|Manufacturer||Dr Pepper Snapple Group|
|Country of origin||United States|
The term Yoo-hoo was first applied to a fruit drink called "Tru-milk", sold in the 1920s by Italian-American Natale Olivieri in his small soda fountain on Hackensack Street in Carlstadt, New Jersey. Olivieri soon found a way to produce a kind of chocolate-milk drink that would not spoil in the summer heat as pure chocolate milk would. The name "Yoo-hoo" became associated with the chocolate-flavored drink as well.
In the 1940s, Thomas Giresi opened a bottling plant in Batesburg, South Carolina, for distribution of Yoo-hoo. In the 1960s, an advertising campaign tried to appeal to an older public for the drink, and featured Yogi Berra and his New York Yankees teammates. Berra, in a pin-striped business suit, drinks a bottle of Yoo-hoo, lifts it next to his cheek, and says with a smile, "It's Me-He for Yoo-Hoo!"
BBC Industries purchased the rights to Yoo-hoo sometime in the 1950s and retained ownership until 1976, when it sold the brand to Iroquois Brands. Yoo-hoo was sold again in 1981 to a group of private investors, which owned the brand until 1989, when it was sold to the French conglomerate Pernod Ricard.
In 2001, Pernod Ricard sold Yoo-hoo to Cadbury Schweppes, with production responsibilities falling to CS's Mott's group and marketing and advertising responsibilities under Snapple. They heightened awareness of the once-popular beverage.
The milk company's headquarters are in Tarrytown, New York, with plants in Carlstadt, New Jersey, and Aspers, Pennsylvania. An Opelousas, Louisiana, location closed in 2009. At one time, Yoo-hoo owned several other chocolate milk brands as well, including Choc-Ola, Brownie, Cocoa Dusty, and Chocolate Soldier.
In the early 21st century, Yoo-hoo is made from water, high fructose corn syrup, whey (from milk), and less than 2% of: cocoa (alkali process), nonfat dry milk, natural and artificial flavors, sodium caseinate (from milk), corn syrup solids, calcium phosphate, dipotassium phosphate, palm oil, guar gum, xanthan gum, mono and diglycerides, salt, spice, soy lecithin, niacinamide (vitamin B3), sucralose, vitamin A palmitate, riboflavin (vitamin B2), and vitamin D3. High fructose corn syrup and palm oil are considered less desirable ingredients; the former has been implicated in obesity and diabetes.
An ABC News article mentioned that on a papal visit to Denver, a variety of sources reported that Pope John Paul II liked Yoo-hoo after a Vatican spokesman mentioned that the Pope wanted "a couple of cases of that American chocolate drink he likes" on board his plane. As Popes do not give commercial endorsements, a subsequent statement from his spokesman denied that the Pontiff had any particular preference among American milk drinks.
Yoo-hoo comes in several flavors, including chocolate, double fudge, strawberry, and chocolate strawberry.