Tang (drink mix)

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Tang drinkmix logo.png
Tang Drink Packets.jpg
Product typeArtificially flavored drink mix
OwnerMondelēz International
Introduced1957; 64 years ago (1957)
Previous ownersGeneral Foods
Kraft Foods Inc.

Tang is an American drink mix brand that was formulated by General Foods Corporation food scientist William A. Mitchell[1] in 1957, and first marketed in powdered form in 1959.[2][3] The Tang brand is currently owned by Mondelēz International, a 2012 North American company spun off from Kraft Foods Inc.

Sales of Tang were poor until NASA used it on John Glenn's Mercury flight in February 1962,[4] and on subsequent Gemini missions.[5] Since then it has been closely associated with the U.S. human spaceflight program, which created the misconception that Tang was invented for the space program.[6][7]


General Foods Corporation food scientist William A. Mitchell formulated and trademarked Tang in 1957.[1][8] Tang entered test markets in 1958 and was available to the public beginning in 1959.[8]

Tang was used by early NASA crewed space flights.[9] In 1962, when Mercury astronaut John Glenn conducted eating experiments in orbit, Tang was selected for the menu;[2] it was also used during some Gemini flights, and has also been carried aboard numerous space shuttle missions. Although many soda companies sent specially-designed canned drinks into space with the crew of STS-51-F, the crew preferred to use Tang, as it could be mixed into existing water containers easily. In 2013, former NASA astronaut Buzz Aldrin said, "Tang sucks".[10]

The creator of Tang, William A. Mitchell, also invented Pop Rocks, Cool Whip, a form of instant-set Jell-O, and other convenience foods.[11]

Tang is noted for their advertising in the 1990s and early 2000s which featured the orangutan as a recurring theme.

Nutritional facts[edit]

Tang is sold in powdered and liquid-concentrate form. The suggested serving size is two tablespoons, or 31 grams of powdered Original Orange flavored Tang per 8 US fluid ounces (240 ml) of water. A single suggested serving of Tang contains 29 grams (1.0 oz) of sugar (representing 94% of the product's dry weight); 10% RDA of carbohydrates; 100% RDA of vitamin C; 6% RDA of calcium and has a total of 120 calories (500 kJ).[12]

Other versions[edit]

In 2007, Kraft introduced a new version of Tang which replaced half of the sugar with artificial sweeteners. The new packaging advertises "1/2 the sugar of 100% juice".[13] The artificial sweeteners used in the new formulation are sucralose, acesulfame potassium and neotame. The new formula is more concentrated and distributed in smaller containers, with a 12.3 US fl oz (360 ml) (348 g (12.3 oz)) making 8 US quarts (7,600 ml).

The recommended usage is two and one-half teaspoons per 8 US fluid ounces (240 ml) of water. The lid on the new smaller plastic container acts as a measuring cup which may be used to make one or two quart quantities, the same as the original Tang.[citation needed]

In December 2009, the 12.3 US fl oz (360 ml) lower calorie Tang was discontinued and is no longer available from Kraft.[citation needed]

In 2009, another version of Tang emerged in 20 US fl oz (590 ml) containers making only 6 US quarts (5,700 ml).


Tang is sold in about thirty-five countries and is available in a variety of flavors depending on location.[14]

In the Middle East, more than half of Tang's annual sales occur in just six weeks around Ramadan.[14]

In June 2011, Kraft Foods announced that Tang has become its twelfth billion-dollar brand, with global sales nearly doubling since 2006.[15] The brand in 2010 controlled a category-best 15.6% of the international powder concentrate market[15] although, like other highly processed or sweetened beverages, demand in developed economies has stagnated or fallen in line with consumers increasing preference for lower calorie drinks.[16] In 2018, Tang's manufacturer Mondelez reported a drop in sales following the introduction of tax on calorific sweetened beverages in the Philippines.[17]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Steyn, Mark (November 2004). "Tastemaker With a Sweet Tooth". Atlantic Monthly.
  2. ^ a b "Spinoff Frequently Asked Questions". NASA.gov. Archived from the original on October 3, 2006.
  3. ^ "Tang breakfast drink". Spokesman-Review. (Spokane, Washington). (advertisement). February 12, 1960. p. 27.
  4. ^ Courter, Barry (May 13, 2007). "Boomers collect artifacts, memories of NASA's heyday". Times Free Press. Archived from the original on September 30, 2011.
  5. ^ "From Gemini to Apollo-Soyuz:". Washington Afro-American. (advertisement). August 9, 1975. p. 7.
  6. ^ Olver, Lynne (2000). "Food Timeline : popular American foods by decade : Tang, The "Space Age" Drink". The Food Timeline.
  7. ^ Pearlman, Robert Z. (November 23, 2006). "Space Food: From Squeeze Tubes To Celebrity Chefs". Space.com.
  8. ^ a b "The Food Timeline--beverages". www.foodtimeline.org. Retrieved July 19, 2021.
  9. ^ "Space Food Hall of Fame". NASA.gov. Archived from the original on October 15, 2011.
  10. ^ "Now He Tells Us: 'Tang Sucks,' Says Apollo 11's Buzz Aldrin". The Two-Way. NPR.
  11. ^ Muir, David (April 19, 2006). "Candy Celebrates 50 Years of Popping". ABC News. (Video.)
  12. ^ "TANG Orange". www.kraftcanada.com. Kraft. Retrieved June 27, 2017.
  13. ^ Turner, M. (April 13, 2001). "Tang Ingredients". Everything2.com.
  14. ^ a b "TANG 2017 Fact Sheet" (PDF). Mondelez International. 2017. Retrieved June 16, 2018.
  15. ^ a b E. J. Schultz (June 16, 2011). "To the Moon and Back: How Tang Grew to Be a Billion-Dollar Global Brand". Ad Age. Retrieved June 16, 2018.
  16. ^ Ann Vandermey (December 12, 2011). "What ever happened to Tang?". Fortune. Retrieved June 10, 2019.
  17. ^ Othel V. Campos (June 6, 2018). "Sweetened beverage tax under Train reduces sales of Tang powdered juice". Manila Standard. Retrieved June 10, 2019.

External links[edit]