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Remember Exchange Juice?


A mock-up of Exchange Juice Drinks. Image base courtesy of Meadow Gold of Hawaii

Already a familiar question, where one might also ask if you remember Checkers & Pogo? If so, for you Baby Boomers and early Gen X’rs who grew up in Hawaii, you likely remember “back in the day” there was this concentrated fruit “juice” drink in a tiny tin can called Exchange, that came in two flavors: Orangeade and Grapeade. I can’t remember the mixing ratio, however it was something like one can of Exchange concentrate to 5 cans of water. Or was it 1 to 3?

Yet most memorable about Exchange fruit juice drinks was the television commercial jingle that ran quite frequently during the early 70’s, at a time when I was just a very little boy. We’re talking around when Kikaida was airing during its original run on KIKU-TV.

If you look-up ‘Exchange Juice’ on the web, most discussion boards wax eloquently about the memory, yet none have yet to find an actual photo of a vintage Exchange fruit drink can, or better yet, a video of the Exchange fruit drink television commercial jingle that made the brand a household name in Hawaii at the time. Which from whom was performed by the ‘Termites’, a then-protege of Herb Ohta-San.

The Exchange Juice jingle was sung to the tune of “Round and Round” by Perry Como, with the lyrics “juicefully exchanged” to go like this…

The exchange goes round round round
and down down down
in your glass glass glass
makes your mind
think yum yum yum
It’s that Orangeade called Exchange

The exchange goes round round round
and down down down
in your tum tum tum
makes your mind
think yum yum yum
It’s that Orangeade called Exchange

Well, them tiny Exchange concentrated fruit drink cans and brand may be nothing but a faint memory in our collective mind. However! However, I will happily proclaim the Exchange juice flavor lives on!

Ah, yes my friends, Exchange “Juice” lives on in the form of Meadow Gold Hawaii’s GRAPE and ORANGE “naturally & artificially flavored drink”. Which is essentially what Exchange fruit drinks were , being a super-sugar-concentrated artificially flavored “fruit” drink, having enough glucose to energize your 5 year old keiki into doing 101 laps around your living room coffee table. lol “Orangeade” and “Grapeade” being a loose disambiguation of Orange or Grape Juice meets Lemonade, however, IIRC, there wasn’t much citrus element in the flavor profile of Exchange at all.

I must say though, especially for the Grape flavor? OMG! Totally like what I remember Exchange Grapeade tasting like! It’s “grape-ey” in an artificial yet natural way, while being sweet and full of “depth” like nobody’s business. I can totally see if I were 5 years old how this Meadow Gold Grape “Juice” would be a fave’ for me. TOTALLY geared for the keiki palate.

If you remember Exchange Juice, on your next run to the local supermarket, pick-up Meadow Gold’s Grape and Orange fruit drinks (they’re super cheap on sale!), and let us know if these at all resemble what you remember of Exchange. Me thinks particularly the grape flavor is SPOT-ON EXCHANGE!

Meadow Gold Hawaii Dairy also this third Fruit Punch flavor, however I don’t recall Exchange having a “Fruit Punchade” flavor…

Here’s the origin of the Exchange Fruit Drink television jingle by the Termites, as performed by Perry Como…

Dang it. Now that song will not escape my head for the next 24 hours! lol

Seriously though, at least try Meadow Gold Hawaii’s Grape fruit drink. I almost guarantee it will totally remind you of circa Hawaii 70’s Exchange Grapeade!

28 thoughts on “Remember Exchange Juice?

  • October 19, 2013 at 2:38 am
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    Pomai, sorry for asking but what a checker and pogo?

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    • October 19, 2013 at 5:39 am
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      Amy,

      I take it then, you don’t remember Exchange juice drinks. Thanks for making me feel old. Thanks a lot. lol

      The Checkers & Pogo Show was a local children’s variety show produced by KGMB from 1967 to 1982. Like many keiki at the time, I was on of the shows for the pie eating segment Those pies being nothing but whipped cream in a pie tin. lol

      http://archives.starbulletin.com/1999/03/18/features/story4.html

      Reply
      • October 19, 2013 at 8:27 am
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        Pomai, sorry about that and now I like a kid too. Just that I guess those things were before I was born but maybe my mom might know it too since she from the baby boom generations.

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        • October 19, 2013 at 8:42 am
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          I am shock at what mom know of 60 and 70. She use to listen to Pat Benetar and Jannic Joplin and the Doors. Yes she also watch Dark Shadows and Checker and Pogo everyday. Funny she remember pie eating segment and pillow stuffing race.

          Reply
          • October 19, 2013 at 9:45 am
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            IIRC, the winner of the pie eating contest got to “pie” pogo in the face. I don’t know why, but I always laughed my @ss off watching that part .Little kids are so easy to humor.

            Does your mom remember Exchange juice? Please ask her.

  • October 19, 2013 at 6:55 am
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    Weren’t really a fixture in my house. We were a Hawaii’s Own/Hawaiian Sun frozen guava nectar family. But the little dime cans were ubiquitous and made great targets for the BB and pellet guns, and later .22. And as I remember the frozen nectar was about the same price when on sale.

    Reply
    • October 19, 2013 at 6:57 am
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      pat,

      When you say “little dime cans”, is that how much a can of Exchange costs back then?

      Reply
      • October 19, 2013 at 11:32 am
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        10 for a dollar is what I remember as a 15 year old stock clerk for Kauai Stores.

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        • October 19, 2013 at 11:38 am
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          And I believe it was one can exchange to 4 cans water. The frozen guava was 1 to 3.

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          • October 19, 2013 at 12:51 pm
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            pat,

            ah, 4:1 mixing ratio for Exchange. I do remember the frozen juices being 3:1.

            Speaking of the can, IIRC, Exchange was around when canned goods were all packed in tins made of steel, not aluminum, and there wasn’t those easy-pull tabs, but you had to open the can with a can opener. I remember the size of Exchange being the small 6 oz. can, similar to what Tomato Paste is packed in.

            A few more questions if you know the answer:
            1.) Was Exchange manufactured by a local company or from the mainland?
            2.) About during what years did Exchange appear in our markets? My guess is 1960’s to mid-70 or late 70’s?

          • October 19, 2013 at 2:53 pm
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            I don’t think it was locally canned, but I think I just assumed it wasn’t because there was no local stuff on the can itself nor in the flavors. This was when people were all drinking Exchange, guava or fruit punch stuff for breakfast and after school. I got one soda on weekend.Orange juice was ridiculously expensive. I also once read an article, in a gun magazine of all places, that said they filled the cans with concrete and used them as 1lb size cannon ‘balls’. Which actually makes a lot of sense because that was the diameter. So I don’t think we had a local canning concession.
            As for time, this is old school stuff. Definitely around in early 60s.

            As for ratio. Everyone in house had to get that just right or else. If one has not bought some lately, I strongly suggest readers try a Hawaii’s Own frozen nectar. Way ono and a terrific buy when on sale. Will bring back memories.And the kids will like the flavors. And don’t screw up the ratio!

          • October 20, 2013 at 7:02 am
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            pat,

            Interesting use of Exchange cans for making concrete cannon balls. IIRC, we used two empty Exchange tin cans connected to each other with string and make a “telephone” out of them. We used to make the string SUPER LONG (like 1/4th the distance of our neighborhood block). Gotta’ say, it does work, however the string has to be really taught. Imagine us doing that in the early 70’s, when kids nowadays are running around with smartphones. Sigh.

            People who remember Exchange such as myself likely thought it was a locally produced product because of the locally produced television commercial, which even that I have very vague memories, except for how the vocals sounded, which sounded like a group of young men. Yet Amy’s mom’s recollection of the commercial throws off that notion, as she said “a little boy playing on the piano singing the jingle. He wore a suit and a bow tie.” Wasn’t it an animated commercial? So I’m thinking the ‘Termites’ did the sound score, with the graphics being that animated boy playing the piano to the song,

            One note on the Hawaii’s Own Nectar juices, they also make great “Ice Cake”, having a nice gritty texture that’s easy to bite into (kinda’ slushy). We used to make our Ice Cake with the juice in paper cups, freeze, then pop the frozen juice out of the cup and put it back in upside down, so it’s like a popsicle.

            I just thought of someone at work who may have more info’ about the background of Exchange juice. When I see them I’ll ask.

          • October 21, 2013 at 11:54 am
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            HiC was 3 quart cans for a dollar. I remember that also.

  • October 19, 2013 at 11:25 am
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    Yes, she does remember a little boy playing on the piano singing the jingle. He wore a suit and a bow tie. She drank a lot of Exchanges and like grape one the best. She grandmother brought a lot and everybody enjoyed drinking it very much. Now you done it.

    She missed Exchange very much and have to get the Medow Gold one to have.

    Reply
    • October 19, 2013 at 1:44 pm
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      My dad said in Calif. in late 60’s and there also a lemonade one sold only in Calif. Do you remember Pepsident toothpaste girl named Linda Sue Chun? She was a cheerleader at Mckinley and later became Miss Chinatown USA.

      Reply
      • October 20, 2013 at 7:10 am
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        Kelike,

        So Exchange had a presence in California, which I’m going to wildly guess it was manufactured there, and distribution was very limited to perhaps only California and Hawaii, and perhaps nearby west coast states. If it had a wider distribution, I don’t think it’d have gone out of business. Either that, or the company was bought out by a larger manufacturer, and they did away with the brand.

        Don’t remember Linda Sue Chun. My favorite pageant queen was Brooke Lee. Beautiful gal with a great personality. Imua!

        Reply
    • October 20, 2013 at 8:28 am
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      Now you done it made mom older knowing more of the Exchange Juice ads. It was late 60’s that ad of the little boy who as an Asian. He played very well on the piano. Did you watched Capt. Honolulu and Thunderbirds and Astro Boy?

      Reply
  • October 21, 2013 at 1:38 am
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    Not a fan of “juice drinks” except limeade and possibly Juicy Juice. I remember my mom getting huge cans of the stuff when I was a kid, I just don’t remember if I liked it or not. That said, I am a HUGE Scissor Sisters fan, and have had that song in my head for the past week before you posted it. You must have read my mind!

    Reply
    • October 21, 2013 at 3:29 am
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      h,

      Neither am I in my adult life, particularly anything artificially flavored. Yet like most kids at the time, anything full of sugar, whether in liquid or solid form was all good. This was just something I happened to taste recently that brought back fond memories of that juice drink product called Exchange that we grew up with here in Hawaii. As noted, it was as much a fond memory for the TV commercial jingle, as it was for the drink itself. Think Sesame Street. ;-)

      Now for our “Off Topic Queen” subject of the day (or week, or month), you take note of the Scissor Sisters. Ha-ha!

      Not sure if you noticed, but I had initially embedded “Way Cool Junior” by Ratt at the end of this post, thinking that was a cool tip-off-the-hat from their “Round and Round” hit, in ode to “Round and Round” by Perry Como.

      But then I thought the song should be even more fittingly fun in ode to the juice drink, and went with Scissor Sisters’ “Take Your Mama”. I think Scissor Sisters are one of the most brilliant American bands today, taking a bit of Elton John, George Michael and Prince and shaking it all together, no pun intended. The lead singer’s “colorful antics” makes it all that much more fun! Just let it all go and jam! FYI, the lead guitarist is married to the gal in the band (at least, last I checked). I also like their song “Any Which Way”…

      And this live version of “Take Your Mama” is pure concert performance BRILLIANCE!….

      Reply
      • October 21, 2013 at 5:29 pm
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        The Scissor Sisters are A M A Z I N G live! So awesome. I saw them at the Virgin Music Festival about 5 years ago, and they killed it, even more memorable than the headlining act (RHCP). Incidentally, I’ve also seen Ratt live. I saw all the hair bands back when I was in middle school. The world was a different place then, and parents let their kids go to really inappropriate concerts alone.

        Btw, when I think Sesame Street’s theme song, I always prefer Sesame’s Treat:
        http://youtu.be/odQgfUUegQI
        Ah, memories of raves.

        Reply
        • October 21, 2013 at 5:58 pm
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          That “Sesame Treet” version was actually pretty good! The production and mixing was raw, but the overall composition worked. It’d be interesting to have someone like David Guetta or Will i Am (sp?) do a full-on modern production version of “Sesame Treet”.

          An electronic hip hop duo I used to like from the late 80’s to early 90’s was this band called Mantronix…

          Reply
          • October 23, 2013 at 1:36 am
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            Mantornix sounds like old-school beastie boys (well, post punk era beastie boys), or NYC rap from that era.

          • October 23, 2013 at 3:44 am
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            h,

            The band that I always confuse with Beastie Boys is Rage Against The Machine.

            My “Off-Topic Queen”, how about we get back on topic with a question for you: Being you grew up in Florida, what regional snacks are you most fond of from your neck ‘o the woods out there in the “Sunshine State”? Any snacks or drinks with Latino/Cuban/Puerto Rican influence that you were particularly fond of? Snacks from your Jewish side? Good ‘ole American stuff?

  • October 21, 2013 at 8:07 am
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    I remember there was a third Orange/Pineapple flavor too.

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  • October 22, 2013 at 9:45 am
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    I LOVED Exchange Orangeade! I still hum the song every once in a while. Never tried the grape flavor. I don’t drink juice because it’s so high in sugar but I might be tempted to try the orangeade. But it won’t be the same as making the juice from the concentrate in the little blue cans.

    LOVED Checkers & Pogo. Still remember the skit when the phone was ringing & he was trying to wrestle the inflatable canoe though the doorway. Classic!

    Reply
  • October 23, 2013 at 5:48 am
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    Exchange Orangeade and Grapeade! I remember begging my mom to buy it. What a blast from the past.

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  • October 23, 2013 at 4:46 pm
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    I LOVED Exchange Orangeade. I remember them coming in a small blue can.

    Reply
  • April 24, 2015 at 9:17 pm
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    My dad used to buy Exchange by the case at Foodland or Arakawa’s (maybe 10 cents per can).  I never liked it.  It didn’t even taste like oranges.  It was salty and hurt my throat.  The school lunches often included a cube of gelatin (or maybe it was kanten) seasoned with Exchange concentrate.  Horrid!

    Katy’s husband

    Reply

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