The iconic Australian drink no one wants any more 10



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Since 1927, when Cottee’s was created in Australia, we have loved cordial. That sugary concentrate was also a pantry staple but according to new data, the drink’s heyday is well and truly in the past.

As more and more of us try to adopt a healthier lifestyle, we try to cut down on sugar and items that aren’t natural or juiced right in our kitchen. Unfortunately humble cordial is another casualty of the health craze that’s taken over the world, but we can’t help but feel a little nostalgic about the drink many of us grew up drinking, as did our children and grandchildren.


According to Nielsen Homescan, cordial sales in Australia have fallen dramatically in the 12 months to October 2015.

And cordial is becoming increasingly unpopular in households with year-on-year figures showing 53.7 per cent of households have cordial in the cupboard, compared with 56.1 per cent in 2014 and 58.7 per cent in 2013.

“The lost cordial shoppers are more likely to be under 35 when compared to average cordial shopper,” a Nielsen spokeswoman said.

Nutritionist and dietitian Dr Joanna McMillan told News Corp it was a positive thing. “People don’t realise just how much sugar they’re adding even with just a splash of cordial,” she said. “Because it’s so concentrated, even a small amount is the same as a sugar-sweetened soft drink”.

She attributed their prior success to successful campaigns that touched on Australia’s culture. “We’ve got people who are now adults and parents themselves who had cordial when they were kids,” she said. “If under 35s are stopping, that does show the message around sugar-sweetened drinks is getting through”, she said.

Many of us have a twinge of nostalgia when we think of the famous cordials from our youth, particularly the Cottee’s brand. The brand’s popularity reached its peak in the 1960s, and lime cordial has been the number one flavour since.

Tell us: do you still buy cordial? Would you be sad if it left our shelves?


Starts at 60 Writers

The Starts at 60 writers team seek out interesting topics and write them especially for you.

  1. Sadly I cannot agree with the pie in the sky story here. Yes people have stopped buying cordial, but are now getting the sugar fix from canned energy drinks, and processed foods. The above article would be improved and far more accurate if the level of consumption of ‘energy’ drinks was shown. Back when I was a child we did not have the plethora of canned and bottled sugar laden sodas, and if we wanted a sweet drink cordial was it, because fruit juice was also expensive and hard to come by.

  2. Still love and make lemon, lime barley water. It’s so refreshing, especially with a splash of mint. Everything in moderation is the go. Red cordial, nothing better, except a cold beer on a hot day.

  3. Still love and make lemon, lime barley water. It’s so refreshing, especially with a splash of mint. Everything in moderation is the go. Red cordial, nothing better, except a cold beer on a hot day.

  4. My husband still likes his lime cordial but I never drink it.

  5. I only give my grandchildren cordial, water or milk. never soft drinks.

  6. My husband & I both drink cordial but only the sugar free ones
    We add just a dash to our water every day
    Far better than sugary soft drinks or energy drinks in my opinion
    My grandchildren like cordial also

    1 REPLY
    • I agree Lyn. Much better than all the soft drinks and so-called healthy juices that have even more sugar in them than cordial !! All the children in my family still drink cordial because it is mainly water, and that is supposed to be healthy isn’t it ???

  7. We still use cordial but only the lemon diet one in a glass on soda water. Tastes like Solo and refreshing without calories.

  8. Not only did my kids drink cordial, but a dozen Slades soft drinks every week.

  9. Sad that this may happen if people stopped and thought what they bought their kids, Maccas, Hungry Jacks etc with soft drinks stop and thought how much sugar and crap they put in their childrens mouths. Try buying proper fresh fruit ,vegs and meat like we all had as children we wouldn’t loose an icon like Cottee’s. Their answer will be we can’t afford those food items what a lot of baloney now I have had my rant

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