Nehi are a soda line invented by Claud A. Hatcher, a grocer from Georgia, in 1924. Sold by the Chero-Cola Company, it did so well that they actually changed the company name to Nehi Corporation in 1928 (in 1955 the name was changed to the Royal Crown Company after their famous RC cola). 1932 is the only year in which the brand saw losses, due to the Great Depression, and soda connoisseurs continue to enjoy Nehi to this day.
In 1924 John Williams (of the Chero-Cola company) built giant Nehi bottle near Auburn, Alabama. The wooden structure came in at 64ft tall 49ft wide. It served as a gas station and local meeting point and also housed students in its higher levels. President Franklin Roosevelt visited the site on his way to Auburn in 1936. Sadly, the building burned down that fall, but the site is still listed on Alabama highway maps and in 2015 received a historic marker.
Nehi advertised their new sodas in a variety of ways. During the early 20th century, the Nehi national advertising logo was usually a picture of the half of a skirted lady’s legs , showing stockings going up to the knee and evoking the phrase “knee high”, which is the correct pronunciation of the drink’s name. The lady pictured was sometimes seated in a cross-legged pose and sometimes standing. However, in the Midwest a rather more risqué image was used of a single disembodied leg wearing a stocking but no skirt.
A jingle featuring the line “feelin’ Nehi” was used on television adverts in the 1970s.
Nehi has been involved with some pretty well-known names. Celebrities including Bing Crosby, Joan Crawford, Bob Hope, and Hedy Lamarr. Radio host Robert Ripley advertised the drink on his show “Ripley’s Believe It or Not!”
The provocative Mid-Western logo, discussed above, is mentioned in many of writer and radio personality Jean Shepard’s stories, including “A Christmas Story”. His famous invention, the “Leg Lamp” was inspired by this Nehi logo.
The logo was seen in the movie “Paper Moon” where Ryan O’Neal’s character, Moses Pray, buys Tatum O’Neal’s character, Addie Loggins, a Nehi in a diner.
Grape Nehi has also become somewhat synonymous with the “M*A*S*H” character Radar O’Riley, who always favored the drink whenever the shows character visited Rosie’s Bar. This is referenced repeatedly during the shows 7th season.
In Store Now!
We have Nehi grape, peach, and orange in stock and waiting for you now! Why not come and found your new favorite soda?