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Business News/ News / When Campa Cola used to be a major competitor of Sarkari cola

When Campa Cola used to be a major competitor of Sarkari cola

Reliance Retail Ventures has announced to relaunch the iconic soft drink, Campa Cola. The popular brand of 1970's was a major competitor of a government backed-soft drink, Double Seven

During its first inning, Campa Cola became a major reason behind the exit of Indian government backed drink, Double SevenPremium
During its first inning, Campa Cola became a major reason behind the exit of Indian government backed drink, Double Seven

The announcement of the relaunch of Campa Cola has brought back the memory of its ‘Great Indian taste’. The soft drink used to be a market leader in the 1970s but couldn't withstand the rise of foreign players like Pepsi and Coca-Cola. However, way before its downfall, the fizzy soft drink used to be a tough competitor and a major reason for the exit of ‘Double Seven’, the only government-backed cold drink.

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Popularly known as the Sarkari drink, Double Seven was an ambitious project of the then-ruling Janta Party in 1977. The Indian government was forced to come up with its own Cola brand after Coca-Cola quit the Indian market the same year due to a change in government policies. As per the new policy, all the market players had to partner with an Indian entity. To avert the condition of sharing its secret recipe with another company, Coca-Cola chose to exit the market, reported India Times.

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Janta Government killed two birds with a single stone

To fill the vacuum created by the exit of Coca-Cola and employ people who lost their job because of the exit, the Indian government stepped in to launch its cola brand. Janta government also saw it as an opportunity to commemorate the end of the emergency imposed by Indira Gandhi. Hence, a Sarkari cold drink with the name ‘77’ was launched. The cold drink was named ‘Double Seven’. However, the drink couldn't perform well against the existing players like Campa Cola and Thums Up. Moreover, the fall of the Janta Government and the resurgence of Indira Gandhi proved to be the final nail in the coffin of the brand. 

Origin of Campa Cola

Campa Cola continued to dominate among Indian consumers until the liberalization of the market. The drink was created by the Pure Drinks Group in the 1970s. Earlier, Pure Drinks used to manufacture Coca-Cola in a collaboration with Coke. The drink started in 1949. But after the exit of Coke from the market in the 1970s, Pure Drinks collaborated with Campa Beverages Pvt limited to start ‘Campa Cola’ during the absence of foreign players. The brand's slogan ‘The Great Indian Taste’ became hugely popular and gave a message of nationalism. The brand flourished during that time but began to fade away in the 1990s. Its offices and bottling plant in Delhi closed in 2000-2001, and the company continued manufacturing a handful of bottles under the brand in Haryana. The acquisition of the soft drink by Reliance Retail Ventures has brought another chance for the soft drink to compete against its old rival Coca-Cola and other brands again with much stronger backing. 

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Updated: 10 Mar 2023, 11:23 AM IST
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