infobox beverage
name = Vimto

type = Soft drink
flavour = Fruit
manufacturer = Nichols plc
origin = UK
introduced = 1908
color = Purple
variants = "Fizzy Vimto", "Vimto Cordial"
related =
website = []

Vimto is a purple soft drink in the United Kingdom. It contains the juice of grapes, raspberries and blackcurrants, flavoured with herbs and spices. Vimto has also been made into a sweet (candy) and an ice lolly (ice pop). It is available both as a 'packaged good', ie in cans and bottles via retail outlets or as a dispensed soft drink, i.e., a draught (draft) drink in pubs, clubs and restaurants. A subsidiary of Nichols plc, Cabana is the dispense arm of the company and operates via a UK wide network of distributors that are in the main independent but in Scotland and Sussex the distributor is a wholly owned subsidiary of Cabana; (Scotland - Cariel and Sussex - Beacon Drinks).


Vimto was gradually created in 1908 at 49 Granby Row, in Manchester, England, by a wholesaler of herbs, spices and medicines, John Noel Nichols (1883 - 1966). He saw the market opening for soft drinks due to the temperance movement and the passage of the 1908 Licensing Act. It was originally sold under the name Vim Tonic, which Nichols shortened to Vimto in 1912. Vimto was originally registered as a health tonic or medicine, which was then re-registered in 1913 as a cordial. [ [ Vimto History] .] [ [ The Vimto Archive at the History of Advertising Trust] .]

During the 1990s, Vimto print advertisements utilised the popular character Purple Ronnie along with slightly rude poems by the creator of Purple Ronnie Giles Andreae In 2003 Purple Ronnie was dropped and a new creative direction was adopted revolving around the benefits of Shlurpling The Purple. This in turn led to the launch in 2006 of Billy and his Dad's Pants - a modern day morality story in which despite turning up at the swimming pool with his Dad's pants in the middle of his roll Billy wins out with ingenuity and humour. The theme tune 'Dads Pants' become somewhat of a cult classic and was based on the Loudon Wainwright III song, Dead Skunk in the Middle of the Road. A sculpture entitled "A Monument to Vimto" (1992), carved out of an oak tree from a sustainable forest by Kerry Morrison, is situated on Granby Row in central Manchester. [ [ "Monument to Vimto"] ] The sculpture commemorates the fact that Vimto was originally produced on this site. [ [ Vimto sculpture information] ]


It is currently made by Vimto Soft Drinks, a division of Nichols plc. It has acquired cult status amongst its consumers and celebrates its 100 year anniversary in 2008. Vimto is also manufactured under licence in Saudi Arabia and Yemen. It's also considered to be the most popular drink during the holy month of Ramadan [ [ Times Online UK] ] .

The drink was also made under licence in the United Kingdom by A.G. Barr.


There have been several major advertising campaigns to promote Vimto.

Derek Griffiths

Derek Griffiths sang a song on the piano about Vimto.

Dad's Pants

The "Dad's Pants" television commercials featured a school boy who mistakenly took his dad's underwear to a swimming lesson.The song was originally written by comedian John Warburton after execs from Cheetham Bell JWT saw him performing musical comedy at a club in Manchester. The song was sung by Manchester soul singer Matt Wolff.

Purple Ronnie

Purple Ronnie was a crudely-drawn stick figure cartoon character designed by Giles Andreae. The figure is now used on greetings cards.


Both a still, dilutable version ("Vimto Cordial") and a carbonated pre-mixed version ("Fizzy Vimto") are available in the UK. While Vimto has its origins in Northern England, it is increasingly growing in popularity and can now be found nationally and internationally. The Cordial version is more widely sold and is available in dilutable cordial and ready to drink varieties.

Vimto is also available in a summer flavour, containing ingredients such as orange ("Who put Oranges in my Vimto?") and apple ("Who put apples in my Vimto?") both of which are cordial products. Vimto was the UK's fastest growing soft drinks brand by value in 2006 (as measured by ACNielsen).

A Cocktail known as the Cheeky Vimto or "Crazy Vimto" is also consumed in the UK. However, Vimto is not an ingredient of this beverage, instead it contains Port and Blue WKD.

Vimto is also often made as a hot beverage by simply adding boiling water and is very popular in this form throughout Manchester.


External links

* (Vimto web site UK and International)
* (The Vimto Archive at the History of Advertising Trust)
* (British Society of Flavourists lecture about Vimto)
* (Vimto 3D Jetski Game)

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