Fred Flintstone's favorite drink inspired a real-life soda pop

Cactus Cooler showed up in the late-'60s, after Barney and Fred guzzled down Cactus Coola.

A kid could survive on Flintstones-branded foods alone. A bowl of Fruity Pebbles and a few Flintstones Vitamins have plenty of nutrients. Okay, that might not be the healthiest diet. Especially if you threw in some Flintstones Push Up Pops. Plus, what would you have to drink?

Well, it might be a subtle nod — and in no way officially licensed — but a regional soft drink does exist for the Flintstones fanatic.

First, let's rewind to the fifth episode of the cartoon, "The Split Personality." Barney heads over to his neighbors and raids the Flintstone fridge. He pulls out a stone bottle.

"Mmm! A tall, frosty Cactus Coola," Barney proclaims. Cut to an insert shot of his hand holding the drink.

Cactus Coola popped up throughout the series as Fred's favorite beverage. In the late 1960s, around the time that Flintstones vitamins were taking off, Canada Dry launched a new soft drink called Cactus Cooler. The orange-pineapple soda came in a somewhat psychedelic desert can with green cacti against a backdrop of yellow and orange waves. 

Yeah, it resembled the environments around Bedrock a bit, no?

But the packaging also served the market. Cactus Cooler was — and remains — a regional product of the Southwest, especially California and Arizona. You can still buy it today from Target.

The Dr. Pepper Snapple Group manufactures the modern product. The vintage Canada Dry cans seen up top disappeared long ago. 

It may not have Betty and Wilma on the can, but those who love '60s television can pick up a six-pack and show off their deep knowledge of TV trivia.

Watch The Flintstones on MeTV!

Weeknights at 6 PM
Sundays at 10 AM & 10PM

*available in most MeTV markets
Are you sure you want to delete this comment?
Close

25 Comments

Post a comment
Moverfan 5 months ago
Okay...I tap on a link for a Batman quiz and get a story about Fred Flintstone and Cactus Cooler. Then they say Canada Dry made the stuff. I can't prove they didn't, but I remember Hi-C making Cactus Cooler in the late 60s/early 70s. I may have the exact name wrong, but I am sure it was green--and it was good (of course, I was only eight in 1970).
EmBee Kelle 5 months ago
You are thinking of CITRUS Cooler.
RobCertSDSCascap EmBee 5 months ago
Followed by Ecto Cooler. Hi-C was the best!
Geronimo 5 months ago
Wait a minute! What about the Batman henchman quiz?
JamesNichols 5 months ago
Cactus Cooler was one of my favorites as a kid!

daDoctah 5 months ago
When it comes to regional fruit-flavor soft drinks of the past, don't you wanna, wanna Fanta?

(I swear they had that in El Paso years before they got their own spokesdancers.)
dth1971 5 months ago
Remember when Fred mixed up Pebbles' birthday party having dancing girls instead of a clown? That's where Cactus Juice rather than soda pop was served.
RobCertSDSCascap dth1971 5 months ago
Intercepted by Fred at the last second, while fellow Water Buffaloes
get cups of soda pop. Frank Nelson was dynamite as "the only caterer
in town!"
Lantern 5 months ago
I'm in the LA area - drink this all the time.
bpacha77511 5 months ago
i love orange pineapple sodas!!! faygo orange pineapple was my fave
TVFF 5 months ago
I could have sworn I drank that as a kid in Seattle, but from the article it was only sold in the Southwest.
TCKirkham TVFF 5 months ago
No, you didn't imagine it. When Canada Dry had it, it was a nationwide beverage - I used to drink ti when I lived in Washington (it was always in the soda machines) and In Ohio as well. It's only become regional recently.
TVFF TCKirkham 5 months ago
Then I'm not going crazy....haha. Thanks for that info.
RobCertSDSCascap 5 months ago
Here's another Flintstone beverage, from Orangeco.

MrsPhilHarris 5 months ago
I'm not a big fan of pop but I'd drink it. Sounds yummy!
cperrynaples 5 months ago
That episode may not have been a good advertisement! As i recall, Fred mixed up bottles and got poisioned, then he got clunked on the head and reverted to a baby ["Tell me a story, Mommy!"]! Not the show's finest hour IMHO!
Load previous comments
Yep, a lot of stupid episodes! And as far as i'm concerned, Pearl is a BLABBERMOUTH...LOL!
Wiseguy cperrynaples 5 months ago
The final season was mostly fantasy episodes including Gazoo, Samantha and Darrin, dreams (Pebbles and Bamm-Bamm singing, Fred sleeping for 20 years), stories (Rocky's Raiders). Very few episodes dealt with Bedrock reality. By then the show was geared towards children anyway, not the "adult" program of the first couple of seasons.
cperrynaples Wiseguy 5 months ago
Yep, and let's not forget the Gruesomes [on second thought, maybe we should...LOL]!!
harlow1313 5 months ago
None of that kid's stuff for me. I want a cold, frosty cactus juice.
Are you sure you want to delete this comment?