Ecto Cooler: Its Shady Past and Mysterious Disappearance

Anyone who grew up in the 80s probably had Ecto Cooler in their lunchbox at one time or another. Some may have even used the toxic-green beverage as currency — conducting lopsided lunchroom trades with the kid who wasn’t allowed to have sugar.

Regardless of the juice’s hypnotic and addictive properties, the backstory of Ecto Cooler is intriguing to say the least. And, the fact that it was marketed as orange/tangerine-flavored, but was fluorescent green in color, isn’t even the strangest thing about it.

Quick History

In 1986 — trying to suckle the last drops from the Ghostbusters teat — an animated series titled The Real Ghostbusters was created. Knowing full well that the best way to market to kids is to get them sugar-high — Ecto Cooler was created as a product tie-in to the series.

Result

Ecto Cooler was an immediate and smashing success. Although it was only supposed to last as long as the series, it endured for a decade after the show’s cancellation. However, the original marketing strategy was rather sneaky, and mind-numbingly lazy.

The Ecto Conspiracy

If we look back a bit further, there was once a Hi-C product called Citrus Cooler. Apologies for lack of photo evidence, but it appears to have been systematically destroyed to thwart the conspiracy theorists. Nonetheless, Citrus Cooler did exist — that was until some marketing dolts needed a quick and easy gimmick to sell their cartoon.

The pitch was simple — place the cute green ghost ‘Slimer‘ on the box, change ‘Citrus’ to ‘Ecto,’ conveniently forget that Citrus Cooler ever existed, product tie-in achieved. And because we are all suckers for packaging, the farce continued into the next decade. The problem was, this new generation of juice box drinkers would have no idea what a Ghostbuster was.

Fearing that Slimer had overstayed his welcome — and in another swift and lazy move — Hi-C did away with Ecto Cooler altogether. Or, at least it’s what they wanted us to think.

The identical formula, in all its neon green glory, was about to be repackaged yet again as “Shoutin’ Orange Tangergreen” — even though Hi-C would deny that it was the same formula. Some conspiracy theorists however, would not rest until the mystery was solved.

photo: X-Entertainment

Although the Hi-C drinking public should have been outraged, at least the name “Shoutin’ Orange Tangergreen” finally addressed its contradictory flavor and color combination — even though it now had the dumbest product name in recorded history.

It all came full circle in 2007, when Shoutin’ Orange Tangergreen was no longer worthy of the title. It was discontinued and renamed… wait for it… ‘Crazy Citrus Cooler.’

And, like most products that Foodiggity features on A Dose of Ephemera, Ecto Cooler has a cult following on Facebook, and unsurprisingly lobbies for the product’s return.

Comments

  1. EgiaMusic says:
  2. klaeyz says:

    im grown up in thailand. we have same but shrekto cooler. still has it, never heard of ghostbusters
    http://imgur.com/lbPpWkw

  3. … with The Coz nonetheless. Nice find.

  4. Here is evidence of Citrus Cooler: http://theimaginaryworld.com/pre307.jpg

  5. Haha perhaps chris! I was curious so I had to do some super sleuthing. I know of a lot of retro type websites that have weird things like that, but I’ll admit i found it through google images, lol.

  6. Kym, nice find. Perhaps Hi-C is easing up on their iron-fisted secrecy to appease the conspiracy theorists… It’s like the JFK of fruit juices.

  7. i found this in 2.5 seconds, lol. citrus cooler everyone.

    http://theimaginaryworld.com/prod53.jpg

    &

    http://www.theimaginaryworld.com/pre307.jpg

  8. Sean… I am aware of the final chapter, I will consider adding it in. Thanks.

  9. This is incomplete. You failed to mention the move from Shouting Orange Tangreen to Crazy Citrus Cooler, which was finally discontinued in 2007. It was delicious, though, and we mourn the death of Ecto Cooler.

Trackbacks

  1. […] pours out a really vibrant green color, not too different from the almost-defunct Hi-C Ecto Cooler (another period favorite). If there’s one thing that kids dig, it’s a drink in a […]

  2. […] pours out a really vibrant green color, not too different from the almost-defunct Hi-C Ecto Cooler (another period favorite). If there’s one thing that kids dig, it’s a drink in a nice […]

  3. […] Ecto-Cooler was essentially the same thing as “Shoutin‘ Orange Tangerine” but we liked it more because we could say “ecto-cooler” and associate it with Ghostbusters. And it was disturbingly green. […]

  4. […] Walter Peck.  A movie theme that was NUMBER ONE for three weeks in the US.  And maybe, JUST MAYBE Ecto Cooler will come back out (but probably not).  God Bless […]

  5. […] Making Me Happy This Week is Hi-C Ecto Cooler. Allow me to […]

  6. […] Matt Lozano, be my boyfriend. It was great – Matt was attentive and caring and let me have his Ecto Cooler Hi-C every day at lunch. Every relationship should be that […]

  7. […] I’d start with the obvious: Ghostbusters.  I’ve seen that movie more times than I can count–I had the proton packs as a kid, the little foot-pump ghost trap, the whole shebang.  I played the video games.  I watched The Real Ghostbusters.  I drank Ecto Cooler like it was going out of business.  Which, sadly, it did. […]

  8. […] lot of nostalgia from that era that I  hold onto. My lunch box frequently held Dunk-a-Roos or Hi-C Ecto Cooler. Of course as you get older, one realizes you can’t eat as you once did both due to a slowing […]

  9. […] be physical manifestations of Sarah’s 18th century possessions, possibly constructed out of weapons-grade Ecto Cooler. Sarah can leave these objects behind, and then absorb them again when she takes them […]

  10. […] that is known for being pretty potent. I like that it’s bright green, it reminds me of Ecto Cooler aka Slimer Juice.  But, you know, for […]

  11. […] of the 80s, you might remember a juice drink featuring everyone’s favorite sort-of friendly ghost from Ghostbusters. That drink was green and citrusy, with a color that was nowhere near real. This drink is like […]

  12. [...] It’s asparagus season! My husband said this cream of asparagus soup looks like Ecto Cooler.  [...]

  13. [...] Nor do we think there’s a market for Ecto Cooler Honey: ; [...]

  14. [...] Unlike its counterparts Capri Sun (which promoted a pouch-lancing beach bum lifestyle) and Hi-C’s Ecto Cooler (which invited too many questions about what becomes of juice drinks in the afterlife), Fruitopia, [...]

  15. [...] in one form or another, for more than a decade. Sadly, Ecto-Cooler (and its drinkable descendants) only survives in our memories these days, so we can’t share with our geeklets as they discover Mssrs. Venkman, Stantz, and [...]

  16. [...] sort of — we’re guessing — alcoholic confection that looks like it was mixed withEcto Cooler, with giant lollipop swizzlers dipped inside of it. A pinkish hue to whatever’s in the [...]

  17. [...] Ecto-Cooler. It’s magic. And now, you can make it in your own [...]

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