With the former Yugoslavia at its peak, many Eastern European states created products to compete with the more popular Western versions. Cockta, is a great example of an attempt to take on the might of Coca Cola. Based on the fruit rosehip, it also contains 11 other herbs but, unlike its more famous rival, contains no caffeine nor orthophosphoric acid.
Cockta began in the early 1950’s with Slovenian chemical engineer, Emerik Zelinka, who although using foreign drinks as a model, at the same time tried to make an original by using only local herbs whilst working in Slovenian research lab. Zelinka’s creation is based on the rosehip, a fruit that was originally used for making tea that many Yugoslavs used to cure the common cold, and combined it with 11 other herbs.
The promotion of Cockta was one of the first market-based project undertaken by the former Yugoslavia, a team of designers was created to develop a marketing campaign, corporate image and logo. Originally bottled in bottles resembling beer bottles they later expanded to labelled packaging and labelled delivery vehicles which, up until that time, had not been seen in the East.
Slovenia was covered in posters featuring young suntanned models, with modern hairstyles holding a bottle of this new beverage. In its first year 4 million bottles were sold but by 1960 that figure had reached 71 million as its popularity spread across Yugoslavia.
For the visitor to states of the former Yugoslavia, definitely worth a try.