May 24, 2013

Snapple co-founder Marsh dies

The Associated Press

Leonard Marsh, the co-founder of the Snapple beverage brand, has died at age 80.

The Dr. Pepper Snapple Group Inc. of Plano, Texas, which now owns Snapple, on Thursday confirmed Marsh's death. He died Tuesday at his home in Manhasset, N.Y., The New York Times reported.

Snapple began in New York in 1972 as Unadulterated Food Products, which sold natural fruit juices to health food stores. Marsh, a window washer who would later serve as CEO of Snapple, launched the business on the side with his brother-in-law Hyman Golden and childhood friend Arnold Greenberg.

The trio didn't introduce the brand name until 1980 and its popularity quickly soared as consumers clamored for healthier beverage options.

Snapple was considered a leader in the "New Age" beverage movement at the time. Its combination of unusual flavor combinations of tea and juice, along with quirky advertising, was a hit with consumers. It inspired a number of competitors, particularly as soft drink companies took notice of the demand for drinks with natural ingredients.

Quaker Oats Co. bought Snapple for $1.7 billion in 1994. Marsh stayed on for several years after the acquisition as executive vice president for planning before he retired. A representative for Marsh's family was not immediately available to comment.

 

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