Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Soft Drinks for the duration

You go down the store for a bottle of your favourite refreshing fizzy drink, only to find them replaced by cordials or concentrates. This was the position during WW2.

"In order to set free more factory space and more labour for the war effort and to save fuel and petrol, Lord Woolton has reduced by a large percentage the amount and variety of 'soft' drinks that may be manufactured" - Manchester Guardian, Saturday19th December 1942.

The Ministry of Food ordered the closure of many soft drink factories with some being turned over to aircraft production. Those manufacturers that remained produced bottles full of red, yellow, and orange concentrate. The Vimto factory in Manchester produced a deep purple version. The return of empty bottles was also encouraged due to a shortage of glass. The Soft Drinks Industry (War Times) Association Limited (SDI) ran the operation from 1942 through to 1948.  After that the various brands Schwepps, C.W.S., Kia-Ora & etc returned to shelves.

A little research into the wartime National Loaf, officially known as National Wheatmeal Bread, led to discovering National Cheese, and now SDI Drinks. I wonder what else will be stumbled upon in the range of foods restricted in the national interest.

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