Quiz about Vimto  More Than Just A Drink
Quiz about Vimto  More Than Just A Drink

Vimto - More Than Just A Drink? Quiz


A nondescript purple fizzy drink - or a fascinating reflection of a century of social change? Take this little quiz on the life and times of Vimto and decide for yourselves....

A multiple-choice quiz by solan_goose. Estimated time: 6 mins.
  1. Home
  2. »
  3. Quizzes
  4. »
  5. Hobbies Trivia
  6. »
  7. Food & Drink
  8. »
  9. Beverages (Non-Alcoholic)

Author
solan_goose
Time
6 mins
Type
Multiple Choice
Quiz #
314,018
Updated
Dec 03 21
# Qns
10
Difficulty
Tough
Avg Score
6 / 10
Plays
411
Awards
Top 35% Quiz
This quiz has 2 formats: you can play it as a or as shown below.
Scroll down to the bottom for the answer key.
1. Where did the name Vimto come from? Hint

It's "vim" (as in vim and vigour) plus TOnic
It's the initials of its inventor, plus TOnic
It's Latin for "I become refreshed"
It's an anagram of "vomit," as Vimto claimed to relieve nausea

2. As well as being a health drink sold at pharmacies, what was another key outlet for Vimto that helped spread its popularity in its early years? Hint

The temperance movement sold it as a tasty and appealing alternative to alcohol
The Suffragette movement (colours: purple, green and white) sold Vimto door to door to raise funds
It was the official drink of the 1908 London Olympics
The Royal Navy distributed it on ships as an alternative to rum

3. How did Vimto manufacturers J.N. Nichols & Co respond to the 1926 UK General Strike? Hint

They issued their own newspaper whilst the others were closed due to the strike
They donated a penny from each bottle sold to the strikers' fund
They distributed barrels of free Vimto to the picket lines
They sponsored a fleet of purple buses to break the transport strike in Manchester

4. During WWII Vimto, along with all other UK soft drinks brands, disappeared. It was only available as one of a range of beverages called "SFCs." What did this stand for? Hint

Sugar Free Cordial drinks
Speciality Flavour Cordial drinks
Speciality Fruit Crush drinks
Sugared Foodstuffs Commission drinks

5. In the 1950s Vimto finally abandoned claims to be a healthy tonic and repositioned itself firmly as a fun leisure drink that appealed to youth. How did the company underline this change of direction? Hint

It launched a designer range of purple Vimto ladies' swimwear
It ran advertising featuring glamorous models of minimal obvious relevance to the brand
It launched its own "Vimtone" record label for budding rock and roll bands
It was Manchester United's shirt sponsor in their two league title winning seasons in the mid 1950s

6. Vimto is now exported all over the world. "Double strength" Vimto, twice as concentrated as normal, has become very popular - where and for what purpose? Hint

In Islamic countries, as a pick-me-up after Ramadan fasting
In Russia, mixed with vodka as a de-icer for frozen windscreens
In South Africa, mixed with Sparletta Iron Brew as a hangover cure
In Albania, to make a purple dye used in traditional circumcision ceremonies

7. Vimto has many celebrity fans. What did British comic Peter Kay ask for when he wrote in as a youngster to the popular British TV show "Jim'll Fix It," which granted children some of their most imaginative and outlandish wishes? Hint

To have a swim in a swimming pool full of Vimto
To star in a Vimto TV advertisement
To have Vimto plumbed into his house alongside the water
To set off the explosion that demolished the old Vimto factory in Manchester when the company moved premises

8. What is the ratio of Vimto to other ingredients in a "Cheeky Vimto" cocktail? Hint

Two parts Vimto to two parts port
Two parts Vimto to two parts vodka
One part Vimto to three parts red wine
There isn't any Vimto in it at all

9. A Vimto version of which popular board game was sold in 2008 as part of Vimto's centenary celebrations? Hint

Monopoly
Cluedo/Clue
Scrabble
Chess

10. What would a "Vimto tourist" now find at 49 Granby Row in Manchester, where Noel Nichols first made his best-selling drink? Hint

A multistorey car park
The Vimto Heritage and Interpretation Centre
A sculpture of a giant Vimto bottle
A theme bar called Purple Purple


(Optional) Create a Free FunTrivia ID to save the points you are about to earn:

arrow Select a User ID:
arrow Choose a Password:
arrow Your Email:




Quiz Answer Key and Fun Facts
1. Where did the name Vimto come from?

Answer: It's "vim" (as in vim and vigour) plus TOnic

Vimto's inventor, Noel Nichols, originally called it "Vim Tonic" because he claimed it revitalised you and gave you energy. Much as with Coca Cola, which at the time Vimto was born in 1908 was still calling itself a "delightful, palatable, healthful beverage," Vimto was originally intended as a health drink.

"Vim" is also the name of a popular brand of UK scouring powder first sold in 1904. It was clearly in vogue in Edwardian times, although it's virtually a fossil word these days, really only living on in the phrase "vim and vigour."

"Vimto" does look a lot like a Latin first person singular verb. "Vim" itself even exists in Latin - it means "force" or "power" - and this is probably where the English word comes from. "Vimto" is not valid Latin though. The British actor Derek Nimmo used to suffer at school at the hands of a Latin teacher who claimed his surname was part of a verb meaning "to be a nobody" ("Nobody," as Jules Verne fans will know, is "nemo" in Latin). If Noel Nichols was tempted to make up a similar verb, he clearly resisted.

Founders' and inventors' Initials and/or partial surnames are, of course, very popular in brand and company names - B&Q, Tesco and Amstrad just for starters in the UK alone.
2. As well as being a health drink sold at pharmacies, what was another key outlet for Vimto that helped spread its popularity in its early years?

Answer: The temperance movement sold it as a tasty and appealing alternative to alcohol

The media concern in the 21st century about "binge drinking" is nothing new - just think of Hogarth's celebrated "Gin Lane" and "Beer Street" prints from back in 1751. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, this concern took the form of the temperance movement, spearheaded in the UK by the Nonconformist churches, which tried various means to tempt the populace away from the "demon drink." This included temperance "bars" that sold unusual and interesting non-alcoholic beverages. Nichols knew a business opportunity when he saw one, and sold large quantities of Vimto to these outlets.

When WWI broke out and the 1914 Defence of the Realm Act put hefty taxes on alcohol in the UK and severely limited pub opening hours, the opportunities for selling non-alcoholic drinks to a thirsty market expanded still further and Vimto was on its way. The UK temperance movement, however, entered terminal decline not long after owing to, among other factors, the failure of Prohibition in the US. As of 2009, "Fitzpatrick's Herbal Health" in Rawtenstall, Lancashire claimed to be the UK's last surviving temperance bar, offering "blood tonic," "Vitalo herbal tonic," cream soda, lemon and ginger cordial and other similar lines.
3. How did Vimto manufacturers J.N. Nichols & Co respond to the 1926 UK General Strike?

Answer: They issued their own newspaper whilst the others were closed due to the strike

The General Strike in May 1926 was organised as a show of solidarity to British miners, who were facing wage cuts and other hardships because of the dire state of the industry. It was largely unsuccessful, being called off after only ten days, and miners suffered even greater job losses and deprivation in the years that followed.

The "Vimto Times" was a spoof newspaper aimed at cheering people up whilst the strike was on. Its basic line was that if only everyone had sat down and drunk Vimto more often, tempers would have been calmed and this whole strike business would never have happened. As a factory owner and self-made-man descended from the prominent Victorian advocate of self-help and self-reliance Samuel Smiles, it's unlikely that Nichols would have had much sympathy with mass strike action.

Vimto had already entered the publishing business a few years earlier with the "Vimto Book Of Knowledge," which was regularly updated throughout the early to mid 20th century. Your author's great grandmother had a copy and as a child he found it an important early pointer in the direction of the world of trivia.
4. During WWII Vimto, along with all other UK soft drinks brands, disappeared. It was only available as one of a range of beverages called "SFCs." What did this stand for?

Answer: Speciality Flavour Cordial drinks

The soft drinks industry used a lot of sugar and other scarce imported ingredients, and so the British government joined forces with the industry to form the snappily-titled Soft Drinks Industry (War Times) Association Limited (SDI). All you could buy (and even then, only if you were lucky) were unbranded SDI Speciality Flavour Cordials, sold at fixed prices. One of these just happened to be purple and made in Manchester.

The SFCs by all accounts tasted pretty horrid, due to the shortage of good quality supplies. Vimto finally returned as a brand in its own right in 1947 but even then was only a shadow of its former self until sugar rationing ended in 1953. Many other brands vanished for good.

Whilst the domestic industry was being squashed in this way, Coca Cola was expanding rapidly all over the world, opening plants throughout Europe and elsewhere to supply Coke to US forces on active service. The local populations in these areas also discovered they liked it and the infrastructure was now in place for a post-WWII soft drinks war between the likes of Coke and the remaining UK domestic soft drinks such as Vimto.
5. In the 1950s Vimto finally abandoned claims to be a healthy tonic and repositioned itself firmly as a fun leisure drink that appealed to youth. How did the company underline this change of direction?

Answer: It ran advertising featuring glamorous models of minimal obvious relevance to the brand

With the advent of free universal health care in the UK in the late 1940s, everyone regardless of income had access to "proper" medicines and health tonics acquired a rather old-fashioned image. Combined with the growing threat from much bigger overseas rivals such as Coke, this led the company to put the emphasis firmly on Vimto as a fashionable, trendy tasty refreshing drink with youth appeal.

The company hired the cartoonist Herbert Stanley Terry to produce popular lavish advertising showcards of attractive young ladies promoting Vimto, at a time when Coke advertising showed similar women enjoying Coke by the pool and on the beach. Vimto then ran its first TV advertisements only a year after commercial TV launched in the UK in 1955. The stage was being set for its move into the sort of Vimto advertising more familiar to today's consumers.
6. Vimto is now exported all over the world. "Double strength" Vimto, twice as concentrated as normal, has become very popular - where and for what purpose?

Answer: In Islamic countries, as a pick-me-up after Ramadan fasting

Vimto was first exported to India and Guyana in the 1920s, but its popularity spread rapidly throughout the Middle East into Africa and further afield. By the 1930s, Nichols was truthfully able to claim that Vimto was available "from Peru to Albania."

Vimto was originally exported double-strength to cut down on transportation costs, but some local bottlers, whether by accident or design, tried selling it on as sent and found that the extra sweetness and "kick" went down well, especially in the Moslem world as an instant restorer of energy after the long daily fasts during Ramadan. Vimto is now an integral part of Ramadan in many countries, especially on the Arabian peninsula, and its Ramadan advertising campaign each year is very lavish. It bears a closer resemblance to the company's earlier "healthy tonic" ads than it does to the current Vimto advertising familiar to many Western consumers.
7. Vimto has many celebrity fans. What did British comic Peter Kay ask for when he wrote in as a youngster to the popular British TV show "Jim'll Fix It," which granted children some of their most imaginative and outlandish wishes?

Answer: To have a swim in a swimming pool full of Vimto

Unfortunately the show's host, veteran British DJ Jimmy Savile, did not apparently grant the young Kay's request. Vimto was originally and sometimes still is served hot, so the experience might not have been as unpleasant as one might first think.

In 2006 the Manchester Evening News reported that the Bird family of Timperley in Cheshire had actually had a supply of sugar-free Vimto plumbed into their homes from a huge storage tank under their garden. They drank 12 litres of Vimto a week on average. Truth remains far stranger than anything fiction can come up with.

Kay's initial unsuccessful bid for Vimto-fuelled child stardom did not deter him from going on to build a successful career as a stand-up comedian and as a star of popular TV shows such as "Phoenix Nights." He even had a role in a Number 1 UK hit single in 2005 when Tony Christie's "Is This The Way To Amarillo?" was re-released to raise money for the Comic Relief charity. Kay did not sing, but lip-synched to Christie's version in the video, which also featured several other celebrities.
8. What is the ratio of Vimto to other ingredients in a "Cheeky Vimto" cocktail?

Answer: There isn't any Vimto in it at all

There isn't any Vimto in a Cheeky Vimto - it's usually made from mixing WKD Blue (a blue-coloured vodka-based "alcopop") and port. About the only thing it has in common with real Vimto is that it's purple. It's very popular with younger drinkers in bars and nightclubs.

In order to avoid the wrath of Nichols plc's legal department, many pub and bar chains list the drink on their menus as a "Cheeky V," or other safe variants. Vimto has expanded its brand name into many other areas in recent years - Vimto flavoured ice lollies, boiled sweets, gum and so on - but the likelihood of a brand with such strong links to the temperance movement and non-alcohol-drinking parts of the world developing an alcohol-based variant is extremely low.
9. A Vimto version of which popular board game was sold in 2008 as part of Vimto's centenary celebrations?

Answer: Cluedo/Clue

"Vimto Cluedo" was available both as a regular board game and as a competition website, where the player who identified the culprit the fastest of all won 10,000. Instead of a murderer, players had to identify the person who stole the special Vimto 100th birthday cake from the factory. The regular cast of Colonel Mustard and the gang were replaced by Colonel Cordial, Fizzy Lizzy, Professor Purple, Sidney Shlurpler, Bella Beverage and Miss Redgrape.

Although Monopoly is possibly the best-known board game with multiple variants, there have been Cluedo versions featuring the Simpsons ("who killed Mr Burns?" of course!), Scooby Doo, the cast of "24" and Harry Potter among others.
10. What would a "Vimto tourist" now find at 49 Granby Row in Manchester, where Noel Nichols first made his best-selling drink?

Answer: A sculpture of a giant Vimto bottle

The site of the long-demolished herbal shop is now a landscaped area in the University of Manchester's science campus (formerly known as UMIST). Visitors to the spot will find "A Monument To Vimto," a twelve foot tall oak sculpture of a Vimto bottle by Kerry Morrison erected in 1992 after a competition to find a suitable way of marking the site's history.
Source: Author solan_goose

This quiz was reviewed by FunTrivia editor Bruyere before going online.
Any errors found in FunTrivia content are routinely corrected through our feedback system.
Most Recent Scores
Mar 06 2023 : Andyboy2021: 10/10
Feb 26 2023 : spidersfull: 10/10

Score Distribution

quiz
3/26/2023, Copyright 2023 FunTrivia, Inc. - Report an Error / Contact Us