|Country of origin||Spain|
|Variants||Cola Cao VIT, Cola Cao Turbo, Cola Cao Pepitas|
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Cola Cao is a high-energy chocolate drink with vitamins and minerals that originated in Spain and is now produced and marketed in several countries. The brand is owned by the Barcelona-based company Idilia Foods (formerly Nutrexpa).
In Spain in particular, Cola Cao is a popular accompaniment to breakfast, lunch or dinner. Children often dunk María biscuits in their Cola Cao milk. In recent decades, almost all cafes have taken to offering it in single-serving sachets as an alternative to coffee. Cola Cao is much thicker than the hot chocolate drinks found in many other countries, but not nearly as thick as traditional Spanish-style drinking-chocolate. It does not dissolve quickly and is often served with a tea spoon. Competing brands like Nesquik have promoted their own quick solubility. Currently Cola Cao is sold in the "classic" version for those who have grown fond of eating the undissolved lumps and as "Cola Cao Turbo" for those who want a homogeneous liquid.
The "Cola Cao song" used to promote the product in the 1940s is a nostalgia item. Its first verses are still remembered: "Yo soy aquel negrito del África Tropical / que cultivando cantaba la canción del Cola Cao /..." ("I am that little black guy from Tropical Africa / who sang the Cola Cao song while cultivating"). Cola Cao has been marketed in association with the Olympic Games and other sporting events.
Cola Cao is sold in containers of many different sizes. The most common are plastic tubs holding 400 grams, and single-serving sachets.
Cola Cao is exported to various countries such as Spain, Portugal, Chile, Bosnia and Herzegovina and China (known as 高乐高 Gao-le-Gao), where Nutrexpa offices are located. It was introduced to Japan (under the name コラカオ) in early 1990s only to be discontinued a few years later, however in 2007 "Cola cao Chocolate Roll Cakes" manufactured in China are sold at dollar stores.
Cola Cao factories have production lines unique to each region:
- European market:Factory in Barcelona, Spain
- Cola Cao Original, Light, Turbo, Fiber, Energy, Complete and more.
- South American market:Factory in Santiago, Chile
- Cola Cao Original, Light
- Cola Cao Cereal
- Asian market: Factory in Tianjin, China
- Cola Cao Original, Fruit Flavor
- Cola Cao Roll Cake
- Cola Cao Spread