Summertime in Central Florida means soaking in family barbecues and long, leisurely days at the beach. Summer is for simple joys like popsicles and bicycle rides and buckets of ice-cold soda pop.

One of my favorite childhood memories was a sort of unofficial summertime tradition in our house. Every summer when it would get really hot outside, the whole family would sit on the front porch. I would sit on a step sipping cola so cold my hands would stick just a little bit to the can in the humid evening. And every summer my parents, between sips, would have the same conversation about the good old days, inevitable reminiscing about the soda they remembered so well:

 “Yeah, but when we were kids soda was better.”

“Yeah! With real sugar!”


Hey, the front porch wasn’t for deep conversation, but they made their point. Gas was cheaper, music rocked harder, and soda was better when they were kids. It was simpler, used fewer ingredients, and didn’t use the fake sugar additives that we are all so careful about now.

So guess how excited I was to recently find Chek Real Sugar on the shelves at Winn-Dixie! No aspartame, no high-fructose corn syrup, just a simple, Southern favorite in its classic form. Winn-Dixie first introduced Chek Cola in 1965—more than fifty years ago!—and to celebrate their impressive milestone, they have released Chek Real Sugar in a fun retro can with their original recipe. The cola is the same flavor we all love, but with a more subtle sweetness from the use of cane sugar instead of that overly-sweet corn syrup and aspartame.

Now on Winn-Dixie shelves! Taste it for yourself in stores July 1-3.
Now on Winn-Dixie shelves! Taste it for yourself in stores July 1-3.

Not surprisingly, Winn-Dixie found that many of their customers were trying to limit additives and high-fructose corn syrup in their food and drinks, and they listened! As one of those customers, this means I can buy the soda I love with a lot less guilt. They are even offering it in grape, orange, and strawberry in addition to the classic cola, so there are more options than ever for this simple treat.

Now that summer is here, with the Fourth of July celebrations, pool parties, and last-minute backyard get togethers that always come with it, we can bring the simple joy of Chek Real Sugar in a retro can straight into our coolers. Try a sample yourself in Winn-Dixie stores from July 1-3, and experience the difference their classic recipe makes. One taste and you will remember why an ice-cold Chek is one of the simple joys of a hot Southern summer. Share your thoughts with #ThrowBackAChek!


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