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Jolt Cola is a carbonated soft drink produced by The Jolt Company, Inc. (later known as Wet Planet Beverages). The cola drink was created in 1985 by C. J. Rapp as a highly caffeinated beverage. It was targeted towards students and young professionals, stressing its use as a stimulant in a similar manner as energy drinks. Its slogan reads "All the sugar, twice the caffeine!"
Jolt Cola is a beverage originally made by The Jolt Company, Inc., of Rochester, New York. From the outset, Jolt's marketing strategy centered on the caffeine content, billing the drink as a means to promote wakefulness. The initial slogan was "All the sugar and twice the caffeine;" this slogan survived for 24 years. This slogan was changed to "Twice the Caffeine."
In the fall of 1987, the company began marketing a low calorie version, called Jolt 25, which was sweetened with a mixture of sugar and NutraSweet (a brand of aspartame), and had 25 calories per 12 US fl oz (350 ml) can. Jolt Cola later diversified into additional flavors named Cherry Bomb, Citrus Climax, Orange Blast, White Lightning (grape), Red Eye, and Electric Blue.
In 2003, the name was licensed to a Hackensack, New Jersey, company named Gumrunners, Inc., which manufactures a line of caffeinated gum and mints bearing the Jolt label and the slogan "Chew More, Do More." The gum comes in two flavors: Spearmint and Icy Mint.
In 2006, Jolt Cola revamped its product line to Jolt Energy and changed its logo and packaging called "Jolt battery bottles" (that resemble the shape of a AA battery) which make a loud popping sound when opened. The cans are 23.5 US fl oz (695 ml) resealable aluminum bottles; the body of the bottle was similar to that of a standard aluminum can, but the top had a twist-off aluminum cap with a plastic gasket liner, and in smaller "Quick Fix" cans (8.5 US fl oz (250 ml) single-use pull-tab aluminum cans, similar to those used for Red Bull) and "battery" cans (16 US fl oz (473 ml) resealable aluminum cans with the same twist-off top as the battery bottles). The Jolt Cola website claimed that the "Quick Fix" sizes were available at establishments that serve "adult beverages," for use as a mixer. The flavors of Jolt offered were also changed. Flavors offered were Cola, Blue Raspberry, Cherry Bomb (cherry cola), Silver (lemon-lime), Wild Grape, Orange Blast, Passionfruit (featuring a yellow can) and Ultra (a diet drink with Splenda as its artificial sweetener alongside guarana, ginseng, taurine, and vitamin B complex).
In 2008, the founder of The Jolt Company, C.J. Rapp sold controlling interest in the company to Emigrant Capital. In early 2009 the new owners removed C.J. Rapp as CEO of The Jolt Company. Later in 2009 the new owners filed for bankruptcy. C.J. Rapp and other shareholders had the bankruptcy fillings overturned and dismissed from the courts. C.J. Rapp and another shareholder sued Emigrant Capital for breach of Fiduciary responsibility. After 8 years of litigation C.J. Rapp and Emigrant reached settlement terms that are undisclosed.
In August 2017, Geek.com confirmed that Jolt Cola would return at Dollar General stores in September 2017. This version of Jolt Cola was produced for ECC Jolt, LLC, a New York City-based company. Jolt Cola ceased updating their social media outlets in March 2019; shortly thereafter, Dollar General stopped selling the product.
Since 2006, Jolt Cola and related flavors have been rebranded as Jolt Energy. Jolt Energy Drink comes in multiple flavors: Power Cola, Orange Burst, Wild Grape, Blue Bolt (blue raspberry), Blue Zero Carb, Cherry Bomb, Ultra and Silver. The company now also manufactures and markets a line of caffeinated chewing gums in various flavors, they are marketed under the brand-name Jolt Energy Gum.
Jolt Cola is also manufactured under license in Australia, Sweden and formerly (and briefly) in the United Kingdom and the Philippines. The German and Swedish supplier uses the old logos, branding and formulation, and only sells the original flavor. Jolt Cola is also available in the Netherlands and Finland. However, Jolt Cola Netherlands is a subsidiary of Jolt Cola Germany.
In Sweden and the Netherlands, Jolt Cola is heavily associated with LAN parties. Desperate fans of the drink paid 37.50 kr (over US$4.00) per can when it was thought that Jolt would be discontinued in 2010.
In Australia, ("bottled under the authority of the Jolt Company Inc. by Jolt Corporation Australia Pty Ltd, 1 Barrpowell Rd Welland" South Australia) Jolt is sold in the traditional cola flavor, as well as lime, root beer, cream soda, and orange flavors. It generally comes in 615 ml (20.8 US fl oz) bottles, with 190 mg of caffeine. In 2006 bottle capacities were reduced to 600 ml (20 US fl oz) (in some cases, without vendors being aware of the change). With a caffeine concentration of 47 mg per 100 ml, these bottles contain 282 mg.
In the Philippines, Cosmos Bottling Corporation, makers of Sarsi and Pop Cola, entered into a licensing agreement in 1995 to manufacture and distribute Jolt Cola. The license was terminated in 2001 after Cosmos was acquired by Coca-Cola Bottlers Philippines, Inc.
In the mid-1990s, it also made headway into Pakistan, but could not survive the competition. Jolt was redistributed after the formula was modified by RC Cola distributor Eduardo Sanchez and Victoria Lambert.
Legacy and influence
The Jolt Awards are annual awards given since 1991 by Dr. Dobb's Journal. The awards logo is modeled on the old Jolt Cola logo and have served Jolt Cola at the event. Jolt Cola is also featured in the 1995 motion picture Hackers directed by Iain Softley. Two hosts of a pirate television broadcast claim to be sponsored by the beverage and advertise Jolt Cola as "the soft drink of the elite hacker."
- "Karma Culture CEO CJ Rapp Bio" (PDF). DrinkKarma.com (Press release). Archived from the original (PDF) on July 22, 2012.
- "Jolt Cola Looks to Recharge".
- Prial, Dunstan (March 26, 2006). "Making a Mint: Pair quit jobs to create caffeinated gum". Eau Claire Leader-Telegram. p. 32. Retrieved December 28, 2020 – via Newspapers.com.
- "Jolt Cola maker files for bankruptcy protection". September 29, 2009. Retrieved October 13, 2009.
- "JOLT Cola is Coming Back, With O.G. Cans". Geek.com. August 30, 2017. Retrieved August 30, 2017.
- "Top 12 Discontinued Sodas and Soft Drinks from the 1980s, 1990s, and early 2000s". verbicidemagazine.com. March 13, 2013. Retrieved February 24, 2017.
- "Jolt Energy Drink website". JoltEnergy.com. Archived from the original on May 9, 2007. Retrieved June 10, 2011.
- "Jolt Energy Gum and Energy Mints, stay alert and have fun". www.joltgum.com. Retrieved October 29, 2017.
- "Sista flaken Jolt Cola såldes på Dreamhack" [The last cases of Jolt Cola were sold at DreamHack]. SWEClockers.com. June 24, 2010. Retrieved July 6, 2011.
- "Caffeine in Jolt Cola energy drink". CaffeineInformer.com.
- "Coffee Met Cola in Japan". ColaWP.com. June 2001. Retrieved May 19, 2008.
- "Cosmos Homepage (RFM) - Archived". February 2001. Archived from the original on February 10, 2001. Retrieved December 4, 2015.
- Hildebr, J. D.; June 02; 2010. "Jolt Awards: A Short History". Dr. Dobb's. Retrieved February 1, 2019.CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
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