Bye-Bye Beep, Beep — after 50+ years, this bird has flown away
Posted on October 22, 2021 | By Alexander Chafe | 0 Comments
We all have that classic drink that brings us back to our childhood. Maybe it’s mom’s fresh-squeezed orange juice on Saturday morning? Or perhaps the festive feeling of eggnog on Christmas Eve? In Nova Scotia, a sip of Beep might do the trick — nostalgia in a glass (but no judgement if you drank straight from the carton).
Beep was an old-school fruit drink produced and sold in Nova Scotia for over 50 years before being discontinued. But, even though Beep is no longer available, fandom for this N.S. classic remains.
Made in Nova Scotia
The recipe for Beep is owned by an ingredient supplier, who licensed production to dairy producers across North America. In 1962 in Bedford, N.S., Farmers Co-operative Dairy began making and selling Beep in the province, which soon became a lunchbox staple.
The drink’s flavour profile included a combination of orange, pineapple, apricot, apple and prune juice. With only 25 per cent real fruit juice ingredients, the remaining components were a combination of water, sugar, oil and other additives. With quintessential retro nutritional value, the drink was very popular throughout the ‘60s and ‘70s. In the N.S. market, Beep competed with international brands.
Flashforward 40+ years and consumers became more health conscious, demanding products with better nutritional value. After sales waned, Farmers decided to pull the plug on Beep in 2010.
The public’s reaction was a surprise. N.S. consumers reached out through email, social media, petitions and phone, asking Farmers Dairy to reconsider. One particularly passionate customer filmed a short video following the announcement, showing him running to clear shelves of Beep before it was gone. So, a nostalgic connection to the brand was present in the market.
Limited Time Summer Supply
In 2012, Farmers Dairy announced over Facebook that Beep would be back as a seasonal summertime treat. The Marketing Director of Farmers Dairy noted in a Canadian Business article that the announcement “was our best post ever in terms of community reaction”. The post received 582 likes, 214 comments and 738 shares on Facebook.
Packaging for Beep’s revival was a retro remake of the ‘60s-style carton. Promotion was mainly on social media, plus a small budget for radio and online display. The comeback surpassed expectations and Beep returned in the summers of 2013 and 2014. Farmers also got creative with promotional activities, including contests to win Beep swag, creating recipes that used Beep and a Beep Busker booth.
However, in 2015, a CBC article confirmed that Beep production had stopped for good.
Beep Fandom Remains
Though Beep is no longer sold today, the product still has its fans. Online you can find a blog about the brand, an active fan Twitter account that shares moments of nostalgia and online recipes to make your own Beep at home.
Though consumer habits change, an emotional connection with a brand has true staying power. For some, just one sip could take them back 50+ years.
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