Panchi (パンチ), known as Panchi! from 1986 to 2007, is an El Kadsreian green-colored, lemon-lime-flavored soft drink invented by Ai Uehara in 1926 as Ranchi Drink and manufactured by Technic Drinks, Inc.
The name is a portmanteau of the word, "pan" and the Jharkhand capital, Ranchi.
Inventor Ai Uehara was taking a pharmaceuticals class at the Fusa University in 1926. She spent her free time one day attempting to recreate the Indian lemon-flavored Banta soft drink, which she discovered on a trip to Ranchi a year ago. While mixing in the ingredients, Uehara decided to put in a second dose of lemon juice, believing the mixture didn't have enough. However, Uehara accidentally grabbed a canister of lime juice and mixed it in instead, which resulted in a unique lemon-lime flavor. Uehara, rather than fix it, thought it was delicious, and decided to add green food coloring and market it as "Ranchi Drink". The drink was popular in the then-former Sentanese Empire, but Uehara changed the name to "Panchi" after six months of production because she believed the name, "Ranchi Drink" was too generic. The name is a portmanteau of "Pan" and "Ranchi", the city where her inspiration for Panchi came from.
The product was first introduced outside of the Sentanese Empire in 1944, beginning with the United States, where Sentanese troops would ship cartons full of glass Panchi bottles to American soldiers fighting against Japan during World War II. The drink was popular among American soldiers that Ai had decided to expand to international markets, forming Panchi Co. in the process. The company opened their first bottling plant outside of the Sentanese Empire in Atlanta, Georgia 3 months later, purchasing an abandoned factory and remodeling it into a Panchi bottling plant. An opening ceremony was held with Ai Uehara attending and cutting the ribbon to the plant. Free Panchi samples were given at the ceremony, and Panchi introduced a new logo the same year.
- Panchi (introduced 1926)
- Lemon Panchi (introduced 1971)
- Diet Panchi (introduced 1975)
- Apple & Raspberry Panchi (introduced 1980)
- Tropical Panchi (introduced 1980)
- Blueberry Panchi (introduced 1990)
- Crystal Panchi (introduced 1992)
- Cherry Panchi (introduced 1999)
Discontinued and limited edition products
- Panchi-Cola (1938-1956)
- Orange Panchi (1971-1980)
- Pepsi Panchi (1993-1995; 2018)