Afri-Cola is a cola soft drink produced in Germany. The trademark Afri-Cola was registered in 1931 by the company F. Blumhoffer Nachfolger GmbH. The same company also produced Bluna, an orange soft drink. Today the brand belongs to the Mineralbrunnen Überkingen-Teinach AG. Afri-Cola was once one of the most popular cola brands in Germany, but has considerably lost market share since the 1960s.
Afri-Cola was registered in 1931 by F. Blumhoffer Nachfolger GmbH, a company founded in 1864 and based based in Cologne. After the Second World War, Afri-Cola became one of the most popular drinks in Germany and a symbol of the German Wirtschaftswunder. In 1952, the company launched Bluna, a lemonade similar to Fanta, which also became a hit among customers. However, in the hard competition of the 60s, Afri-Cola started to lose its influence on the German market to Coca Cola and Pepsi. The commercial designer and photographer Charles Wilp started a marketing campaign to regain its image. However, the market share of Afri-Cola continued to dwindle during the 1980s and 1990s.
Finally, in 1998, German beverage company Mineralbrunnen Überkingen-Teinach AG bought all rights to Afri-Cola and Bluna. This company changed the recipe of Afri-Cola in 1998. The taste of the 1998 drink also differed from that of the original. Also, the caffeine content was 250 mg/L up until 1998, which is higher than the average. At the re-release, it had a content below 150 mg/L so that the content does not need to be listed on the bottle.
However, the new recipe was unpopular. The mixture was again changed to taste more like the original one, the caffeine content was increased in 2005 to around 200 mg/L and caffeine was again listed as an ingredient on the label. This mixture was also not sufficiently successful and on April 1, 2006 the company finally changed back to the original recipe, with caffeine content of 250 mg/L. Since then, Afri-Cola has slightly regained market share.
Availability outside Germany
In the mid-1990s Real Soda LLC, a U.S. company, started importing Afri-Cola into the United States, largely in the Seattle area. At the time it was marketed as “highest caffeine content allowed by law” and positioned to compete with such high caffeine colas as Jolt Cola and +Fukola Cola. In the late 1990s it was widely available at convenience stores and supermarkets in Seattle, and is available in several cafes in Minneapolis. Mineralbrunnen Überkingen-Teinach AG itself exports Afri-Cola to Austria, France, Saudi Arabia, Switzerland and the Czech Republic.
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