|Manufacturer||The Coca-Cola Company|
|Country of origin||Australia|
The brand takes its name from kia ora, a Māori language greeting which has entered New Zealand English and means literally "be well/healthy". The name was first used for a lemon squash by Arthur Gasquoine of Sydney, Australia, who founded an ice and soft-drink business in 1896. First created in Australia by the Dixon Family in 1903, Kia-Ora was launched in Great Britain in 1917.
The Kia-Ora cordial was originally established by the OT Cordial Company that was later named Kia-Ora Cordials. The 1st Factory was established by Roland Dixon in Prahran Victoria and produced Chilli Cordial and the well known lemon and orange blend (50/50). The original factory smoke stack still exists and is now heritage-listed. Kia-Ora was finally sold to the US Campbell's Group.
The first bottle off the line is still in the hands of the Dixon family, as is the original recipe for the Chilli Cordial. Early advertising used the jingle "We all adore a Kia-Ora". Later promotions included a song by Caramba called "Fido".
The brand became popular in the 1970s and 80s in the UK, and was widely available in cinemas where it was sold as a ready-to-drink product in rectangular plastic cartons that were supplied with a drinking straw. The popularity was further bolstered by a catchy advertising campaign involving a cartoon boy being followed by a crow. The crow asks for some Kia-Ora, but the boy replies the drink is too "orangey for crows", and is just for "me and my dog". The crow replies he will be the boy's dog, and begins barking. This was referenced in the Spaced episode "Gone". Later ads show the boy having an overweight dad and his dog's design changed. The adverts attracted a degree of controversy in later years, with claims of implicit racism.
The link for the regular (sugar-sweetened) Kia-Ora products was removed in 2013 on Coke UK's official website, so they appear to have been discontinued; however, two no-added-sugar variants remain on sale.
Kia-Ora was available in the following varieties:
- Kia-Ora Orange
- Kia-Ora Orange (No added sugar)
- Kia-Ora Mixed Fruit
- Kia-Ora Mixed Fruit (No added sugar)
- Kia-Ora Pear and Blackcurrant
- Kia-Ora Raspberry.
Of these, only the no-added-sugar products are still made.
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