The iconic Campa Cola is all set to be back. Reliance Retail has acquired Campa from Pure Drinks Group for Rs 22 crores and is planning to relaunch it nationally by Diwali in three flavours — the iconic original, lemon and orange. The brand will be distributed through the chain’s own stores as well as local grocery shops.
Buying Campa is a part of Reliance’s wider strategy to enter the FMCG market. At the 45th Annual General Meeting on Monday, Isha Ambani, director, Reliance Retail Ventures Ltd (RRVL) said: “This year, we will launch our FMCG goods business.” Reliance Retail was also launched on WhatsApp with a partnership between Meta and JioMart. It allows customers to order groceries from WhatsApp.
Pure Drinks Group, which also owns the Le Méridien hotel in Delhi, launched Campa Cola in the late 1970s after Coca-Cola was asked to leave the country in 1977 by the then Janata Party government over alleged violations of the Foreign Exchange Regulations Act. Other multinationals including IBM also met the same fate.
For about 15 years after 1977, Campa Cola was India’s cold beverage of choice. The brand was an instant hit. During its heydays, it was manufactured in over 50 factories across the country, including four in Delhi.
The company positioned Campa as a “Made in India” drink and said it had “Great Indian Taste.” Its only competition was Parle group’s Thums Up, which ruled the roost in Mumbai, and was later acquired by Coca Cola. But sales started dwindling after the arrival of Pepsi and the return of Coca-Cola in 1993 as a liberalised India opened its doors to the world.