The origin of Peruvians comes mostly from the Inca culture and it is not very surprising to learn that the country’s national drink is precisely called ‘Inca Kola’. It is also obvious that the deep yellow color it bears was created in tribute to the Incas as they worshiped the sun.
Inca kola has a strong influence over the local culture and Peruvians take pride in its unique taste. From outdoor media to refrigerator’s door you find Inca Kola ads. You can even see an ad while in Miraflores district for shopping which reads “there is only one Inca Kola and Peru knows it why”. One’s curiosity reaches its limits when one goes to Starbucks to fetch a cup of coffee. Many people have rather ended up buying an Inca Kola placed in the refrigerator there.
In fact, Inca-Kola outsells Coca Cola here. I wonder if it is really possible, but that’s true for Peru. Such is the craze for this Peruvian soft drink, that the Coca Cola Company was forced to merge with Inca-Kola Company in 1999 to sell its products in Peru. With the agreement, both the companies came out as winners: the Lindley Corporation maintains its ownership of the brand Inca Kola in Peru and acquired the right to bottle and distribute Coca-Cola brands in the country while the Coca-Cola Company has the license to produce and market the drink outside of Peru as Inca Kola.
Many foreigners are sceptical when they take the beverage for the first time because the yellow golden color intimidates them. However, the most common associations are taste of jelly, chamomile or pineapple. Although the formula of ingredients is kept secret and protected by the parent company, many Peruvians know very well the basis of their national drink: the lemon verbena, an aromatic plant used in tea or soda known for its digestive benefits.
What do you feel about the taste of Inca Kola?
All images from Wikipedia