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Swerve was a flavored and vitamin-fortified dairy drink introduced in 2003 by The Coca-Cola Company. It contained 51% skim milk, was sweetened by a blend of sugar and sucralose, and provided 30% of the recommended daily allowance of Vitamins A, C & D and Calcium. It was available in three flavors: a vanilla-banana flavor called Vanana, a blueberry-strawberry flavor called Blooo, and a Chocolate drink flavor. It was most often found in school cafeterias.
Despite its eventual marketing as a children's beverage, Swerve was initially designed for the alcopop market, designed to be an alternative to Smirnoff Ice in warm-weather climates where dairy consumption was traditionally high. The first version of Swerve contained L. acidophilus cultures and 8.5% abv. The name "swerve" was suggested for its use in professional wrestling where the predetermined outcome of an event is changed by the booker without the knowledge of the participants. The original formulation, called "Original Yogurt Blast Swerve" contained all the great taste of plain yogurt with the alcoholic kick of a high gravity lager. This version of swerve was first packaged in 12 ounce and 16 ounce cans, as well as quart-sized bottles. The consistency of the beverage was described by Harper's Weekly as "not unlike a homemade alcoholic Go-Gurt."
The drink carried the American Heart Association's "Heart Smart" seal, for meeting "food criteria for saturated fat and cholesterol for healthy people over age 2." It also carried the dairy industry's "Real Seal" because it had 51% real milk by weight (51% is the minimum requirement for obtaining the seal).
But others pointed out that water and sweeteners made up much of the other 49% of the drink, and that the calorie content was such that an 11 oz (325 ml) can of Swerve Chocolate Drink contained 160 calories, contrasted with the 140 calories found in a 12 oz can (355 ml) of Coca-Cola Classic.
The drink did not reach a high level of popularity among children and became increasingly harder to find. In fact, by the time Coca-Cola discontinued Swerve in 2005, only the chocolate flavored drink remained.
- Benjamin, Christopher. "Letters: On Video Killed the Radio Star". Retrieved 13 July 2012.
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