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Asia’s richest man to bring back beloved Indian soft drink that competed with Coca Cola

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    Campa Cola, a popular Indian soda from the 1970s, is due for a relaunch this summer after billionaire businessman Mukesh Ambani purchased the brand last August. 

    Ambani’s company, Reliance Industries, announced their plan to bring Campa Cola back to India last week.

    “The Campa portfolio will initially include Campa Cola, Campa Lemon and Campa Orange in the sparkling beverage category,” the company said in a statement, hinting at the possibility of future flavors. 

    Since their announcement, Indians who remember drinking the classic soft drink during their childhood have expressed excitement for its return. 

    “So many childhood memories,” one Twitter user wrote. “If it tastes anything like it did, Campa Cola will sell on nostalgia.” 

    A spokesperson for Reliance expressed the company’s anticipation for the relaunch

    By presenting Campa in its new avatar, we hope to inspire consumers across generations to embrace this truly iconic brand and trigger a new excitement in the beverage segment. While older family members will have fond memories of the original Campa and cherish the nostalgia associated with the brand, younger consumers will love the crisp refreshing taste. 

    However, some online expressed doubt that Campa Cola will see success once again. 

    “Campa Cola’s success was a product of the Indian economy closing down and the exit of Coke & Pepsi – it had a captive market,” one user tweeted. “It was a time, not a taste,” they said, attributing the brand’s success to the historical conditions at the time.

    “Campa tasted good – because we didn’t have any other options,” Times of India newspaper columnist Santosh Desai was quoted as saying in a 2009 New York Times article on the soda brand.

    Coca-Cola was the most popular soft drink in India from the 1950s to 1970s; however, when a new regulation was introduced by the Indian government that required the company to disclose its drink formula, Coca-Cola ceased sales in India. 

    Campa Cola was introduced soon after Coca-Cola was pulled from the shelves, emerging as the new leader in the soft drink market until the late 1990s when Coca-Cola sales returned to India through foreign investment reforms initiated by then-Finance Minister Manmohan Singh. 

    Since then, Campa Cola slowly began to disappear from stores, overtaken by Coca-Cola and Pepsi’s forceful marketing and advertising. The New Delhi-based brand closed its bottling plants in the 2000s. 

    Ambani, who chairs Reliance Industries, bought Campa Cola from soft drink manufacturer Pure Drinks for 220 million rupees (approximately $2.7 million) in August. 

    Although the soft drink was previously served in glass bottles, the relaunched beverage will be served in colorful cans and bottles. However, the tagline “The Great Indian Taste” will remain the same. 

    Campa Cola will first be brought to Andhra Pradesh and Telangana before making its way to the rest of the country in phases. The pricing of the drinks has not been announced yet.

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