Saturday, March 24, 2012

Czech Culture: Kofola

The story of the "Czech Coca-Cola"

Kofola is a carbonated soft drink which originated in the 60' in Czechoslovakia as an alternative to unavailable rival drinks Coca Cola or Pepsi. After the fall of the communist regime in 1989, Kofola was almost forgotten but in 2002, the brand made a big comeback to the market. So if you were wondering what is the dark soft drink that people order in large beer-glasses: It's Kofola!

Some people hate the taste of this beverage but others will tell you that they love it because it reminds them about their childhood. Kofola originated in the Czechoslovak pharmaceutical company Galena n.p. in 1959 during research targeted at finding a possible use for surplus caffeine produced in the process of coffee roasting. The resulting dark-coloured, sweet-and-sour syrup Kofo became the main ingredient of a new soft drink named Kofola  introduced in 1962. During the 1960s and 1970s Kofola became exceedingly popular in communist Czechoslovakia because it substituted for Western cola-based drinks like Coca-Cola or Pepsi, which were available but priced at more than twice the price of Kofola.

In 2002 the manufacturer launched a big media campaign aimed at young hip audience, which is based on the slogan “If you love her nothing else matters", which helped the brand return to the market. You can have a look at some TV spots from their campaign for example here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EcXvY4ILXLo; http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wp1LrC_z27U; http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LpAsEfqN35I . Until 2000, the Kofola logo featured a coffee bean. It now resembles a coffee flower.
Kofola is with no doubts one of the Czech beverages to try!

Sources:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kofola
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LpAsEfqN35I
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wp1LrC_z27U
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LpAsEfqN35I



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