北冰洋汽水 (Bĕibīngyáng Qìshuĭ), literally “Arctic Ocean Soda”, was China’s first popular homegrown soda, and it remains beloved to this day, emblazoned with its iconic polar bear and iceberg.
First produced by a Bĕijīng-based ice-making company in 1936, the orange drink became the national fizz, cheaper and more accessible than foreign brands like Coca-Cola and Fanta.
To older Bĕijīngers, Bĕibīngyáng brings back memories of when sugar bubbles were a real luxury treat. To the younger generation, it simply tastes of childhood.
The brand was taken over by Pepsi and discontinued, but since 2011 it’s been back to quench Bĕijīng’s summer thirst. Since the relaunch, more flavors have been added to the orange classic.
The iconic long-neck glass bottle certainly recalls memories, but the brand doesn’t only rely on nostalgia to sell – it also markets itself on its (relatively) low sugar content!
Childhood, bottled. Nashitianxia