Virgin Cola

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Virgin Cola - Virgin tastes victory cola battle Roger Tredre...
Virgin tastes victory cola battle Roger Tredre COCA-COLA and Pepsi-Cola have slugged it out for years. But last week the two soft, drinks corporations found themselves under attack from -new rivals. .-' Woohrorth's last week reported strong sales of its 29p, own-brand Genuine American Cola,, launched 10 days ago, but the greater potential threat to the dominance oftheArner-i ican drinks giants comes from Richard Branson's Virgin Cola; to be launched next month in a joint ven-; ture with the Canadian Cott Corpor ration of . Toronto. Virgin Cola is . expected to retail at 25p undercutting Coca-Cola and Pepsi by up to8p. ;' . But which cola will taste the best?: Even the most discerning palates'may be forgiven for being confused, and regular Coca-Cola drinkers found it difficult last week to identify their favourite drink in a blind Tasting conducted by The Observer. Blt tihft - feflV jl'I '??oL?'Vi"'f'?'' CT All colas have much the same reci-pe dominated by water and sugar, with the addition of caramel, phosphoric acid, decocainised coca leaves and caffeine. Coca-Cola's additional 'secreV ingredients. the celebrated 7X formula are not much of a secret within the drinks industry: they are thought to comprise natural oils including orange, lemon, nutmeg, cinnamon, coriander, neroli and lime. The first cans of Virgin Cola were dispatched to The Observer for the blind tasting, along with the Wool-worth's cola, Marks & Spencer's Traditional Flavour Cola and Sainsbury's Classic Cola, whose can design was the subject of legal action by Coca-Cola last summer. Virgin outscored Coca-Cola in the tasting by four regular cola drinkers. When we broke the news to Virgin, it was delighted. Will Whitehdm, a company spokesman, said: 'The drink has been consistently taste-testing better than Coca-Cola. It's certainly less sweet. Our research shows that people prefer their drinks to be less sweet these days.' But both drinks were rated lower than Pepsi-Cola, which was considered the best of the six. ;Woolworth's was also ahead of Virgin and Coca-Cola: The Marks & Spencer drink, which includes 'spring water', was judged 'too watery', while Sainsbury's was given the thumbs-' down by all four tasters. However, taste may not be the deciding factor in the long term. In the soft drinks industry, marketing hype and advertising spend are the most powerful persuaders of the pub-He palate.And Richard Branson has never had any problems on the hype front. Cut-price deaf, Business, page 1 ,

Clipped from
  1. The Observer,
  2. 16 Oct 1994, Sun,
  3. Page 13

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