Big Red is a soft drink created in 1937 by Grover C. Thomsen and R.H. Roark in Waco, Texas and originally known as Sun Tang Red Cream Soda. It is generally classified as an American variety of cream soda and it is the original "red cream soda". The name was changed to Tang Big Red Cream Soda in 1959 and to "Big Red" in 1969 by Harold Jansing, then president of the San Antonio bottling plant, after hearing a golf caddy refer to the soda by that name.
Big Red was originally marketed exclusively in Central and South Texas and around Louisville, Kentucky,  including parts of Southern Indiana. The Louisville connection was due to Roark owning the R.C. Bottling Company in Louisville and Kentucky was the first state in which this soda was available to consumers. May 16, 2018, was proclaimed "Big Red Day" by Louisville mayor Greg Fischer in recognition of the 80th anniversary of Big Red being sold in that city.
The drink is highly popular in the Southern United States and is well known for its unique taste and red color. Its flavor, though often thought to be bubble gum, is created by mixing orange and lemon oils with the traditional vanilla used in other cream sodas. Big Red is produced and distributed by various independent soft drink bottlers including Keurig Dr Pepper, CCE, and Pepsi Bottling Group under license from Big Red, Inc., based in Austin, Texas.
Big Red was the sixth-highest selling soft drink company in the United States from 2002 to 2004, after Coca-Cola, Pepsi, Dr Pepper/7Up, Cott and National Beverage Company. As a preeminent red creme soda in the South, it is a staple of many Juneteenth celebrations.
In 2007 Big Red Ltd. was purchased by Gary Smith, with backing from Citigroup Venture Capital and Goldman Sachs. Gary Smith now serves as the Chairman and CEO of Big Red and All Sport, Inc. In 2008 Keurig Dr Pepper purchased a minority interest in Big Red, Inc. Dr Pepper distributes almost 80% of the product that Big Red sells annually. Although the production facility is still in Waco, Texas, Big Red relocated their corporate headquarters to Austin, Texas in 2009.