PORTLAND, Maine — Soft drink giant Coca-Cola has purchased Moxie, a New England soda brand that is also the official state beverage of Maine.
Moxie has been around since the 19th century and it’s famous in New England for its unique flavor, which is the product of a root extract that gives it a distinctive taste that polarizes drinkers. Coca-Cola said Tuesday it’s acquiring the brand from Coca-Cola of Northern New England, an independent bottling partner of the larger company that’s in Bedford, New Hampshire.
Bottling of the soda will remain in New Hampshire, said Lauren Thompson, a spokeswoman for Coca-Cola. She said the company’s goal is to “work to protect the heritage and regional culture of the brand,” and that Coca-Cola also sees an opportunity to bring Moxie’s brand to a wider audience.
“Moxie is a great brand with a great heritage. Coca-Cola Northern New England has been a strong steward of the brand over the last decade and we take seriously our responsibility to ensure it stays true to its Northeastern roots,” she said.
Coca-Cola declined to provide the price of the sale, which is expected to close in the fourth quarter of this year. Coca-Cola North America has entered into a definitive agreement with Coca-Cola of Northern New England, Thompson said.
The acquisition by Coca-Cola won’t result in any noticeable differences for consumers, said Nick Martin, a spokesman for Coca-Cola of Northern New England. The soda is produced at a facility in Londonderry, N.H., and that facility will remain the exclusive manufacturer.
“If I had to look into my crystal ball, it will primarily remain a regional brand,” Martin said. “It just goes to show you that there’s a tremendously loyal following to this product.”