🍟 4/11/2024 – The Business of Dirty Soda


Fast Facts


  • HQ: Lehi, UT
  • Founded in 2016, franchising since 2022
  • Swig is a franchise that specializes in serving specialty drinks and sweets.

Franchise Fees

Financial Overview

  • The below table discloses information on 36 affiliate owned stores from January 1, 2022 to December 31, 2022.

The Wolf’s Take 🍟

For the uninitiated, “dirty soda” is a combination of soda, coffee creamer, and flavored syrups. 

Menu items at Swig include drinks like “Life’s a Peach”, a mix of Dr. Pepper, peach + vanilla flavor syrups, and some half & half. You can also get “The Cherry Bomb” (Pepsi, cherry syrup, + coconut and vanilla cream), or the “Beach Babe” which has Mountain Dew, raspberry + peach flavor, and vanilla cream.

Live look at Utah residents 

Depending on your lifestyle, these drinks could sound like a dream concoction, or an absolute abomination.

But to residents of the good ol’ beehive state (AKA Utah), these fluids have been flowing like a river for almost a decade now. With a large portion of the population abstaining from alcohol and caffeine, they gotta get their fix somehow!

Beyond Swig, who is the clear market leader with 60+ locations open + hundreds more in franchise development, there’s a host of other concepts vying for market share: 

Mind you that not all these brands are franchising, but it gives you an idea of what’s cooking (or being GUZZLED) out in Utah and other mountain states.

The Dirty Deetz

As you can see from Swig’s numbers, when a dirty soda biz gets enough volume, the margins are pretty impressive.

Your standard location is 1,200-1,800 square feet with a drive-thru – think of these businesses as a bigger Dutch Bros that sells soda bevs instead of coffee based bevs.

Speaking of Dutch Bros, Swig is on that level of growth it seems. They have large franchise groups taking down territories nationwide, have an organized corporate group, and recognizable branding. 

They have at least 250+ units being built, and were recently named the “official soda shop of the Utah Jazz” – great hydration before a big game eh?!

For this to succeed nationwide, they’ll need to maintain high revenues to cover the increased rent prices in core markets outside of the mountain west region. 

As a native northeastern resident – I candidly have no clue how this will perform in New York, New Jersey, etc. I have it on good authority that this concept is succeeding outside of Utah, and that the #1 performing location for Swig is actually based in Houston, Texas.

However, after spending close to a year in Texas…that fact doesn’t surprise me, and I’d still be a little cautious if I was in markets with more health-conscious consumers. 

But at the same time, the dirty soda train has left the station, and so far has no signs of slowing down.


The Early Grind – Greg Van Horn

The early days are the hardest! There’s some great feedback and advice on the thread. Check it out if you’re in the hard part right now!

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