Soft drink giant Coca-Cola announced on Tuesday it is acquiring Moxie, a long-lived and beloved New England soda brand that is the official state beverage of Maine.
Moxie has been around since the 19th century and it's famous in New England for its unique flavor, which is the product of a root extract that gives it a distinctive taste that polarizes drinkers. Coca-Cola said Tuesday it's acquiring the brand from Coca-Cola of Northern New England, an independent bottling partner of the larger company that's in Bedford, New Hampshire.
Bottling of the soda will remain in New Hampshire, said Lauren Thompson, a spokeswoman for Coca-Cola. She said the company's goal is to "work to protect the heritage and regional culture of the brand," and that Coca-Cola also sees an opportunity to bring Moxie's brand to a wider audience.
"Moxie is a great brand with a great heritage. Coca-Cola Northern New England has been a strong steward of the brand over the last decade and we take seriously our responsibility to ensure it stays true to its Northeastern roots," she said.
Coca-Cola declined to provide the price of the sale, which is expected to close in the fourth quarter of this year. Coca-Cola North America has entered into a definitive agreement with Coca-Cola of Northern New England, Thompson said.
Representatives for Coca-Cola of Northern New England did not immediately return calls seeking comment.
Moxie is most closely associated with the state of Maine, where it is the subject of the annual Moxie Festival in Libson, a river town of 8,800. The drink is also widely used as a mixer in New England, where it's used to make "Moxie cocktails."