Kofola (Czech pronunciation: [ˈkofola]) is a carbonated soft drink produced by Czech company Kofola, headquartered in Krnov, Czech Republic. It is the principal rival of Coca-Cola and Pepsi in the Czech Republic and Slovakia. The company is one of the leading soft drinks producers and distributors in Central and Eastern Europe.
|Manufacturer||Kofola ČeskoSlovensko, a.s.|
|Country of origin||Czechoslovakia|
|Related products||Coca-Cola, Pepsi|
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 drinks like Coca-Cola or Pepsi, which were not generally available. Even today, Kofola is a popular option in restaurants as can be draught from kegs right into glass.
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 it, there is nothing to question"). Until 2000, the Kofola logo featured a coffee bean. It now resembles a coffee flower.
|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 Slovakian Hejkola and Šofocola).
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.
- Kofola Original – original distributed in 0.5 l, 1 l, 1.5 l, 2 l plastic bottles, in 0,25 l and 0.33 l glass and in 0.25 l cans
- Kofola Citrus – with a hint of lemon, it was introduced in 2004, distributed in plastic bottles
- Kofola Bez Cukru – sugar-free alternative was introduced in 2008, available in plastic bottles
- Kofola Višňová – sour cherry-flavoured Kofola introduced in 2008, available in plastic bottles and cans
- Kofola Vanilka –vanilla-flavoured Kofola introduced in 2013, available in plastic bottles
- Kofola Guarana – energy drink with Kofola and guarana-flavor introduced in 2013, available in plastic bottles and cans
- Kofola Meruňka –apricot-flavoured Kofola introduced in 2015, available in plastic bottles
- Kofola Meloun – watermelon-flavoured Kofola introduced in 2016, available in plastic bottles
- Kofola Černý Rybíz – blackcurrant-flavoured Kofola introduced in 2017, available in plastic bottles and cans
- Kofola Malina – raspberry-flavoured Kofola introduced in 2017, available in plastic bottles
- Kofola Ostružina – blackberry-flavoured Kofola introduced in 2018, available in plastic bottles
- Kofola Ananas – pineapple-flavoured Kofola introduced in 2018, available in cans
- Kofola Grep – grapefruit-flavoured Kofola introduced in 2018, available in cans
- Kofola Angrešt – gooseberry-flavoured Kofola introduced in 2019, available in plastic bottles
A Christmas limited edition with a hint of cinnamon was introduced at the end of 2007, and was only available around the Christmas period. In 2011-2016 was sold another variant of the drink called Kofola Extra Herbal, it was extended with dandelion, gentian and peppermint. Other flavours introduced in limited editions include: cherry, pomegranate, almond, gingerbread, chocolate, coconut, walnut, plum, pear and mandarin.
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.
- "Enterprise Investors partially exits Kofola". Enterprise Investors. 4 December 2015.
- "Skupina Kofola značne povyrástla. Zásluhu na tom má priaznivé počasie, ale aj úspešné akvizície" (in Slovak). March 16, 2016. Retrieved June 19, 2016.
- "Jannis Samaras, nenápadný majitel Kofoly". Jak být úspěšný (in Czech).
- 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. Archived from the original on 2016-03-03. 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 Archived 2011-09-20 at the Wayback Machine