One of the most famous Czech brands is Kofola, which is a soft-drink that has been made in Czech. Despite the setbacks that it may have had to endure in the past, Kofola is one of the most Czech products in the country.
Kofola was developed as a substitute for Coca-Cola in the 1960’s, which was expensive back then and only available in restaurants. The chemist, Zdeněk Blažek, was tasked with this job, and he created Kofo, which was made out of caffeine, fruit extracts, and herbal ingredients, which mixed with carbonated water created Kofola. It was much cheaper than foreign cokes and sold for half the price, making it popular and it was widely distributed. Although marketing was not as prominent back in the 60s and the 70s, Kofola still managed to do some simple advertising and marketing during the days of communism.
When the economy was opened, however, Kofola faced competition from other similar foreign brands which were competing with this Czech food product. Once they were compared to other foreign names as such as Pepsi and Coca Cola, their sales plummeted and they lost their popularity. However, this decline didn’t last long, as the recipe and the name of the brand were both bought by a company named Santa in 2002 for a price of 215 million CZK. It is currently the biggest name in the European market, as well as being the largest domestic drink producer, owning 32% of the shares of the market, which falls just on the second position right after Coca Cola, which owns 35% of the market. In contrast, Pepsi owns only around half of the shares that Kofola does. The recipe of Kofola is just as big a secret as is Coca Cola’s with only 5 people in the whole world knowing the exact ingredients and their proportions.
All that the public knows is that the drink contains citrus extracts, sugar, a mixture of spices, raspberry and blackberry leaves, and sweet woods extracts. If you want to know what Kofola tastes like, do remember to try it on one of your Prague tours.