Vimto has been doing things differently since 1908. And since then, our deliciously refreshing taste has been quenching thirsts in 73 countries worldwide. Take a look at how it all started and what we’ve been up to along the way.
John Noel Nichols
The man behind Vimto. Born on December 28th in Blackburn, Lancashire, who grew up to create the unmistakable flavour that we all now know and love.
Vimto is born
Well, not quite as we know it today! It started as ‘Vimtonic’ — a herbal tonic made to give people ‘Vim & Vigour’. This new tonic drink was one of a number of products John delivered to small outlets, cafes and temperance bars. The unique blend of herbs and spices that contribute to the distinctive taste were sourced from around the world. Later, it became known as ‘Vimto’, and there are only a very small number of people in the world who know the secret recipe today!
As the love for the brand continued to grow, John’s current offices became too small. So, Vimto packed its bags and moved from his wholesale herbalist hub in Central Manchester, down the road to Salford!
Vimto’s first holiday
The Vimto trademark was registered in British Guyana and the company’s International division began! Vimto was proud to now be known as an international brand!
Introducing Fizzy Vimto!
The same unmistakable Vimto taste sensation, but now bursting with berry infused bubbles was born. Vimto was going from strength to strength, adding even more excitement to the range!
After John’s friend, Richard Goodsir, took a few Vimto bottles to India for the local bottling firm to sample, the British Troops from the North West Regiments immediately welcomed the taste as a memory of home! But it wasn’t just the British Troops who welcomed Vimto into India, as it quickly became a local favourite and went on to become the first international country to receive Vimto concentrate for local production!
A global taste sensation
Vimto was fast becoming a global taste sensation being available in over thirty countries! From Peru to Albania and Liberia. In the Middle East the popularity of Vimto was spreading into the Arab States such as Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Dubai and Abu Dhabi! Vimto’s refreshingly different taste was now being enjoyed worldwide!
Who said ads had to be serious?
To connect with the young and the glamorous, Vimto in it’s unique style made cheeky ads. Although advertising was restricted during this time, small newspaper adverts for Vimto appeared regularly throughout the war, as well as humorous Vimto showcards, created by the renowned cartoonist Herbert Stanley Terry!
Look mum, I’m on TV!
Vimto is on TV for the first time… but not as we know it today. Back then TV adverts were only aired in black and white and on two channels, but Vimto proudly took centre stage in peoples homes, captivating the nation to showcase its distinctive products and cheeky personality.
A super new look
It was time for a Vimto revamp! Red, white and blue became the new brand colours.. A brand that is proud to be British!
Over the pond we go, Vimto has made it to America! Vimto is now sold in over 3,000 ethnic outlets across North America, particularly loved by people who have moved there from Africa and the Middle East.
Moving on up
Further brand growth meant relocating again to an even larger premise, with a shiny new factory too! This time Vimto moved to Wythenshawe, South Manchester, where a fancy new Vimto bottling line was installed.
Max the mascot
In addition to the British heritage striped colours of blue, red and white on our products, Max the British Bulldog was also added to our branding. He even appeared in a few TV ads, where he was the star of the show!
Vimto – but diet!
Diet Vimto was invented and promoted by the Roly Polys dance act! See, we have always been a bit cheeky!!
A feature for life
A monument of Vimto was unveiled behind the University of Manchester to celebrate our local roots. The statue, made of stained oak, depicts a bottle of Vimto surrounded by the fruits and spices used in its production. It was created by the great sculpture, Kerry Morrison.
We ramp up Vimto’s personality and cheekiness with Purple Ronnie – our famous spokesperson who became synonymous with the brand and featured in the adverts for 7 years.
Matt Lucas gifts our ears with a Vimto version of the famous DISCO song for our newest advert. V-I-M-T-O …catchy or what? We can hear you singing it to yourselves now!
A cheeky advert involving some giant pants graces our TV screens, and once again captures the nation’s hearts and minds. The catchy tune could often be heard across the school playgrounds of the UK.
We celebrated our 100th birthday! 100 years old! What a better way to celebrate a century than the launch of an original bottle to remind us where it all started. We proudly launched an old fashioned cordial bottle and a contemporary Vimto cluedo board game.
Seriously mixed up fruit
Our target audience gets a little younger, and our characters get a bit bolder, with the launch of the ‘Seriously Mixed Up Fruit’ marketing campaign. Who knew fruit could be so cheeky?
A new croaksperson
Vimto is back on TV with a new frontman – the Vimtoad! Voiced by stand up comedian Justin Moorhouse, the ad sees the Vimtoad leap into a shopper’s trolley, sticking out his tongue, before she agrees to try a glass of Vimto! Such a loveable rogue our Vimtoad!
New frozen Vimto launches for the first time, delivering the ultimate taste experience. It doesn’t get more refreshing(ly) different than this!
Water with a twist
Just when you thought it couldn’t get any better, Vimto expands into water with new Vim2o (see what we did there – clever, hey!) .
I See Vimto in You
Vimto breaks new ground with a multiple award winning, anti-advertising campaign. Afterall, we are renowned for doing things differently, so why not an advertising first too? Come on let us know, did YOU close your eyes?
Our iconic new look
Vimto reveal’s it’s new iconic design across the whole range. This bold new design retains all of the brand’s personality and heritage, whilst still being refreshingly different and unmistakably Vimto!