Nebraska designated Kool-Aid as the official state soft drink in 1998. Kool-Aid is an artificially fruit-flavored powder developed in 1927 by Edwin E. Perkins and his wife Kitty of Hastings, Nebraska (Edwin was founder and president of the Perkins Products Company). Hastings sponsors a yearly festival called Kool-Aid Days in August to honor their city's claim to fame. Kool-Aid brand is now owned by the Kraft Foods Company.
Before the current powder form, Kool-Aid was a soft drink concentrate known as Fruit Smack. Fruit Smack was very popular but the glass bottles proved difficult to transport without being broken. That's when Perkins decided to develop the powder form which he original called Kool-Ade.
Kool-Aid's mascot and logo is Kool-Aid Man, a character with the body of a large frosty glass pitcher filled with Kool-Aid (usually cherry). He was introduced in Kool-Aid advertising shortly after General Foods acquired the brand in 1953. In Television and printed ads, Kool-Aid Man was known for bursting suddenly through walls while children were making or drinking Kool-Aid to say his catch phrase: "Oh, yeah!"
The original six Kool-Aid flavors are Raspberry, Cherry, Grape, Lemon, Orange, and Root-Beer. Today the assortment of flavors available worldwide also includes:
Scary Black Cherry
Strawberry Falls Punch
Surfin' Berry Punch
Nebraska also recognizes milk as the state beverage, acknowledging the importance of the dairy industry to Nebraska's agricultural economy.