Tang is an artificially flavoured drink mix that was formulated by General Foods Corporation food scientist William A. Mitchell in 1957, and first marketed in powdered form in 1959. The Tang brand is currently owned by Mondelēz International, a 2012 North American company split off Kraft Foods Inc.
Sales of Tang were poor until NASA used it on John Glenn's Mercury flight in February 1962, and on subsequent Gemini missions. Since then it has been closely associated with the U.S. human spaceflight program, which created the misconception that Tang was invented for the space program.
Tang was used by early NASA manned space flights. In 1962, when Mercury astronaut John Glenn conducted eating experiments in orbit, Tang was selected for the menu; it was also used during some Gemini flights, and has also been carried aboard numerous space shuttle missions. Although many soda companies sent specially-designed canned drinks into space with the crew of STS-51-F, the crew preferred to use Tang, as it could be mixed into existing water containers easily.
In 2007, Kraft introduced a new version of Tang which replaced half of the sugar with artificial sweeteners. The new packaging advertises "1/2 the sugar of 100% juice". The artificial sweeteners used in the new formulation are sucralose, acesulfame potassium, and neotame. The new formula is more concentrated and distributed in smaller containers, with a 12.3 US fl oz (360 ml) (348 g (12.3 oz)) making 8 US quarts (7,600 ml).
The recommended usage is two and one-half teaspoons per 8 US fluid ounces (240 ml) of water. The lid on the new smaller plastic container acts as a measuring cup which may be used to make one or two quart quantities, the same as the original Tang.
In December 2009, the 12.3 US fl oz (360 ml) lower calorie Tang was discontinued and is no longer available from Kraft.
In 2009, another version of Tang emerged in 20 US fl oz (590 ml) containers making only 6 US quarts (5,700 ml).
Tang is purchased in about thirty-five countries and is available in a variety of flavours depending on where it is being purchased.
In the Middle East, more than half of Tang's annual sales happen in just six weeks around Ramadan where many families gather for dinner or an event with a variety of food and they drink Tang.