Funny Face Drink Mix
Pillsbury introduced Funny Face Drink Mix in 1964. It was a great kid’s choice and alternative to traditional carbonated soft drinks and fruit juices. It competed directly with Kool Aid which had been around since the 1930’s, and was the clear market leader.
What was unique about Funny Face is that it was originally promoted as a dietary drink, made without sugar, and artificially sweetened. Funny Face, unlike Kool Aid, had a unique character for each flavor making it very appealing for advertising and promotions.
On February 2, 1966, According to the New York times Native Americans lodged an official protest against the Pillsbury company stating the Injun Orange character was an offensive stereo-type.
In 1966 Pillsbury wisely changed the names of two of the drink mixes. Chinese Cherry became Choo-Choo Cherry eliminating the hideous Asian stereotype that had been on the shelves and homes for two years.
At the same time Injun Orange was changed to Jolly Olly Orange.
The packaging also now contained the cryptic message
"Artificially sweetened imitation drink mix." Just what is it then?
The repackaging was not the end to Funny Face's problems. Two years later they would be faced with an entire product redesign.
From 1964 to 1968 Funny Face was sweetened with cyclamates.
In 1968 Funny Face was pulled off of the market as cyclamates were banned by the FDA.
In 1969 Funny Face re-emerged sweetened with saccharine. However, the after-taste of saccharine affected sales, and in 1970 the new Funny Face was introduced in which the consumer had to “just add sugar”. Tastes improved as did sales, and in 1972 vitamin C was added.
Larger packs were later available in which the sugar was included.
It was a good run for Pillsbury as the Kool-aid man was alone in his quest to quench the thirst of American children, Funny Face had a character for each flavor. A virtual army of child friendly flavors. Coupled with extensive mail away merchandise it was an all out war against Kool-aid man. In the end one was left standing. Oh Yeah!
It seemed Kool-Aid Man was no match for the maniacal Funny Face characters nor was the plain orange flavor any competition for Jolly Olly Orange. The line ran out of gas in the last '70s, and was eventually sold to Brady Enterprises in 1980. The Kool-Aid Man had won.
The final flavor was added in 1983 … Chocolate. It bore the repulsive name MOO JUICE. And that was the end of Funny Face.
Brady Enterprises are still in business and are the creators of powdered bar mixes, cranberry stuffing mix and dishwashing powder.
They Always Come Back:
Reborn as Bobbleheads.
You can read all about Funny face and see every pack ever made at this outstanding website.