Lucozade is a soft drink manufactured by the Japanese company Suntory and marketed as a range of sports and energy drinks. Created as "Glucozade" in the UK in 1927 by a Newcastle pharmacist, William Walker Hunter (trading as W. Owen & Son),[a] it was acquired by the British pharmaceutical company Beecham's in 1938 and sold as an energy drink for the sick as Lucozade. The company's advertising slogan was "Lucozade aids recovery".
A glucose–water solution, the product was sold until 1983 as a carbonated, slightly orange-flavored drink in a glass bottle wrapped in yellow cellophane. Pharmacists sold it, children were given it when ill, and hospital visitors would regularly arrive with a bottle.[b] It was rebranded as a "pick me up" in 1978 and as a sports drink in 1983 to associate it with health rather than sickness. The company switched to a plastic bottle and introduced a range of flavors. As of 2016, a 500 ml bottle contained 62 g (15.5 cubes) of sugar, more than Coca-Cola. In 2017, to avoid sugar tax, the drink was reformulated to contain 22.5 g of sugar per 500 ml of liquid and the artificial sweeteners aspartame and acesulfame K.
In 1989 the Beecham Group merged to form SmithKline Beecham, which in
2000 merged to form GlaxoSmithKline. In September 2013 GlaxoSmithKline sold Lucozade and another soft drink, Ribena, to the Japanese conglomerate Suntory for £1.35 billion