Popular Soda Flavors from Countries Around the World

Popular Soda Flavors from Countries Around the World

In this post, the team that produces Sparkling CBD Soda will highlight the most popular soda brands in various countries, whatever they may be.

We need to preface this post by acknowledging that, when it comes to the global soft drink industry, there is Coca-Cola and then there is everyone else. Coke managed to get a leg up on “everyone else” by being one of the first commercially available carbonated beverages when it was introduced nearly 140 years ago. It was also the first soft drink to attempt distribution outside its local market. And wherever American soldiers went during WWII Coke went as well, creating soft drink markets that did not exist before and where there were no competitors.

That said, in the years since Coke first hit store shelves plenty of alternative brands have arisen throughout the world - including our own CBD beverages - and some of them have gone on to enjoy significant success. Obviously we don’t have enough time or space to cover all of the world’s 195 countries. Instead, we’ve chosen 8 countries more or less at random and will highlight which soda brand occupies the summit of the mountain in each country.

1: Japan

Coca-Cola is quite popular in Japan but it is not the #1 most popular soft drink. The reason why the Japanese have not surrendered their soft drink market to American mega-brand Coke likely has a lot to do with all that nasty business that occurred during the 1940s and the lengthy American occupation that followed. So what is the most popular soda in Japan? Ramune Soda. Ramune is available in orange, grape, strawberry, melon and a variety of other natural flavors and comes in a small 6.7 oz (200 ml) bottle with a small glass marble in the lid. To open the bottle you simply press the marble through the seal. If you think that having a marble in a bottle of soda sounds like a choking hazard waiting to happen, fear not. The opening in the outermost lid is smaller than the marble which prevents it from escaping and being swallowed.

2: Australia

Coca-Cola rules the roost in the Land Down Under. It sells at 3 times the rate of its nearest competitor, Schweppes. Still, those 2 global brands, plus #3 Pepsi “only” account for about 70% of all the soda sold in Australia. The remaining 30% of soft drink sales are split between local brands Bundaberg (sounds German but it’s not), Kirks, Coles and Wimmers. Local manufacturer Noosa Beverages also collaborates with the Australian supermarket giant Woolworths to produce and sell Woolworths Cola, which currently has about a 2% soft drink market share in the country.

3: France

The most popular soda brand in France is - surprise (!) - Coca-Cola. Total sales of #2 Schweppes, #3 Orangina and #4 Lipton Ice Tea account for roughly the same sales volume as Coke. Close behind Lipton Iced Tea is a brand called "Oasis", a non-carbonated soft drink produced by Schweppes that isn't available in the US but has a lot of fans among the French. Interestingly, wine consumption has been falling steadily in France in recent years as younger generations turn away from the country’s iconic beverage and embrace non-alcoholic alternatives. (Hmmm.. maybe there’s an opportunity here for our sparkling CBD beverages…)

4: Brazil

Hold onto your seats because we've got quite the shocker for you. Ready? Okay... the most popular soda in the 2nd most populous country in the Western Hemisphere is not Coke, but - drum roll please - Guaraná Antarctica! This brand has been around for more than a century with the flavor being derived from the fruit of the guaraná plant, which is native to the Amazon basin. For years now the company and Coke have been locked in a war for market supremacy in Brazil complete with commercials that openly diss each other's product. To this point, Guaraná Antarctica retains its lead.

5: South Korea

In South Korea Coke and Pepsi effectively have a stranglehold on the soft drink market, accounting for 99% of all soft drink sales in the country. Local carbonated beverages have to settle for a meager 1% of the market share. It's one of the biggest disparities in the world between the established American behemoths and struggling local competitors. Part of that can be explained by the fact that there were no sodas in Korea until American soldiers brought them there during the Korean War of the 1950s. Local brands like Woongjin Foods' 815 Cola have made valiant attempts to unseat the global soda giants but as of this writing, it's been an uphill struggle.

6: Peru

As we’ll see as we move through this list there are a number of countries in the world where Coke is not the most popular soft drink. We’ve already discussed Japan and Brazil but lying just west of Brazil is another of those countries, Peru. In Peru, Coca-Cola takes a back seat to a local beverage called Inca Kola. The soft drink is marketed under the banner “The Taste of Peru” and sports Inca-derived graphics on its cans and bottles. Many Peruvians won’t drink any other brand of soda. What isn’t so well known, even in this stunning Andean nation, is that Inca Kola was the brainchild of Englishman Joseph Lindley, who founded the brand in 1935. Also, it’s worth noting that Coke now owns the Inca Kola trademark everywhere in the world except Peru. They tried to buy out Inca in Peru years ago but the Lindley estate would not sell.

7: Scotland

The Scots are quite proud of being one of the few countries on earth where Coke is not king. Instead, the most popular soft drink in Scotland is Irn-Bru. Irn-Bru is a product of the Scottish company A. G. Barr which has produced the beverage since 1875. Those fond of the crisp, light, refreshing taste of our Sparkling CBD Soda are likely to find the taste of Irn-Bru (“Iron Brew” in English) to be, well, different. There are, however, countless Scots who swear by its purported ability to cure a nasty whiskey hangover. We’ll let you do the research on that.

8: India

About 50 years ago Coke was kicked out of India because they refused to comply with Industry Minister George Mathew Fernandes' demand that they sell 60% of their Indian operation to local investors AND that they turn over the formula for their world-beating cola brand to those same Indian investors. Coke agreed to sell a majority interest in their Indian operation but refused to turn over the formula. So Fernandes showed them the door. In their absence, local brands flourished, including one called "Thumbs Up" cola. Even after Coke was allowed back into the country in the 1990s Thumbs Up remained hugely popular and continues to be the country’s #1 soda brand. The irony? After Coke was allowed back into India they promptly bought Thumbs Up. So even though Coke is now the #2 soft drink, Coca-Cola the corporation has the #1 soda.

Try Our Sparkling CBD Cola Today

There is no doubt Coke is the 600 lb gorilla in any soft drink discussion, but that doesn’t mean it holds sway everywhere. Nothing against Big C but it’s heartening to know there are still markets where the locals favor alternatives, whether that’s Japan, Brazil, Scotland or right here at home where our sparkling CBD drinks are steadily gaining in popularity. If you are looking for a delicious, refreshing craft cola alternative to Coke and (let’s not forget) Pepsi, pick up a carton of our Sparkling CBD Soda today.