Precisely how and when people began the custom of eating Moon Pies with RC Cola is unknown, although it is likely that their inexpensive prices, combined with their larger serving sizes, contributed to establishing this combination as the "working man's lunch". The popularity of this combination was celebrated in a popular song of the 1950's, by Big Bill Lister, "Gimmee an RC Cola and a Moon Pie.".
In 1973, NRBQ had a minor hit with the song, "An RC Cola and a Moon Pie."
Since New Year's Eve 2008, the city of Mobile, Alabama raises a 12-foot-tall (3.7 m) lighted mechanical moon pie to celebrate the coming of the new year. The giant banana colored MoonPie is raised by a crane to a height of 200 feet (61 m) as the clock strikes midnight. Also, the city had for the 2008 New Year's celebration the world's largest moon pie baked for the occasion. It weighed 55 pounds (25 kg) and contained 45,000 calories.
An annual RC & Moon Pie Festival is celebrated in Bell Buckle, Tennessee, and a Moon Pie Eating Contest is held in Bessemer, Alabama.
On October 16, 2010, Sonya Thomas, a competitive eater known as the "Black Widow," ate 38 MoonPies in eight minutes in Caruthersville, Missouri.
Newport, Tennessee held its first annual Moon Pie Festival in May, 2012.
Mardi Gras traditionThe Moon Pie became a traditional "throw" (an item thrown from a parade float into the crowd) of Mardi Gras "krewes" (parade participants) in Mobile, Alabama during 1956, followed by other communities along the Mississippi Gulf Coast. The westernmost outpost of the Moon Pie as an important Carnival throw is Slidell, Louisiana, which has a parade by "The Krewe of Mona Lisa and Moon Pie." Also, in the town of Oneonta, Alabama, there is a moon pie eating contest started by Wal-Mart employee John Love when he inadvertently ordered too many. This anecdote was featured in Sam Walton's autobiography, Made in America.
Similar productsIn the northern areas of the U.S. a similar product is called a "Scooter Pie" and there is also a single-cracker marshmallow cookie called "Mallomars". Little Debbie also makes what they call "Marshmallow Pies" which are nearly identical to the Moonpies. In the United Kingdom, Australia and Canada a similar product is called "Wagon Wheels" and in Japan, "Angel Pies".
Some South Korean companies produce "Choco Pies", and in Mexico there are similar cookie pies called "Mamut" (sold by Gamesa), and "Rocko" (marketed by Marinela); there are several other minor brands as well. In Turkey, a similar pie is called "Halley".
RC Cola (or Royal Crown Cola) is a cola-flavored soft drink developed in 1905 by Claud A. Hatcher, a pharmacist in Columbus, Georgia, United States.
HistoryAs a grocery wholesaler, Claud A. Hatcher purchased a large volume of Coca-Cola syrup from the local company salesman, Columbus Roberts. Hatcher felt that Hatcher Grocery Co. deserved a special reduced price for the syrup since it purchased such large volumes. Mr. Roberts would not budge on the cost, and a bitter conflict between the two erupted. Hatcher told Roberts he would win the battle by never purchasing any more Coca-Cola, and Hatcher determined to develop his own soft drink formula. Thus, he went to the basement of the grocery store to find his cola. Instead he discovered ginger ale.
In the 1950's, Royal Crown Cola and Moon pies were a popular "working man's lunch" in the American South. In 1954, Royal Crown was first to sell soft drinks in a can, and later the first company to sell a soft drink in an aluminum can.
In 1958, the company introduced the first diet cola, Diet Rite, and in 1980, a caffeine-free cola, RC 100. In the mid-1990's, RC released Royal Crown Draft Cola, billed as a "premium" cola using pure cane sugar as a sweetener, rather than the high fructose corn syrup. Offered only in 12-ounce bottles, sales were disappointing due largely to the inability of the RC bottling network to get distribution for the product in single-drink channels and it was quickly discontinued with the exceptions of Australia, New Zealand and France. It is now only available in New Zealand, parts of Australia and Thailand and also Tajikistan in Central Asia. The company also released Cherry RC — a cherry flavored version of the RC soft drink — to compete with Coca-Cola Cherry and Pepsi Wild Cherry.
In October 2000, Royal Crown was acquired by Cadbury Schweppes plc through its acquisition of Snapple. Royal Crown operations were folded into Dr Pepper/Seven Up, a former subsidiary of Cadbury Schweppes. In 2001, all international RC-branded businesses were sold to Cott Beverages of Mississauga, Ontario, Canada, and are operated as Royal Crown Cola International, which handles RC Cola products outside the United States. In the US, distribution is handled by Dr Pepper Snapple Group.
RC Cola was introduced to the United Kingdom in May 2011, and sold at Asda supermarkets and other retailers. It is bottled in the country by Cott Beverages.
Advertising campaignsThe RC Cola brand has been marketed through many campaigns. In the 1930s, Alex Osborn, with BBDO, made an ad campaign, including the following slogan: "The season's best."
The 1940s saw a magazine advertising campaign with actress Lizabeth Scott as the face, next to the slogan "RC tastes best, says Lizabeth Scott".
In 1966, Royal Crown Cola collaborated with Jim Henson on an ad campaign for Royal Crown Cola which featured two birds called Sour Bird (performed by Jim Henson) and Nutty Bird (performed by Jim Henson and assisted by Frank Oz) to promote the drinks. Nutty Bird would promote Royal Crown Cola by touting the benefits. The puppet for Nutty Bird was designed by Jim Henson and built by Don Sahlin. Sour Bird appeared on The Ed Sullivan Show with the Rock and Roll Monster.
Nancy Sinatra was featured in two Royal Crown Cola commercials in her one hour special, "Movin' With Nancy" featuring various singers, David Winters choreography in December 1967. She sang, "It's a mad, mad, mad Cola... RC the one with the mad, mad taste!...RC!" The company was the official sponsor of New York Mets off and on at times during the 1960's, 70's and 80's. A television commercial in the New York area featured Tom Seaver, New York Mets pitcher, and his wife, Nancy, dancing on top of a dugout at Shea Stadium and singing the tune from the Sinatra campaign. In the mid 1970s, Royal Crown ran the "Me & My RC" advertisements. Others featured people in scenic outdoor locations. The jingle, sung by Louise Mandrell, went, "Me and my RC / Me and my RC /'Cause what's good enough / For other folks / Ain't good enough for me." RC was introduced to Israel in 1995 with the slogan "RC: Just like in America!"
- Chocolate-coated marshmallow treats
- Choco Pie
- Fluffernutter, another kind of marshmallow creme based sandwich
- Wagon Wheels
- Whoopie pie
- Official Chattanooga Bakery website
- Chattanooga Bakery Company article at the Tennessee Encyclopedia Online
- Moon Pie Drop New Year's Eve in Mobile, AL
- Cola Wars
- Dr Pepper
- Official RC Cola International site
- RC Cola's page on DrPepper-Snapple Group's website
- RC Cola and Moon Pie Festival
- Official RC Cola UK site