Hawaiian Punch, Fullerton, CA 1962

Senior citizens posing with Hawaiian Punch drinks

Six seniors have just returned home from a tour of the Hawaiian Punch factory. Each shows off a complimentary can of the fantasy fruit-flavored and colored virgin cocktail. One of them snagged two cans. He is the only one smiling. All but one wears the Hawaiian Punch factory souvenir hat in the normal position with the exception of Miss Floral Print, on the right, who sports her hat side saddle.

Did one tourist call the others requesting that only blue, brown or white be worn for the exotic excursion? Color coordinating with friends for a day trip always makes the experience much better and far more memorable!

There is very little that is Hawaiian about Hawaiian Punch. The sweet taste treat sensation is yet one more wonderful creation the world has to thank Southern Calfiornia for. It was first concocted and manufactured in the fine city of Fullerton in 1934. Originaly it was sold as a thick syrup to pour over ice cream until shortly after a creative customer discovered it was even better mixed with water and served as a tutti-fruity something-to-drink on a warn summer day.

Punchy, the “Mr. Product” of Hawaiian Punch, was born in 1962, to star on TV commercials. He was violent and abusive. His long-time catch phrase was “Hey, how about a nice Hawaiian Punch?” which he would follow by attacking someone with his hard fist.

I LOVED Hawaiian Punch as a child and think about it often as an adult. I distinctly recall at about the age of ten discovering that it was even more delicious (and glamorous) when it sparkled after I blended it with 7up.

Several months ago I had the good fortune of being flown to New Your first class. Half way through the flight, long after I’d downed nuts served warm, shoe leather salmon and a make-your-own-sundae desert, the ever hovering stewardess asked if I’d like anything else. I said “well what do you suggest?” She replied, I can make you some fruit punch!” Do I look like a person that likes fruit punch?

Here’s to Fullerton, Fruit Punch –Hawaiian or otherwise- and YOU!

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25 Responses to “Hawaiian Punch, Fullerton, CA 1962”

  1. Mitch Funk says:

    I was fortunate enough to have a job at the Fullerton plant in the 70s and 80s. It was a great place to work – lots of good people and good times. Too bad it closed, sometime around 1983.

  2. Jack valverde says:

    I need to know if they still make the Hawiian punch syrup . I live in california and I can’t find it any where! can you help! it brings back so many fond memories.
    Jack valverde
    Costa Mesa. Cal

  3. wes northcutt says:

    I love the hawaiian punch concentrated syrup but i cant find it anywhere i look i live in portland oregon and havent seen it in years i need some hawaiian punch do you know where i can find it?

  4. Jerry Foisel says:

    Hi Henry,

    I just read your comment about the Hawaiian Punch plant in Fullerton.

    People THINK I’M, “NUTS!” WHEN I TELL THEM…THAT THE BEST JOB THAT I EVER HAD, “Was in the Q.C. Lab at The Arizona Canning Company (ACC) in Phoenix, Arizona!”

    ACC was an independently owned canner for Coca-Cola, Seven-Up, Dr. Pepper, and a handful of other soft drinks for Circle K and that European Branch of Coke called FANTA!

    For a kid that grew-up watching Captain Kangaroo read a story about a kid who’s house suddenly starts flowing the FORBIDDEN SOFT DRINKS (in my home) from the sink and bathtub. Well! Actually qualifying for then getting that 7 year-job with ACC… WAS A DREAM COME TRUE!

    The thing I LIKED THE MOST ABOUT “WEARING THE GREEN QC HARDHAT”?

    I could go ANYWHERE and GET INTO ANYTHING IN THE WHOLE PLANT, “I don’t know? Jerry’s the QC Guy. He’s probably got some kind of reason for SKIN DIVING IN THE 20 FOOT-DEEP WATER REACTOR TANK (And. Al was right. It was clogged with sludge, the residue from all the hard water we treated to create, “neutral water” (water that tasted neither good nor bad. It was just a great matrix to put syrup and CO2 into!)”.

    Do you remember REAL SUGAR? Oh not this crap they call Corn Syrup!

    Spreckles liquid sugar. God was that stuff tasty (especially in the foam it sometimes got whipped-up into!).

    People HAVE NO IDEA OF THE AMOUNT OF PHYSICAL & BIOLOGICAL SCIENCE THAT GOES INTO PRODUCING A CAN OF POP!

    The day they closed was one of the saddest days of my life.

    What a COOL JOB THAT WAS! IT WAS LIKE BEING PAID TO PLAY WITH “THE MOTHER OF ALL MODEL RAILROAD SETS!”

    Regards,

    Jerry Foisel

    “Henry Weiss Says:
    December 19th, 2007 at 12:23 am

    I worked in the Q.C. lab at the Fullerton plant until they moved it back east in the early 80’s. Best job I ever had.
    HenryWeiss@Juno.com

  5. Jo An Burdick Gottlieb says:

    March 23,2008 My husband now 83 years young — Bernie Gottlieb, was 26 and owned the Fullerton Bowling Alley. I was 16 then and bowled there in college. We married when I was 26 in 1960. Bernie new the owners of Hawaiian Punch and it was mixed in one of the guys garages, Bernie was asked to put in 500 dollars but then things were too tight $$ wise, looking back, had he scrapped together the $$’s, he would have been an instant millionaire. SIGH, memories. Jo Anaheim High Class of 1951.

  6. Melinda Tanis says:

    Love the Hawaiian Punch Memories! Being a kid in the late 60′s and 70′s I used to get something called Tahitian Treat – It was a Hawaiian Punch wannabe that was pretty good. I took it on every school Field Trip in a paper lunch bag bursting with candy to eat on the bus and a “ring ding” for desert in my sack lunch! My mom would wrap it in paper towels to keep cool. Those were the days! Kids aren’t allowed to eat on the bus anymore when they go on a field trip!

  7. Janel Imus says:

    I love your punch!!! But I can not find the concrated any where I look! I live in Kingman AZ! My family gets together a lot and we ALWAYS have to but the cheap brand to make our punch. Is ther anywhere near us tat sells the punch we like to make a a great puch w/ice cream. I really miss making the punch! Please a loney punch bowel is waiting!

  8. Cindy says:

    Hey, I grew up in Fullerton, but I’ll be darned if I remember the Hawaiian Punch factory. I lived on Acacia in the late 80′s too, it must have been all the wild partying and excessive drinking I did that makes me block HP manufacturing from my mind.

    I used to buy those hot lookin’ granny shoes from the thrifts back in the late 60′s-early 70′s. Not only did I have them in basic black with the perforations, I had a pair of purple suede ones and a pair of red ones too! They were extremely comfortable, stop making fun of them. If only I had them now!!

  9. Henry Weiss says:

    I worked in the Q.C. lab at the Fullerton plant until they moved it back east in the early 80′s. Best job I ever had.
    HenryWeiss@Juno.com

  10. Tim says:

    I grew up up the street from here. This Hawaiian punch factory is no longer there. It was on Acacia Steet just north of a set of railroad tracks. There is an office building there now. My Dad is a resident of Fullerton going back to the early 50s. He told me the Hawaiian Punch factory used to be downtown. Once they had a fire. The gutters flowed and overflowed red with syrup and water. He said the smell carried for a mile!

  11. Lu says:

    Gee! They finally let us out of the nursing home and all we have to show for it is this Hawaiian Punch!!!

  12. Brad says:

    Hullabaloo and Shindig! Awesome!

  13. Tim Severs says:

    They all look like they were influenced by Droopy. They’re all saying “Hello all you happy people” and “You know what? I’m happy. Hooray.” Hawaiian Punch is awesome. I have a VHS tape of a show called “Hullabaloo” from the sixties with an old Hawaiian Punch commercial on it. It’s in basic black and white. The “Hullabaloo” shows are hosted by Robert Vaughn and David McCallum from The Man From UNCLE.

  14. stevin henderson says:

    I lived most of this stuff….very kewl.

  15. June Lee says:

    I noticed the shoes too. They were laceup affairs, and every old maid schoolteacher had a pair. As for the punch, I used to float thin slices of banana on top when the occasion called for a festive touch – kids’ birthday parties, etc. I used the concentrate – thick, viscous, implausibly brilliant in color, to make the beverage.

  16. Karen R. says:

    Oh dear, a fashion faux pas to the lady on the left. Let’s hope she is carrying the handbag for one of the other ladies because you should never carry a dark handbag and wear light colored shoes. Or, perhaps her punch was “spiked”.

  17. nylasor says:

    It looks like a shuffleboard deck they’re standing on. Ahhh, Hawaiian Punch, that’ll hit the spot after a “violent and abusive” er, I mean, rousing game!

  18. Tinkleflick says:

    I had forgotten about Punchy! I think I’ll be heading to the 99 Cent store today in search of some Hawaiian Punch!

  19. Tom O'Sullivan says:

    Whoa! Fullerton sounds cool, just like Seattle did in the 90′s…Hawaiian Punch,Leo Fender’s Guitars…makes me wish my parents had raised me there instead of Westminster, where nothing cool ever happened.

  20. Barry Hofstetter says:

    Charles, I’m hoping that Hawiian Punch contains some source of fiber, because it looks like 5 out of 6 of those folks could use some. Very funny, look forward to seeing you in Brea in April.

  21. Brad says:

    Yes, Charles, you look like someone who enjoys fruit punch…and so do I!
    This picture is just way too funny. I’ve never seen more people less enthused about anything. And be sure to check out the shoes on Prunetta, 2nd from the left. Both of my grandmothers wore shoes like these, and I haven’t seen them in decades!
    Another great pic (and pick), Mr. P!

  22. Bret says:

    What a snap! I mean, did these folks have fun at the factory or what?

    My wife and I were just musing about HP just yesterday, those big tin cans that looked like the seam was sealed up with lead… mmmmm, good!

    Thanks for reminding the rest of the world about the glory days of Hawaiian Punch.

  23. Sheri says:

    Charles you made me laugh until I cried! I love the part about the tv commercials being violent and abusive. You are too cool!

  24. Mimi says:

    This looks suspiciously like the family from the boy’s graduation a few weeks ago. Did they tour the punch factory as a group graduation gift? Maybe they sent the boy to Hawaii?

  25. Donna Eisenberg says:

    Is the Hawaiian Punch factory still in Fullerton? That might be a great place for a school field trip! Did you know you can find Hawaiian Punch in the 1/2 gallon size at the 99 Cent Store? Yum, Yum! When I was in school, my Mom used to freeze the cans of Hawaiian Punch overnight and then pack them in my lunch. What a nice frosty beverage to complement my bologna sandwiches!

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