Snapple Lady - Wendy Kaufman, a plump, 5-foot
2-inch Long Island native otherwise known as "The Snapple Lady," was the bubbly
spokesperson for the Snapple Beverage Corporation, the maker of such all-natural
beverages as Mango Madness and Amazin' Grape. Originally hired to work in the
Snapple order-processing department in 1991, Kaufman began answering the many
inquiries the company received about their product.
When Snapple chose Kaufman to be their national spokesperson, she received hundreds of letters a week,
including customer fantasies about their favorite Snapple products (such as
having a case of Snapple delivered to a high school detention hall) as well as
marriage proposals and invitations to proms, sleep-overs, and Bar mitzvahs.
Perks for her popularity included being asked to read the David Letterman's "Top
10 Least Favorite Snapple Drinks" from the Snapple's New York home office; and
having comedian Rosie O'Donnell (usually mistaken for Kathy Bates) now mistaken
for the Snapple Lady. Despite the rise to celebrity, Wendy Kaufman still
professed her main goal was to make Snapple drinkers happy. (People Weekly
When Quaker Oats Company purchased Snapple in 1994, Kaufman was
dismissed as commercial spokesperson in 1996 (along with Rush Limbaugh and
Howard Stern who had hawked Snapple products on their radio programs). Kaufman
later appeared on the syndicated two-minute radio advice program "Ask Wendy"
that answered questions submitted via E-mail.
In May of 1997, Quaker Oats unable
to boost Snapple sales, decided to take a $1.4 billion bath and sell Snapple to Triarc Beverage Group for $300 million. The first thing the Triarc CEO Mike
Weinstein did was rehire Kaufman. stating "Wendy is the essence of the brand."
He also ran a parade down Fifth Avenue celebrating Wendy's return and a new
flavor: Wendy's Tropical Inspiration.
Snapple now offers 50 different flavors of
teas, lemonades, fruit juices, diets, smoothies including a red-apple drink
called Snapple Apple, Snapricot Orange, Very Cherry Tea, Lime Green Tea, and
Diet Lime Green Tea.
Snapple along with Mistic, Royal Crown and Stewart's Brands
were sold as the Snapple Beverage Group to Cadbury Schweppes in November 2000.
TRIVIA NOTE: The original Snapple company began in 1972 when Brooklyn buddies Lennie Marsh, Hyman Golden and Arnold Greenberg went into business. Marsh and
Golden, the owners of a window washing and office cleaning business hooked up
with pal Greenberg, the owner of a health food store to sell a line of teas and
fruit drinks in delis and corner store. The Snapple corporate motto is "Made
from the best stuff on earth."
If you unscramble the word "Snapple" you get "Pen Pals." Snapple was a favorite
drink of comedian Jerry Seinfeld on the hit NBC series SEINFELD. According to
Wendy Kaufman "Jerry is a Long Island Boy. He grew up drinking Snapple with me.
Long Island is where the entire Snapple story began. We always had it on the set
for him, even when the show first started.