|Manufacturer||Dr Pepper Snapple Group|
|Country of origin||United States|
Not a soda, not a milk drink, its actual ingredients have long been the topic of speculation. But its official ingredients are 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), vitamin D3.
Yoo-hoo originated in New Jersey in the 1920s as a fruit drink called "Tru-Fruit" sold by Italian-American Natale Olivieri in his small store. Olivieri soon found a way to produce a chocolate soft drink that wouldn't spoil in the summer heat as chocolate milk often did. The name "Yoo-hoo", already applied to Olivieri's fruit drinks, became associated with the chocolate-flavored drink as well.
A bottling plant was opened up in Batesburg, South Carolina, by Thomas Giresi in the 1940s.
In the 1960s, an advertising campaign targeted the drink to an older public, featuring 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 was sold 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. This led to an increased awareness of the once-popular beverage.
The soft drink company's headquarters currently reside in Rye Brook, New York, with plants in Carlstadt, New Jersey and Aspers, Pennsylvania. The Opelousas, Louisiana, location closed in 2009. At one time, Yoo-hoo owned several other chocolate drink brands as well, including Choc-Ola (now owned by Choc-Ola Corporation under ); Brownie (now owned by Orca Beverage under ); Cocoa Dusty (current owner unknown); and Chocolate Soldier (now owned by an individual under ).
In February 2009, ABC News reported that the "Pope loves Yoo-hoo!" and headlines flooded the news wires after a Vatican spokesman accompanying Pope Benedict XVI on a U.S. tour casually revealed that the Pope wanted "a couple of cases of that American chocolate drink he likes" on board. As Popes do not give commercial endorsements, a subsequent statement denied that the Pontiff had any particular preference among American soft drinks.
Yoo-hoo comes in several flavors, including chocolate, double fudge and strawberry.