Cola is a sweetened, carbonated soft drink flavored with vanilla, cinnamon, citrus oils and other flavorings. Most contain caffeine, which was originally sourced from the kola nut, leading to the drink's name, though other sources are now also used. Cola became popular worldwide after pharmacist John Pemberton invented Coca-Cola in 1886. His non-alcoholic recipe was inspired by the coca wine of pharmacist Angelo Mariani, created in 1863.
A glass of cola served with ice cubes
|Country of origin||United States|
|Introduced||May 8, 1886|
|Flavor||Cola (kola nut, citrus, cinnamon and vanilla)|
Most modern colas contain caramel color, and are sweetened with sugar and/or high-fructose corn syrup. They now come in numerous different brands. Among them, the most popular are Coca-Cola and Pepsi. These two companies have been competing since the 1890s, but their rivalry has intensified since the 1980s.
The primary modern flavoring ingredients in a cola drink are citrus oils (from orange, lime, and lemon peels), cinnamon, vanilla, and an acidic flavorant. Manufacturers of cola drinks add trace flavorings to create distinctively different tastes for each brand. Trace flavorings may include a wide variety of ingredients, such as spices like nutmeg or coriander, but the base flavorings that most people identify with a cola taste remain citrus, vanilla and cinnamon. Acidity is often provided by phosphoric acid, sometimes accompanied by citric or other isolated acids. Coca-Cola's recipe is maintained as a corporate trade secret.
A variety of different sweeteners may be added to cola, often partly dependent on local agricultural policy. High-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) is predominantly used in the United States and Canada due to the lower cost of government-subsidized corn. In Europe, however, HFCS is subject to production quotas designed to encourage the production of sugar; sugar is thus typically used to sweeten sodas. In addition, stevia or an artificial sweetener may be used; "sugar-free" or "diet" colas typically contain artificial sweeteners only.
In Denmark, a popular clear cola was made by the Cooperative FDB in 1976. It was especially known for being the "Hippie Cola" because of the focus of the harmful effects the color additive could have on children and the boycott of multinational brands. It was inspired by a campaign on harmful additives in Denmark by the Environmental-Organisation NOAH, an independent Danish division of Friends of the Earth. This was followed up with a variety of sodas without artificial coloring. Today many organic colas are available in Denmark, but, for nostalgic reasons, clear cola has still maintained its popularity to a certain degree.
A 2007 study found that consumption of colas, both those with natural sweetening and those with artificial sweetening, was associated with increased risk of chronic kidney disease. The phosphoric acid used in colas was thought to be a possible cause.
Studies indicate "soda and sweetened drinks are the main source of calories in [the] American diet", so most nutritionists advise that Coca-Cola and other soft drinks can be harmful if consumed excessively, particularly to young children whose soft drink consumption competes with, rather than complements, a balanced diet. Studies have shown that regular soft drink users have a lower intake of calcium, magnesium, vitamin C, riboflavin, and vitamin A.
The drink has also aroused criticism for its use of caffeine, which can cause physical dependence (caffeine addiction). A link has been shown between long-term regular cola intake and osteoporosis in older women (but not men). This was thought to be due to the presence of phosphoric acid, and the risk for women was found to be greater for sugared and caffeinated colas than diet and decaffeinated variants, with a higher intake of cola correlating with lower bone density.
Many soft drinks are sweetened mostly or entirely with high-fructose corn syrup, rather than sugar. Some nutritionists caution against consumption of corn syrup because it may aggravate obesity and type-2 diabetes more than cane sugar.
- Amrat Cola, popular in Pakistan
- Big Cola, popular in Indonesia
- Bovonto, popular in South India, mainly Western
- Campa Cola, India's most popular brand prior to the introduction of Coca-Cola and Pepsi to the Indian market in 1991
- Clemon by Akij Group, popular in Bangladesh
- Cola Turka is a local brand in Turkey
- Est Cola, a local brand in Thailand
- Future Cola, a local brand in China
- Laoshan Cola, a local brand in China
- Mecca Cola, sold in the Middle East, North Africa, as well as parts of Europe
- Pakola, popular in Pakistan
- Parsi Cola, popular in Iran
- Red Bull Cola, popular in Thailand
- Thums Up, popular in India
- Topsia Cola, popular in Iran
- Zamzam Cola, popular in Iran and parts of the Arab world
- Afri-Cola, a German brand, was relaunched in April 2006 with the original formulation with the higher caffeine content.
- Barr Cola made by A.G. Barr (the makers of the popular Irn-Bru drink) in the United Kingdom
- Breizh Cola is a local brand from Brittany (France).
- Brisa Cola is a local brand from Madeira, Portugal and produced by Empresa de Cervejas da Madeira.
- Cadet-Cola, an Irish brand
- Cockta is a local brand from former Yugoslavia, which does not contain any caffeine or phosphoric acid.
- Corsica Cola is a regional cola distributed by the Corsican brewery Pietra.
- Cuba Cola is a brand from Sweden.
- Evoca Cola is a cola made with mineral water made by Evoca Drinks.
- Fentimans Curiosity Cola, is an upmarket botanically brewed cola produced by Fentimans, from the UK.
- Freeway Cola, a cola soft drink from Germany, produced as a private label for Lidl.
- Fritz-Kola, a cola soft drink from Hamburg, Germany, uses the highest possible concentration of caffeine for beverages allowed by German law.
- Green Cola is a brand from Greece that is available also in Germany, Spain, Cyprus, the Baltic states, Romania, the Middle East, Slovenia etc.
- Jolly Cola, which had a 40% share of the cola drink market in Denmark from the mid-1960s to the late 1980s.
- Karma Cola, fair trade cola from the UK.
- Kofola is the primary rival to Coca-Cola and Pepsi in the Czech Republic and Slovakia, and does not contain phosphoric acid.
- LOCKWOODS Cola, a UK cola brand introduced in the 1960s produced by Lockwoods Foods Limited at their canning factory site in Long Sutton, England, the drink is not on the market anymore, it was sold nationally and also exported.
- Planet Cola, a brand sold at Auchan.
- Polo-Cockta, a Polish brand.
- Red Bull Cola has been available throughout Europe since 2008.
- Sky Cola, a Bosnian brand since 2002 made by water-bottling company Sarajevski kiseljak
- Sky Cola, a Croatian brand since 2002 made by water-bottling company Jamnica
- Ubuntu Cola is a fair trade cola from the United Kingdom available in parts of Western Europe.
- Virgin Cola was popular in South Africa and Western Europe in the 1990s but has waned in availability.
- Vita-Cola is a German cola brand with a distinct citrus flavor; nowadays it is mostly sold in eastern Germany.
- XL Cola was a Swedish cola brand introduced in 1985, but the drink is not at the market anymore.
- Mole Cola is an Italian cola sold in Italy it is also occasionally sold in France in stores called Noz only.
- Coca-Cola, often referred to simply as Coke, is produced and manufactured by The Coca-Cola Company. It is one of the most popular cola brands in North America and worldwide.
- Pepsi, produced and manufactured by PepsiCo, is also one of the most popular cola brands in North America and worldwide. Pepsi is the main competitor and rival of Coca-Cola.
- RC Cola, short for Royal Crown Cola, is now produced by the Dr Pepper Snapple Group
- Cott produces many house brand beverages as well as its own line of products, most notably its Black Cherry and Bubba cola.
- The Double Cola Company, Double Cola
- Faygo Cola is distributed in the Eastern United States and can be found in some regions of Canada.
- Fentimans Curiosity Cola, originating from the United Kingdom in 1905, now sold across Europe and North America
- Jarritos Cola is a brand of cola from Mexico, native to Mexico and widely distributed to Latino residents of the United States.
- Jolt Cola is sold by Wet Planet Beverages of Rochester, New York.
- Jones Soda also makes a cola using cane sugar.
- Polar Beverages of Worcester, MA produces its own brand of cola under the Polar name.
- Red Bull Cola was available in the United States from 2008-2011.
- Shasta Cola, produced by Shasta
- TuKola and Tropicola are brands from Cuba (also sold widely in Italy).
- Zevia Cola is a zero calorie soft drink sweetened with Stevia combined with Monk Fruit and Erythritol.
- Inca Kola, created by Lindley bottler to compete with Coca-Cola. Still the best selling cola in Perú.
- Big Cola, a cola produced by Peruvian company Ajegroup which operates in 14 countries in Latin America.
- Perú Cola, created by Peruvian bottler Embotelladora Don Jorge S.A.C. to compete with Coca-Cola and Kola Real.
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