Foxton Fizz, one of New Zealand's oldest fizzy drink companies, celebrates a century in business.

The Kiwiana brand is a niche soda company known for its wooden delivery crates.

Founded by an A Stevenson, it was then owned by the Perreau family for 70 years before being purchased by a group of Wellington investors in 2006.

Its new owners moved production to Auckland in 2008, ditching the 90-year-old bottling machinery that remains at the Foxton factory.

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 FOXTON Fizz vending machine, hiding away at the old factory in Foxton - The taste of Summer since 1918.
FOXTON Fizz vending machine, hiding away at the old factory in Foxton - The taste of Summer since 1918.

The old practice of washing and refilling thick glass bottles was still used at Foxton Fizz until the 2006 sale.

Current managing director Matt Watson said the re-washable bottles were not only quite heavy and more expensive but also limited sales to the Foxton area.

"Moving to one way glass enabled us to sent the product out of Foxton.

"At the end of the day that was the major change that has enabled the business to grow. Now it can be send right around the country."

Horowhenua Chronicle was given a behind-the-scenes look at the old Foxton factory, which is still used for distribution.

Foxton Fizz vending machine, hiding away at the old factory in Foxton. - The taste of Summer since 1918.
Foxton Fizz vending machine, hiding away at the old factory in Foxton. - The taste of Summer since 1918.

Despite a market dominated by global soft drink giants, Matt Watson said business was growing.

"As the craft beer and soda markets grow, so does Foxton Fizz.

"There is renewed interest in smaller artisan brands. People want unique and different - it's fun, sparks their imagination and evokes memories of good times."

He said Foxton Fizz has the perfect essence of "kiwiness," meaning a really small player in a big market and yet making a good go of it.

Mr Watson credited the company's longevity to the Perreau family who he said ran it very well.

"It also helped that many small town soda companies left the market, allowing Foxton Fizz to become well known," he said.

Foxton Beach resident Murray Perreau was the last in his family to own Foxton Fizz and said he still drinks one now and again with "a jot of rum".

His dad bought the company in 1936, involving his children after school and during the holidays.

Mr Perreau stepped into his father's shoes after coming home from overseas in the early 1970s.

Mr Perreau said that at one time they even had a home drop service.

Like milk, people would get a crate of bottles, then leave the empties at their door to be swapped for freshly-filled Foxton Fizz.

"We will keep Foxton Fizz true to its roots," Mr Watson said.

"Foxton locals currently get a special purchase price that is a heck of a lot better than anywhere else."

The vision is to replace the old factory with a upmarket fizzary, with bottling, drink sales and ice-cream in a cafe-style premises.

Today, despite moving production to Auckland, the business continues to support the Foxton community, and has a national charity scheme called Cap Collection.

When a cafe fills a jar with caps, it can nominate a charity for Foxton Fizz to donate to.

CARBONATED, or fizzy, water was invented by Joseph Priestley in 1767 when he found a way to infuse water with carbon dioxide.
CARBONATED, or fizzy, water was invented by Joseph Priestley in 1767 when he found a way to infuse water with carbon dioxide.

Tonight head to Foxton to celebrate the Foxton Fizz centenary, indulge in some drinks, spiders and memorabilia while reminiscing about your own Foxton Fizz days.

A new Fizz flavour will be released this year so keep your eyes peeled!

The celebrations will be held at Milky Whey Cafe, 72 Main Street, Foxton, from 5.30pm.