At Equity Point Prague we’ve got a room dedicated to Kofola and not to Coca cola. So, what’s the connection?
Originated in the Czechoslovak pharmaceutical company Galena, (located in Opava) 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 Czechoslovakia because it substituted for Western cola-based drinks like Coca-Cola or Pepsi, which were not generally available.
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 “kofola” as the term became a generalized trademark, although it had nothing to do with the original one — just because it was an established trademark), in 2000 the Santa nápoje company, based in Krnov and owned by the Greek-immigrant Samaras family, became the only producer and distributor of Kofola in Czech Republic and Slovakia.