In 1907, Russian immigrant brothers and bakers, Ben and Perry Feigenson, began playing around with the idea of creating soft drinks based on their frosting flavors. They bottled their soda – which they called “pop” because of the sound it made when the lid was removed – in fruit punch, strawberry and grape flavors at a factory on Pingree Street. They sold their soda pop from their horse-drawn wagon the day after it was made.
Soon, the brothers developed the Feigenson Brothers Bottling Works, but they changed the name to Faygo in 1921 because “Feigenson” was too long to fit on the labels. They moved their growing bottle works to Gratiot Avenue in 1935, which is still used today to create Faygo pop.
The brothers ran Faygo until the mid-1940s, when they gave the company to their sons. Faygo was sold only in Detroit and Michigan until the late 1950s because it had a limited shelf life. At that time, company-hired chemists determined that impurities in the water prevented the pop from staying carbonated. The company then developed a water filtering system that stretched the shelf life to more than a year.
Faygo became popular outside of Michigan in the late 1960s when the company began advertising during televised Detroit Tigers games. Today, Faygo, which comes in over 30 flavors, is sold in many states east of the Mississippi River.
In 1987, the Feigenson family sold the Faygo company to National Beverage Company which is based in Florida. National Beverage, which also owns Shasta, kept the Detroit bottling works and the company’s employees. Many have worked for Faygo for over 30 years.
Today, the most popular Faygo flavor remains one of the earliest the Feigenson brothers developed: Redpop.