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Fritz-Kola – the Hamburgian original proves soft drinks can be done better

Fritz-Kola, the soft drink brand founded in Hamburg and known for its vast flavour selection and high caffeine levels, is expanding its reach in the UK through a partnership with drinks importer and distributor, James Clay.

Lorenz Hampl and Mirco Wolf Wiegert met when they were both boy scouts and became good friends.

This independent spirit took hold during a 1999 InterRail tour around europe and the pair decided that they didn't want to be employed by anyone else – whatever they did, they would work for themselves. They jotted down their ideas in a notebook containing possible business models that ranged from opening their own bar to managing a squad of cleaners.

They were always going to focus on something real (no dot.com virtual products for these guys) and it also had to promise a lifestyle that was fun and allowed the pair to spend a lot of time in pleasant cafés.

Sitting in their kitchen over a frozen pizza and cola one day, they had the idea of developing a cola drink that was better than the leading brand on the market. A cola with lots of caffeine, a little less sweetness and a twist of lemon.

To cover the need for some working capital to start the project, saving accounts were emptied out and Fritz Kola was established with modest funds of around 7,000 Euros.

After extensive research into a new cola recipe, the pair tried to obtain the necessary ingredients from pharmacies around Hamburg. There were a few minor setbacks but, with a little help, they finally developed a new recipe for their drink.

The logo and name of fritz-kola came into being as a result of very pragmatic considerations: there wasn’t enough cash to design a logo and make sure that it met legal requirements, so the two friends used their own faces as a logo instead. No question about who owns the rights to those.

There were several suggestions on the table regarding the name of the cola. A survey was carried out in front of a shopping centre. The name had to be a positive, catchy and natural. The nice north German name ‘fritz’ won the race.

By 2002, bottle labels were being printed by a local copy-shop, stuck onto each bottle by hand and glue stick. Recipes were tried and tested. New products started to be developed. Friends and family's homes used as storage for stock. The drinks started to find new audiences across europe and Fritz Kola was now something of a cult classic.

Skip forward to 2016 and Fritz-Kola - all 12 incredible flavours - has been introduced to the UK market by James Clay.

As part of its expanded UK launch, the brand of soft drinks will be partnering with a range of festivals, offering a Fritz-Kola take on some of our best-loved cocktails. Having launched its expanded range at The Big Disco in Leeds, Fritz-Kola was also available at Silverstone for the British Grand Prix, and will make an appearance at various events planned throughout the summer.

Matthew Eyre, Head of Sales at James Clay: “We’re thrilled to be bringing another iconic German drink to the UK. With the summer now here, we’re positive that Fritz-Kola’s range will be a huge hit, whether used as a soft drink or as a mixer for spirits.”

“Frtiz Kola is a family owned, independent company, that always puts quality first, sharing a lot of the same values of us here at James Clay, so working with them is a perfect fit. To take on a market that has been dominated for years and make such a success of it is testament to Lorenz and Mirco at Fritz-Kola and we can’t wait to share with our customers here in the UK.”

Fritz-Kola is now available in 24 x 33cl nrb bottles.

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