10 Facts About Rivella – A Swiss Soda Made with Milk

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. You’ll find Rivella at cafés, supermarkets, alpine restaurants and more. This beverage appears in the directory of Swiss food products via Patrimoine Culinaire Suisse. Want to know more? Here are 10 facts about Rivella:

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 the Milkin-Institut. One year later, it began the first production of Rivella in 1952.

3. The Rivella factory is located in the Swiss canton of Aargau.

First, Rivella was made in Stäfa, near Zurich. Then, the company moved its factory to Rothrist in 1954, where it remains today.

4. It currently comes in five flavors:

These include the following: Red (Original), Blue (fewer calories), Green Tea, Mango and Rhubarb. My personal favorite is Red. This flavor contains the following ingredients: water, milk serum, sugar, carbonic acid, acidifying agent (L (+) – lactic acid), caramelized sugar and natural flavorings.

5. Since 1977, Rivella has sponsored the Swiss national ski team, Swiss-Ski.

In this year, they celebrated the 40th anniversary of this partnership in St. Moritz. Check out this 1977 commercial featuring Rivella and members of the Swiss ski team (in German).

6. The name “Rivella,” combines two distinct influences.

First, the name Rivella is inspired by the name of a Swiss town in the canton of Ticino, Riva San Vitale. Then, its second influence is the Italian word for revelation, rivelazione.

7. Market trends indicate Rivella is the 2nd most popular soft drink in Switzerland.

Swiss Coca-Cola takes the top spot.

8. Previous launches of Rivella in the US and UK have been unsuccessful.

To learn more, check out the article, “Americans fail to get a taste for Rivella” from Swissinfo.ch (2005). However, in 2017 Rivella reported an increase in revenues from sales outside of Switzerland. At this time, the Netherlands was its largest foreign market.

9. From 1995 to 2008, Rivella produced a beverage for Migros known as “Mivella

It had a slightly different formula than traditional Rivella. Since that time, Migros stores have replaced it with the original Rivella.

10. The Rivella brand is recognized by 95 percent of all Swiss people.

…according to the Rivella Group. In 2016, Rivella released a new design for its products.

What’s your opinion of Rivella? For instance, how often do you drink it? Please leave a comment below. Thanks!

For more information:

Updated: May 9, 2022

22 replies »

      • Hello Gloria,

        I’m glad you enjoyed trying Rivella in Switzerland. I especially like this drink in the summertime, when hiking in the mountains. If I hear of somewhere that sells this product in the US, I will let you know!

        Best wishes,

  1. First thing we look for when we are in Switzerland. If a local hadn’t told us about it, we’d still be stuck with Coke & Pepsi products. How sad. Please introduce more Swiss made stuff. Going back in Oct 2018.

    • Thank you so much for visiting my blog! I will certainly continue posting more Swiss made stuff! 🙂 Hope to give you some more ideas before your trip this fall.

  2. i abcolutely love rivella. i live in the usa and once found it at a swiss barkery. i ordered 24 bottles which cost a small fortune and then drank them in one week. ;-( i am moving to shanghai in january and found a flight through zurich–i am considering spending the extra $200 for the ticket just so i can enjoy some rivella during the layover. yes, this driink is absolutely delicious and i would recommend anyone to seek it out and try it. but beware, if you like fresh taste and herbal flavors you may become a bit obsessed like me.

    • Hi Zoe! I love that you are so passionate about Rivella. We like drinking it in the summertime after/during a long hike in the mountains. I hope you get to have some again soon. Many thanks for your message, and good luck with the move. -Heddi

  3. I live in the USA and discovered Rivella when visiting cousins in the Netherlands. I loved it immediately and am so disappointed that it isn’t sold here because it didn’t do well. Please try again! The current interest in reducing public consumption of sugar-filled soft drinks should make for a more favorable reception.

  4. I have been trying to find Rivella in the states for 20 years. I had it when visiting family in Switzerland loved it.

    • Hi Carole! Thanks for your message. There’s a place in Virginia called “The Swiss Bakery,” that sells Rivella online. I’ve never ordered from this company, nor do I know anyone who has, so I can’t recommend it directly, but it may be worth checking out? Good luck, and best wishes, -Heddi

  5. Rivella is for me synonym of Summer Sports games at school. Each time we had kind of competition Rivella was the sponsor and we had only this to drink. It was horrible because it was always warm and we were more thirsty after this !
    BTW Do you know that in the past, in Switzerland (not sure if it’s always the case) it was mandatory to have a milky drink in each bar (even on fairs)? Rivella was the perfect substitute as it was containing milk and was easier to store rather than fresh milk.

    • Hello Alexandra, I agree. Rivella needs to be cold! 🙂 I hadn’t heard of the law about milky beverages before!? I will need to look into this. Thanks for the info! Best wishes, -Heddi

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.