The Slovenia Times

Is Cockta really our Coca-Cola?



Not once, but several times, I have ordered Coca-Cola only to be told, sorry, we only just have Cockta. Both drinks are very popular in Slovenia, but totally different. If you drink one, you usually do because you like it, not because of the name or the popularity. They have practically nothing in common - even if you sometimes have to choose between them. Coca-Cola was first made in 1868, since when it has become a world famous drink with an advertising budget of over 4 billion dollars a year. As for Cockta... it has been enjoyed since 1953 but is only well-known in our region and has an advertising budget that is tiny by comparison. Despite this, both are approximately the same price with a 330ml bottle retailing for about 0.45 EUR. First Slovenian registered trademark Cockta was the first non-alcoholic beverage to be registered as a trademark in Slovenia. A brown/black coloured liquid with bubbles, enclosed in small quarter litre bottles, decorated with a picture of a cute girl, the drink was seen as a symbol of Western lifestyles in its day. It sold well, with sales improving every year. Until 1967, it was one of the best exports from Yugoslavia. It was everywhere, including The Netherlands. At the beginning of the 80's, Cockta scored a success with a slogan that many still remember today: "A drink of yours and our youth." This slogan brought Cockta closer to the whole family. With its market success came the first copycat drinks. But it withstood the pressure and this tenacity paid off, with sales increasing again after Slovenijavino took over in 1995. Cockta makes a comeback Once-famous Cockta has made a great comeback. The brand was purchased by the present owner, Kolinska, in 2000. The new owner developed a new image, but a new image which did not forget the old one, instead enhancing it with a touch of nostalgia. This was best expressed with the new slogan: "You never forget the first one." Although still sporting the trademark colours - yellow letters on a red background, and using nostalgia in their marketing, the company wanted to also appeal to the younger generation. They also hoped that those a little older would go for it without being directly encouraged by commercials, hoping the slogan would be enough. They succeeded. The drink slowly made it back into bars and restaurants. Following this success the time was ripe for a new marketing campaign, this time starring Slovene footballer Zlatko Zahovic and the Slovenian national team selector Srecko Katanec. In 2003 the drink was sold with a new, less visible, campaign called: 'Good Cockta'. Sales continued to rise and the company finally introduced 0.33 litre bottles alongside the trademark quarter litre bottles under the slogan: 'Always for action'. During this whole time the taste did not change, that is until last year when they started to also offer Cockta Light. Cockta remains popular. Last year it made profits of EUR 25 million and saw its market share rise to 11 percent of the Slovenian market, slowly catching up with market leader Coca-Cola. It also has a bright future in the other markets of the former Yugoslavia - in particular Serbia - which imported 10 million litres of the drink last year. Total production for 2005 was 35 million litres and this year the figure is expected to rise to 40 million litres. Cockta - Healthy Soft Drink The name Cockta derives from the word cocktail - which stands for a drink made of different ingredients. Its characteristic aroma comes from dog-rose berries, with its slightly sour taste coming from vitamin C. Different herbs give it its fullness of taste and its aroma. The colour is the same as Coca-Cola's but without any caffeine or orthophosphoric acid, which can be detrimental to our health. How would I describe what the first taste is like? One blogger wrote: "None of us had ever tasted, much less heard of this Slovenian soda. Upon the first sip it tasted like Coke and lemon cleansers, the second sip had me tasting vanilla, but by the third sip it really grew on me and I finished the glass." No matter what; I drink both Coca Cola and Cockta all the time.


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