Giant Food Markets

Giant Food Markets was a Kingsport based grocery chain created in 1946 by Thomas Edward LaGuardia Jr.(1) LaGuardia was also the founder of the Jiffy Market convenience store chain which started in 1956.(1) The Giant Food Market chain boasted several different locations within the cities of Johnson City, Kingsport, Bristol, and even Elizabethton during the forty two years it operated prior to being sold to the Food Lion grocery chain in 1984.(2) So why is there a grocery store chain even being mentioned on a website dedicated to bottlers of soft drinks? That is due to the fact that Giant Food Markets, like many grocery stores, had their own soft drink line which are marked "Packed for Giant Food Markets, Inc. Kingsport, Tennessee 37664". Since this site is for all bottles that are marked as being from Kingsport, then they had to be included. The reality is that their soda line was being produced by Specialized Beverages, Inc., Atlanta GA which had three plants that produced soda Atlanta, GA, Augusta, GA, and Inman, SC. My guess is that their products were being produced in the Inman South Carolina plant due to the fact that the bottle cap had a South Carolina soft drink tax logo on it. The advertised flavors were Cola, Diet Cola, Orange, Ginger Ale, and Grape.

1 pint 12oz Giant Ginger Ale bottle

The packed for information

12oz Giant Cola flat top can

1964 ad for the 12oz E-Z Opent Zip Top can

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(1) Obiturary for Thomas Edward LaGuardia Jr. from the Hamlett-Dobson Funeral Home website

(2) Kingsport Times News