Have you ever tried Rivella, an iconic Swiss soft drink? If you live in Switzerland or have visited this country, you have undoubtedly come across it — at cafés, supermarkets and alpine restaurants. Here are 10 facts about Rivella, which appears in the directory of Swiss food products from Patrimoine Culinaire Suisse:
1. Milk serum makes up about 25-35 percent of the ingredients in Rivella, depending on the flavor. Milk serum, or whey, is a by-product of the cheesemaking process. With over 450 varieties of cheese in Switzerland, Rivella makes good use of a leftover ingredient. It also contains a secret mixture of fruit and herbal extracts.
2. Rivella started in the 1950s: Robert Barth founded a company called Milkin-Institut, and it began the first production of Rivella one year later in 1952.
3. The Rivella factory is located in the Swiss canton of Aargau: Rivella was first made in Stäfa, near Zurich, but the company moved its factory to Rothrist in 1954, where it remains today.
4. It currently comes in five flavors: Red (Original), Blue (fewer calories), Green Tea, Mango and Rhubarb. My personal favorite is Red, which contains the following: water, milk serum, sugar, carbonic acid, acidifying agent (L (+) – lactic acid), caramelized sugar, natural flavorings.
5. Since 1977, Rivella has sponsored the Swiss national ski team, Swiss-Ski. This year, they celebrated the 40th anniversary of this partnership in St. Moritz. Here’s a commercial from the mid-1980s featuring Rivella and members of the Swiss ski team (in French).
6. The name “Rivella,” is a combination of two influences: the name of a Swiss town in the canton of Ticino, Riva San Vitale, and the Italian word for revelation, rivelazione.
7. Market trends indicate Rivella is the 2nd most popular soft drink in Switzerland, with Coca-Cola taking the top spot.
8. Previous launches of Rivella in the US and UK have been unsuccessful. For more information, see “Americans fail to get a taste for Rivella” from Swissinfo.ch (October 2005). However, in January 2017, Rivella reported an increase in revenues from sales outside of Switzerland, with Netherlands as its largest foreign market.
9. From 1995 to 2008, Rivella produced a beverage for Migros known as “Mivella“ with a slightly different formula. Since that time, Migros stores have replaced it with Rivella.
What’s your opinion of Rivella? How often do you drink it? Please share your thoughts on this very Swiss beverage by leaving a comment below. Thanks!