Monday, April 21, 2014   

Orangina creator Beton dies
(12-04 18:37)

Jean-Claude Beton, the man who turned the fizzy drink Orangina and its famous bulbous bottle into a global brand, has died. He was 88.
His death, on Monday, was announced by the mayor of Marseille, Jean-Claude Gaudin.
Beton was born into a prosperous family of shopkeepers in French-ruled Algeria on January 14, 1925.
It was his father who produced the first bottle of Orangina on the basis of a recipe concocted by a chemist in Valencia, Spain.
The original ingredients were concentrated orange juice, fizzy sugared water and a teaspoon of essential oils.
The family knew they were on to a winner but held off as a result of the Spanish civil war and World War II.
After studying agricultural engineering, Beton dusted off the recipe in 1951, created the distinctive bottle and added a small amount of pulp to the formula.
Graphic artist Bernard Villemot, meanwhile, produced the distinctive original label of a parasol and a bistro table with a bottle of orangina on it, set against an azur sky.
After decades of growth the Orangina brand was finally swallowed up by drinks giant Pernod Ricard in 1984.
Beton was seen as a paternalistic boss, notably granting his workers a reduced 39-hour week before it became standard in France in 1982.
After selling the brand he had created, he indulged his passion for wine, acquiring Chateau Ormeau in the Lalande-de-Pomerol area of Bordeaux.
Orangina meanwhile went through several hands, including Cadbury Schweppes, and was then taken over by Japan's Suntory in 2009.—AFP
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