonated water with several citrus juices: orange, lemon, mandarin, and grapefruit. 

How to pronounce Orangina correctly?

Orangina is one of those drinks that people love, but they might be afraid to order because they don’t want to pronounce it wrong. Sure, it might sound a little dirty if you’re a pervert, but that’s on you. So, how do you pronounce Orangina? Oran-JEEna. There, now you can order it in peace, ya perv.

Can you buy Orangina in the U.S.?

While Orangina has been consistently popular in Europe, it has a bit more complicated history in North America. Orangina was never outright banned in North American markets but there were times where it was pretty limited. So, what happened to Orangina? It simply got caught up in a complicated line of distributor changes. 

Orangina debuted in the U.S. market in 1978 under the name Orelia. In 1985, the North American name was changed from Orelia to Orangina. In the ‘80s, the drink was produced by Motts, a company known for its apple juice, but that company was folded into Cadbury Schweppes. Eventually, the brand went under the Dr Pepper Snapple Group label. All this time, North American production bounced between the U.S. and Canada. In 2000, Cadbury Schweppes wanted to concentrate on its chocolate and sell off its soda division. This is when Orangina began disappearing in the U.S. Coca-Cola attempted to purchase Orangina but was blocked on anti competitive grounds.

Like many juices and soft drinks in the U.S., American Orangina was flavored with high-fructose corn syrup. The European version had no high-fructose corn syrup and sometimes sported labels saying not to be sold in the U.S. market. Despite altering the recipe to try and cater to U.S. tastes, Orangina just never caught on in the U.S. the way it did in Europe. 

Orangina was most recently acquired by Suntory and licensed its North American distribution to Ventures Foods and Beverage. Despite this, it can still be a pretty big hassle to find Orangina in the U.S. and nearly impossible when supply chain issues are taken into consideration. So, if you’re in the United States and you see an Orangina in the wild, pounce on that purchase and stock up. Because you never know how long it will be until you see another one.

About the Author

Will Morgan

Will Morgan, a freelance contributor to Sporked, is an L.A. based writer, actor, and sketch comedy guy. Originally from Houston, TX, he strongly believes in the superiority of breakfast tacos to breakfast burritos. Will traveled the world as one of those people that did yoyo shows at elementary school assemblies, always making a point to find local and regional foods to explore in whatever place he was, even in rinky-dink towns like Tilsonberg, ON. Will spends his birthdays at Benihana’s. Let him know if can make it.

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