|Country of origin||Czechoslovakia|
|Related products||Coca-Cola, Pepsi|
Kofola is a Czechoslovak carbonated soft drink produced in the Czech Republic and Slovakia. Its parent company is Kofola ČeskoSlovensko based in Ostrava, Czech Republic. It is the principal rival of Coca-Cola and Pepsi in Central and Eastern Europe.
Kofola originated in the Czechoslovak Research Institute of Medicinal Plants in Prague now Czech Republic 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 1960. 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 not generally available.
Since 1998 Kofola has been bottled (in addition to classical 0.33-litre glass bottles) in 0.5-litre and 2-litre plastic bottles. 0.25-litre cans were introduced in 2003, 1-litre plastic-bottles in December 2004. Kofola draught from 50-litre kegs, traditionally sold in many bars and restaurants across the two countries, is very popular as well.
Since 2002 the producer has launched a successful media campaign aimed at a young and hip audience based on the slogan "Když ji miluješ, není co řešit / Keď ju miluješ, nie je čo riešiť" ("If you love her, there is nothing to question"). Until 2000, the Kofola logo featured a coffee bean. It now resembles a coffee flower.
|Headquarters||Ostrava, Czech Republic|
|Jannis Samaras (Chairman of the Board of Directors and CEO)|
|Revenue||EUR 263.6 million (2015)|
|EUR 21.6 million (2015)|
After the fall of the Communist regime in 1989, Kofola had to compete with many foreign brands that entered the attractive newly opened market. After a period of decline and trademark lawsuits (many companies produced their own similarly tasting "kofola" because the term became a genericized trademark), in 2000 the Santa nápoje company, owned by the Greek-immigrant Samaras family, became the only producer and distributor of Kofola in Czech Republic and Slovakia. Other producers of similar drinks had to rename their products (most notable are Hejkola and Šofokola).
The company Santa nápoje originally produced Kofola drink only in the parent factory in Krnov. In 2002, the company built a new factory in Rajecká Lesná, Slovakia, to satisfy the demand of the Slovak market. In 2003, Santa nápoje changed its name to Kofola, a.s. and later to Kofola ČeskoSlovensko a.s. Apart from Kofola it also produces other soft drinks, the spring water Rajec, the fresh fruit juices UGO, the syrups Jupí and children´s drink Jupík, RC Cola under license and from 2008 the grape drink Vinea, that are exported to Poland, Hungary, Slovakia and Croatia.
In 2008 Kofola announced a merger with the Polish lemonade producer Hoop. In autumn 2008, the Polish Private Equity fund Enterprise Investors acquired in a Public Tender Offer 42.46% of Kofola-Hoop for approximately €140 million. In 2009, the Polish company Kofola-Hoop S.A. was renamed into Kofola S.A.
In April 2009, Kofola acquired Pinelli and since then has produced the energy drink Semtex. In 2010, Kofola opened a new factory in Mnichovo Hradiště. In December 2014, Kofola bought Slovenian factory for mineral water Radenska.
Kofo syrup, the main ingredient of Kofola, consists of 14 herbal and fruit ingredients (such as extracts from apple, cherry, currant, or herbal aroma), sugar and/or high fructose corn syrup (2014), and caramel. In comparison with Pepsi or Coca-Cola it contains 30% less sugar, ~56% more caffeine (15 mg/100ml, Coca-Cola 9.6 mg/100ml) and it does not contain phosphoric acid.
In 2004, Kofola Citrus was introduced into the market which was Kofola with a hint of lemon. It proved to be a popular alternative to the original flavour.
'neKofola/joKofola' was introduced at the end of 2007 as a Christmas limited edition. This had a hint of cinnamon, and was only available around the Christmas period.
To compete with Coca-Cola zero, a sugar-free Kofola BEZ cukru alternative was introduced in 2008. This allowed Kofola to compete with Coca-Cola on all levels.
After the success of their limited cinnamon edition, a new cherry-flavoured Kofola Višňová was introduced in 2008.
In Kofola Extra Herbal, a new variety of the drink original recipe was extended with dandelion, gentian and peppermint. In 2013 was introduced Kofola Guarana and Kofola Vanilla. Apricot-flavoured Kofola was introduced in 2015.
The most popular cocktail with kofola is a highball made of kofola, Czech Tuzemák (domestic rum) and lemon juice called Kofrum, Handlová Libre, Student lemonade, Rebel or Chequia Libre. Kofola with pilsner lager beer is called Kofola 'n' Beer or Diesel.
- "Skupina Kofola značne povyrástla. Zásluhu na tom má priaznivé počasie, ale aj úspešné akvizície" (in Slovak). March 16, 2016. Retrieved June 19, 2016.
- The Kofola Group
- "The Merger between Czech Kofola Holding and Hoop of Poland". Research and Markets. 2008-08-12.
- Röbisch, Markus (2008-11-18). "Enterprise Investors acquires 42.46% in a Public Tender Offer of Kofola-Hoop". Investment Intelligence s.r.o. Retrieved 2008-04-02.
- "Akcie Kofoly zahájily mírným růstem" (in Czech). iHNed.cz. 2015-12-03. Retrieved 2015-12-28.
- "Caffeine Content of Food & Drugs". Center For Science In The Public Interest (CSPI). December 2012.
- "Caffeine Content of UK and Europe Drinks". EnergyFiend. Retrieved 2013-10-30.
- ČEKO Libre
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