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A&W Root Beer is a root beer franchise in the United Statesmarker and Canadamarker that was started in 1919 by Roy Allen.[87735] In 1922, Allen partnered with Frank Wright. They combined their initials to create the brand "A&W" and inspired a restaurant chain in 1922. The first A&W root beer drinks were sold for five cents. A&W's international headquarters are located in Malaysiamarker.

Cadbury Schweppes bought A&W in 1993; Cadbury spun off its US beverages as Dr Pepper Snapple Group in 2008.


  • A&W Sugar-free Root Beer was introduced in 1974, and reformulated as Diet A&W in 1987.

Promotions and contests

The Great Root Bear

The Great Root Bear is the popular mascot for A&W Root Beer. It was first used in 1974 by Canadamarker's A&W, and was later adopted by the American chain. In the late 1990s, the Great Root Bear's role as mascot was reduced for the restaurant chain, ultimately being replaced by "The Burger Family", although it still appears in various capacities for the restaurants and on A&W Root Beer cases in Canada. In a long-running television advertising campaign for the Canadian A&W chain, his theme was a tuba-driven jingle entitled "Ba-Dum, Ba-Dum" which was released as a single by Attic Records in Canada, credited to "Major Ursus", a play on the constellation name Ursa Major, which means "great bear".

A&W Restaurants

Shortly after Allen had bought out Wright's portion of the business, he began franchising the product. His profits came from a small franchise fee and sales of concentrate. There was no standard food menu for franchises until 1978. By 1960, they had 2000 stores.

In 1989, A&W made an agreement with Minnesotamarker-based chain Carousel Snack Bars to convert that chain's 200 locations (mostly kiosks in shopping malls) to "A&W Hot Dogs & More". Some A&W Hot Dogs & More locations are still in operation today.

In the United States and Southeast Asia, A&W is currently a Yum! Brands, Inc. company. Most A&W locations that have opened in the U.S. in recent years have been co-branded with one of Yum!'s other chains—Long John Silver's, Taco Bell, or Kentucky Fried Chicken.

External links


  1. Our Brands - Dr Pepper Snapple Group
  2. A & W Rootbeer
  3. - A&W root beer's official history
  4. - A&W root beer's official history
  5. - A&W root beer's official history
  6. eBay Bidders Can Vie for Trip to A&W Root Beer's 'Ultimate All-American Cookout and Concert' Featuring Jim Belushi and The Sacred Hearts Band; Proceeds From Online Charity Auction to Benefit John Belushi Scholarship Fund. - PR Newswire - HighBeam Research
  7. A&W Root Beer - History & Collectables
  8. A&W prexy sets pace for growth in the '90's - A&W Restaurants; George Michel


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