Thums Up

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Thums Up
The Thums Up logo
Type Cola
Manufacturer The Coca-Cola Company
Country of origin India
Introduced 1977
Related products Coca-Cola, Pepsi, Campa Cola

Thums Up is a brand of cola in India. The logo is a red thumbs up. It was introduced in 1977 to offset the withdrawal of The Coca-Cola Company from India. The brand was later bought by Coca-Cola who re-launched it in order to compete against Pepsi.


Thums Up, a popular drink in India, was created in 1977. After the American company Coca-Cola withdrew from India (it refused to disclose its formula[1] and the then-Governement wanted foreign-owned companies to share its stakes with a local partner[2]) two brothers, Ramesh and Prakash Chauhan, joined up with Bhanu Vakil to introduce the soft drink.[citation needed] The Chauhan brothers owned part of the Parle Company and already had two other brands of soda, Limca and Gold Spot, which were popular in India at the time. However, Thums Up quickly became the most popular and had almost a complete monopoly among cola products in India during the 1980s.

Ramesh had developed the formula from scratch, experimenting with ingredients such as cinnamon, cardamom, and nutmeg. The company also wanted the drink to be fizzy, even when it was not ice-cold, so it could be sold by vendors. After much testing and experimentation, the Chauhan brothers and their research team created a cola that was fizzier and spicier than Coca-Cola. They originally planned to name the drink “Thumbs Up,” but removed the “b” to make the name unique.

Starting in 1990, Pepsi became a big competitor for Thums Up when it joined the market in India. The two competed for several years, and Thums Up created a larger, 300-milliliter bottle size called MahaCola to improve their popularity. In 1993, Coca-Cola joined the market and the three companies competed intensely. Later in the year, Coca-Cola bought the Parle Company for $60 million. When Parle was sold to Coca-Cola, Thums Up had about 85 percent of the market in India.

In Coca-Cola’s first few years of owning Thums Up, they decreased advertising for the drink in hopes that more customers would buy Coke instead. When they realized they were losing popularity among teenagers and young adults because more people preferred Pepsi to Coke, they began to increase advertising for Thums Up to compete with Pepsi. Thums Up still had about a third of the market share.

As Coca-Cola increased advertising for Thums Up, they focused on targeting middle-aged people more than young adults. They established the soft drink as a stronger and more powerful beverage than Coke or Pepsi. The “Grown Up to Thums Up” campaign portrayed Thums Up as a drink for adults, and Coca-Cola hoped this image would increase sales among young adults. After this campaign, Thums Up gained a large percentage of the market.

The original Thums Up logo was a bright red “thumbs up” gesture with white letters. The logo has been updated since to include some blue lines to the left of the “thums up” image. The company sponsored cricket and was featured at many cricket matches.

Today, the beverage is the leading cola in India, with 42 percent of the cola market share and 15 percent of the market share for all carbonated drinks. It is especially popular among teenagers, young adults, and people in their 30s and 40s. The soft drink was even ranked among India’s top trusted brands in the Brand Trust Report 2012, 2013, and 2014.

In popular culture[edit]

Thums Up appears in the book Eat, Pray, Love and its 2010 film adaptation.[3]


  1. ^ "Subscribe to read". Financial Times. Retrieved 2018-09-17.
  2. ^ "A Look Back at Coke's Dramatic Return to India, 20 Years Later". The Coca-Cola Company. Retrieved 2018-09-17.
  3. ^ Righthand, Jess (August 19, 2010). "A Culinary Tour of "Eat Pray Love"". Smithsonian.