Inka Cola ...national drink of Peru

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Inka Cola is a soft drink that is well-known and loved by Peruvians and is seen as the national soft drink that represents Peru. The origin of this drink originally came from the British immigrant Joseph Robinson Lindley, also called José who was born in Doncaster, Yorkshire in 1859. Lindely and his wife, Martha Stoppanie moved to Peru in 1910 and settled in the Rimac district of Lima and started to work on a soft drink based on the native plant Lemon Verbena. Located at 371 Jirón Cajamarca they opened a small bottling plant where all the work was done by hand, this small place was called Fábrica de Aguas Gasificadas Santa Rosa. In 1918 they obtained the first machines to assist in the production of their product and in 1928 changed the name of the company again to Corporación José R. Lindley S.A. In 1935, to celebrate the 400th anniversary of the founding of Lima, Lindley launched Inca Kola with the logo “Solo hay una y no se parece a ninguna” ("There is only one, unlike any other"). 


The company continued to expand and develop and in 1962 the company launched another product called Bimbo which came in flavours such as strawberry, pineapple, orange and cola. Another mile stone for the company came in 1972 when it expanded nationwide and in 1996 they acquired a German bottling plant called Krones which was fully computerized and automatic allowing the company to produce a thousand bottles a minute. Direct competition came from the Coca-Cola and in 1995, Inca Kola had 32.9% of the market share while Coca-Cola had 32% and due to popular demand Bembos (Peruvian fast food chain) and McDonalds began to serve Inca Kola. However, in 1997 due to a mix of restructuring of the company, expansion and mismanagement, the company took on a huge debt resulting in a $5 million loss for the company in 1999. In this crisis the company looked for help turning to Coca-Cola which took half of Inca Kola Perú and one-fifth of Corporación José R. Lindley S.A, the deal cost Coca-Cola a speculated amount of $200 million


The grandson Johnny Lindley Taboada, grandson of the founder became the chairman of Corporación José R. Lindley S.A and worked with Coca-Cola striking a deal which stated that he would be the sole owner of the trademark Inca Kola outside of Peru and within Peru a joint-venture with Coca-Cola. During the years that the two companies negotiated smaller business started selling their own branch of soft drinks like Isaac Kola, Triple Kola, Concordia, Oro and Kola Real. Their main smear against Inca Kola was that Inca Kola was no longer Peruvian and was a sell out to an international company. Corporación José R. Lindley S.A continues to buy out bottling plants, bottling both Coca-Cola products and Inca Kola and in 2010 to celebrate its 100 years in Peru, it received a medal of honour from the Congress of Peru. On 28th of January 2014 Johnny Lindley Taboada passed away and Johnny Lindley Suarez became the new chairman.

By: GringoPeru

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