giovedì 2 febbraio 2012


Business travel to Prague: 'wonderful, I'll finally have the possibility to see this fantastic city where I've never been before!' - that was my thaught, and my hope, and I already started looking in internet, books and magazines things to see, taste, buy during my stay in Prague... but as usual a business travel is not a pleasure travel... and a part from a 1h city walk in the night (at -20 degrees), just to have a look at the main places, bridges and castle (from outside, of course),  I could not see anything of what I'd planned...

ok, this will leave me the curiosity to come back to Prague another time, maybe not on business...
in the meantime here is something that I really wanted to taste, but I couldn't even find 15 minutes to go to a supermarket:


For many years in the pre-revolution socialist Czechoslovakia Kofola was a substitute for Coca-Cola and Pepsi, which were hard to get hold of. After the borders opened, for some time Kofola seemed unable to withstand the expansion of the two famous brands. However, its sales now comfortably beat Pepsi and are only slightly behind Coca-Cola. 
Czechs and Slovaks love their Kofola.

Kofola has been on sale in Czech and Slovak restaurants for more that half a century. Yet the eponymous company was established just 10 years ago. Until 2002 the production of this cola drink was based on principles derived from socialist economics.

The pharmaceutical company Galena, the owner of the Kofola originakl formula and brand, prepared the syrup, distributed it to various soft-drink producers (later they only sold a licence). However, this model proved unviable in the new market economy and Kofola started to lose ground. It was necessary to find someone who would start promoting the brand and raising consumers' awarness.

Kofola is now served in almost every pub and it would be hard to find a supermarket not selling this drink. For this we can thank some second-generation of Greeks living in Moravia, Mr Samaras and his son. After the Velvet Revolution Kostas and his son Jannis started importing fruit and vegatables to Czech Republic, but later bought the state-owned soft-drink producer Nalko in Krnov and started producing carbonated drinks under the original label SP Vrachos, s.r.o. The idea to start producing Kofola came from the current production manager and Jannis'high school mate, René Musila, from whom Kofola was a matter of the heart. In 2000 the Samarases started by buying the licence and two years later they managed to obtain the brand and original formula. The mane Wrachos was immediately changed to Kofola.

After the relatively humble lauch in Krnov, the Samaras family gradually expanded into foreign markets: Slovakia, Poland and Russia. But the drink Kofola is only distributed in the traditional Kofola-drinking countries: the Czech Republic and Slovakia. Other countries took to different products from the company's relatively very broad portfolio, for example the fruit drink for children Jupik or Rajec natural water. 

Another likable feature about Kofola is its ability to combine the traditional and the new. In addition to Kofola, the company has revived the glory of other brands, such a Vinea, Top Topic or Citrocola, but at the same time it has managed to lauch new popular beverages, such as Rajec bottled water or two energy drinks Semtex and Erektus. In addition to Czech and Slovak Kofola, the Group owns the Polish company Hoop and the Russian firm Megapack. Kofola Group is one or the leading manufacturers of soft drinks in Central and Eastern Europe.

From Review - Czech Airlines - January 2012

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