Everyone loves the sugary fizzy tastes of cold drinks. They are the perfect stress busters which calm your soul and soothe your mind especially during summers in India.
DID YOU KNOW???
Indians spent over US$3.22 billion on soft drinks during the first six months of 2018?
Or that the soft drinks market of this country is growing over 11% per annum?
But it ranks 20th when compared with other countries around the world for soft drink consumption.
Soft drinks are something you definitely enjoy. To help you know more about this humble yet ubiquitous beverage, we present some interesting facts.
Types of Soft Drinks in India
Five types of soft drinks are commonly available in India. We list these types to help decide which ones you would like.
- Flavoured Carbonated Soft Drinks: These are the fizzy cola, fruit and lime flavoured soft drinks that are most common.
- Fruit-Based Soft Drinks: If you are looking for some nutrition from your soft drink, opt for the fruit-based varieties. They are made with real fruit pulp, juice or extracts.
- Energy Drinks: Also called power boosters, they contain potent doses of caffeine and other ingredients that are claimed to give you that added punch when performing some physical activity. They come loaded with glucose and electrolytes.
- Sports Drinks: Slightly pricey but they are excellent thirst quenchers. They come in various flavours. Sports drinks contain essential vitamins and minerals that you lose by perspiration after hectic activity or heat.
- Mixers: The regular soda is categorised as a mixer. Because soda can be mixed with anything- from liquor to fruit juice to make a drink. Tonic water is another favourite mixer in India.
List Of 24 Best Soft Drinks in India
As mentioned earlier, there are different types of soft drinks available in India. Now we list them according to various categories.
I. Cola-Based Soft Drinks in India
Cola based soft drinks contain potent doses of caffeine that revive and make you feel fresh almost immediately. Caffeine used in making these soft drinks was extracted from the Cola or Kola nut, in olden days.
Hence, these drinks are called Colas. Nowadays, caffeine from other sources is also used in their manufacture.
1. Pepsi Cola
Pepsi is a best-selling cold drink in India. It is also the flagship brand of the eponymous Multinational Company in India (MNC) from the USA. Pepsi cosponsors various significant sports tournaments in India including Indian Premier League cricket.
Its world famous blue-red-white logo appears on T-shirts of various Indian sports teams. The company popularises Pepsi through different catchy ads on themes of these sports fixtures.
Pepsi Cola is also available in a low-calorie version, Diet Pepsi that contains artificial sweeteners instead of sugar.
Its upmarket variant Pepsi Black is sold in select, mainly urban markets of India.
2. Thums Up
Thums Up is a popular Indian cool drink. It is a home-grown brand that made its first appearance in the Indian market in 1977. It was introduced by an F.M.C.G. (Fast Moving Consumer Goods) company in India which manufactures food and beverages major Parle Products.
Thums Up came into the market at a time when foreign cola and soft drink brands, namely Coca Cola, exited India due to various reasons. Thums Up is a cola drink of choice among the younger generation.
Its advertising catchphrase, ‘Taste the Thunder’ appeals to the young, adventure seeking generation. Coca Cola India now owns the brand.
Another variant of this soft drink, Thums Up Charged and diet version Thums Up Charged- No Sugar is available in select markets in the country.
3. Coca Cola
Coca Cola is the undisputed pioneer of cola-based drinks worldwide. It the oldest brand and was created by John Pemberton in 1888, using a secret recipe.
Till date, Coca Cola worldwide and in India is made using this formula, which is known to minimal and anonymous employees of the company.
Coca Cola was also the first cola-based drink to arrive on the shores of India. However, government policies and other reasons forced Coca Cola to leave the Indian market in the mid-1970s.
The brand, however, returned to India about a decade later. Coca Cola is also used as a mixer with Rum and Rum based cocktails.
Worldwide, Coca Cola is the leader in cola-based drinks. In India, it competes for neck-to-neck with other brands in the cola-based soft drink category.
Low-calorie version, Coca Cola Zero is favourite among weight watchers in India.
II. Lime & Lemony Soft Drinks in India
Lime and lemon are being used since centuries to make lemonade and other refreshing drinks worldwide and in India.
Because lime and lemon have that distinct fresh flavour. Get a lime and lemony drink if you prefer that tangy taste.
Sprite is an undisputed leader in India’s lime and lemony carbonated soft drinks market. Coca Cola India owns the brand.
Sprite made its appearance in the Indian market almost two decades ago. Since it has captured a sizeable share of the soft drinks market and continues to retain the leading position.
Sprite is a clear soft drink. It has a crisp and clear taste with lime and lemony flavour that makes it a favourite among people of all ages.
Also available as Sprite Zero for those prefer sugar-free soft drinks and low calories.
Coming from PepsiCo India, this brand of lime and lemony carbonated soft beverage was launched in the country in 1990. The brand mascot, Fido Dido popularised it.
Over the years, 7-Up has engaged youth as its primary clientele. Commercials of 7-Up feature top Bollywood stars.
Additionally, 7-Up is the “official drink” of particular Indian Premier League (IPL) cricket teams, and its brand logo appears on their T-shirts.
There are four astonishing variants of 7-Up that will definitely delight you.
- Lemon Bite: For people that love extra tangy lime and lemony soft drinks in India.
- Revive: This is a sports drink of sorts and delivers electrolytes to your body.
- Nimbooz: Contains 5% lemon juice to give that typical lemonade taste.
- Nimbooz Masala: Also contains 5% lemon juice. It has a flavour similar to traditional Indian masala (spice) soda.
Also Read: Top 10 Most Loved Chocolate Brands in India
Limca is slightly opaque white lime and lemony soft drink that was introduced by Parle Beverages in the mid-1970s.
The brand was owned by Italy’s food and mineral water company, Bisleri but later acquired by the Indian company. Now, Coca Cola India owns this famous cool drink.
Limca is a top favourite of citrus flavoured soft drink lovers. Though it does not contain lemon juice, its flavour almost replicates lemonade. Limca is also used as a mixer with Gin and Vodka-based cocktails.
The brand has been immortalised by the Limca Book of World Records, an Indian encyclopedia that contains a goldmine of information and general knowledge.
4. Mountain Dew
America’s favourite soft drink, Mountain Dew, was introduced into this country in 2003 by PepsiCo India. It has a dark yellow colour and a very distinct citrus flavour.
Mountain Dew is associated with adventure. Its advertising campaigns have always appealed to fearless youngsters that seek thrilling experiences.
The advertising catchphrase ‘Darr ke Aage Jeet Hai” means victory lies beyond fear.
This catchphrase has become an integral part of people’s vocabulary and is used to encourage people fearing any situation or adverse circumstances.
Mountain Dew has a very fresh, citrus taste.
5. Duke’s Lemonade
Duke’s Lemonade is the oldest Indian soft drink brand in its category. It was launched almost 120 years ago in Mumbai by a Zoroastrian (Parsi) entrepreneur, Dinshaw Pandole.
Duke’s Lemonade had refreshed kings and rulers of ancient India and senior officials of the British Raj, at a time when other such soft drinks were unavailable in this country.
However, the owning company ran into financial doldrums and had to wind up operations.
Fortunately, this iconic, heritage brand was acquired by PepsiCo India in 1994 and re-launched in the market in 2011. Duke’s Lemonade has a slightly opaque white tinge, similar to a homemade lemon drink.
6. Minute Maid Nimbu Fresh
Minute Maid Nimbu Fresh is a non-carbonated soft drink in India. It is made with the age-old formula used for lemonade.
Minute Maid Nimbu Fresh contains 5% lemon juice. It is non-fizzy. Try Minute Maid Nimbu Fresh if you wish to enjoy lemonade on the move, without risking buying one made by street-side vendors.
III. Fruit Flavored Soft Drinks in India
Orange is also a favourite flavour among soft drink aficionados in India. It is especially preferred by kids and rural folk that want a soft drink that has a fruity taste and flavour. You too can try these lovely and well-known fruit flavoured soft drinks.
Mirinda traces its roots to Spain. In 1991, this brand was launched in India by PepsiCo. Mirinda has a real orange flavour and taste though it does not contain any juice or extracts of the fruit.
Its rich fruity tastes and extra sweetness make Mirinda a favourite of orange flavoured drink lovers.
Mirinda has that distinct taste of orange tree leaves, which makes it stand out from other similar aerated drinks in India.
Also Read: Top 10 Most Popular Tea Brands in India
Fanta is a brand from Coca Cola India and has a fascinating history. Though the brand went off shelves in India in the mid-1970s, it now leads the market for orange flavoured soft drinks.
Fanta derives its name from the German word Fantasie (Fantasy). The orange flavour was a result of German ingenuity: During World War-II, the Third Reich imposed a ban on importing cola syrup from the US.
To cater to the enormous demand for soft drinks, German entrepreneur Max Keith decided to use local ingredients- apple fibre and cheese.
These ingredients when combined gave an orange-like flavour and became a hit in Germany. Now, the Fanta is produced with original orange flavour.
IV. Fruit-Based Soft Drinks in India
Looking for nutrition including essential vitamins and minerals in your soft drink? Then taste any of these superb Indian soft drinks that contain real fruit juice or pulp
1. Mango Frooti, Fresh and Juicy
Frooti is India’s largest selling soft drink that contains mango pulp. Parle Agro owns the soft drink brand.
It was the first soft drink in India to be sold in disposable tetra-packs in 1985, at a time when every other brand was available in returnable glass bottles, and PET containers were unheard of.
Frooti is made with the pulp of various, top of the range Indian mangoes known to deliver the right blend of nutrition and flavour. Frooti is also manufactured in Nepal.
Mazaa is also the most popular fruit-based soft drink in India. It is made with real mango pulp. It contains 19.5% fruit pulp of choicest Indian mangoes.
This cold drink allows you to enjoy mango year round, even when the fruit is offseason. Mazaa ranks among soft drinks that are permitted by schools that otherwise do not allow carbonated and artificially flavoured varieties to be sold from their canteens.
Slice gives you precisely what the brand states: It offers that lovely taste of a slice of choicest Indian mango.
It also contains pulp of Alphonso mango, the best variety of this fruit that is found only in coastal Maharashtra and parts of Goa.
Slice was launched in 1993. Top Bollywood starlet, Katrina Kaif promote this fine mango pulp based cold drink in India. It is also available in select foreign markets.
4. Minute Maid Mango
Coca Cola India supports Minute Maid Mango as both, fruit-based soft drink and juice. It is an American brand that traces its roots to Florida.
Minute Maid Mango contains 10.9% fruit pulp. Minute Maid is available in major Indian cities. The brand is gradually finding its way to smaller towns and rural parts of India.
This best soft drink is prepared to keep in mind various nutritional values that conform to international standards.
V. Other Fruit Based Cold Drinks
Undoubtedly, mango is the king of fruits. But you can also enjoy soft drinks that come in a variety of fruit flavours and get essential nutrition.
1. Appy Fizz
Appy Fizz is a bestseller brand of Indian fruit-based soft drinks. It contains reconstituted and carbonated apple juice.
Parle Agro owns the cold drink brand. Several Indian sports personalities and Bollywood stars have endorsed Appy Fizz.
Other than an apple juice based soft drink, Appy Fizz is also used as a mixer for various alcoholic cocktails. Its apple flavour blends very well with liquor.
2. Minute Maid Range
An impressive range of fruit juice based cool drinks in India is available from the Minute Maid brand of Coca Cola India.
The range includes Minute Maid Apple, Minute Maid Gritty Guava, Minute Maid Mixed Fruit, Minute Maid Pulpy Mosambi, Minute Maid Litchi and Minute Maid Anar (Pomegranate) and Minute Maid Apple.
Minute Maid Pulpy Santra is made with the pulp of superior quality Indian tangerine while Minute Maid Orange contains juices of most excellent quality oranges. The Minute Maid range includes 10.9% fruit juice or pulp.
3. Rani Float
Rani Float is a superb soft drink you can offer kids. It is presented in disposable cans and comes in four flavours- Orange, Peach, Strawberry-Banana and Pineapple.
Rani Float is a fruit punch of sorts. It contains pieces of real fruit that can be chewed.
Rani Float is very popular among children who love a soft drink with a difference. Rani Float is a brand owned by Coca Cola India and is available across the country.
Zico is the only brand of packaged tender coconut water available in India. It is a product of Coca Cola India and available in select markets.
The brand is available in one-litre packs only and hence cannot be enjoyed on the move.
However, you can keep one at home or office and enjoy the goodness of fresh and hygienic coconut water.
VI. Unique Soft Drinks in India
Maybe you are unaware that certain unique soft drinks are also available in India. If you have not tasted these, go ahead and try one.
You just might fall in love with them. Interested? Read along.
RimZim is a soft drink that resembles traditional Jaljeera- a homemade digestive beverage. It does not contain any spice extracts.
The brand was launched by Parle Agro in mid-1980s and is now owned by Coca Cola India.
This drink has a slightly pungent and sour taste, which makes it ideal if you are looking at soft drinks that are not heavily laced with sugar.
2. Schweppes Ginger Ale
Schweppes Ginger Ale is an international brand of soft drink and is available in select markets of India.
As the name suggests, this soft drink has a strong Ginger flavour, though it does not contain any pulp or extracts of this vital root.
It is an excellent soft drink for those who love something spicy.
3. Schweppes Indian Tonic Water
Schweppes Indian Tonic Water is a soft drink in India that can actually protect you from Malaria.
During the British rule of the Indian subcontinent, soda manufactures added quinine- the medicinal extract of a species of Cinchona tree indigenous to India. Quinine served to prevent Malaria and was extensively used as a cure for this disease.
Schweppes Indian Tonic Water contains quinine extracts. It has a distinctly bitter-sweet taste. Generally, Schweppes Tonic Water is used as a mixer with gin by women for its diuretic properties.
You can enjoy Schweppes Tonic Water chilled, like a soft drink or use as a mixer with liquor or cocktails. The brand is perhaps the oldest of its kind and has been around since 1783.
Also Read: Top 10 Best Coffee Brands in India
VII. Electrolyte Based Drinks
You need not be a sportsperson to have electrolyte based drinks.
Women and men experiencing heavy perspiration or those who work in hot conditions need electrolyte based drinks. Thankfully, these are easy.
Gatorade is a best electrolyte and energy drink of sportsmen around the world. It is served to players on the field during refreshment breaks.
If you sweat heavily and need to replace lost electrolytes, go for Gatorade. It also contains essential sugars to pep your energy levels.
Gatorade is an internationally acclaimed product. It is made and marketed in this country by PepsiCo India.
Aquarius by Coca Cola India is a refreshing carbonated drink in India that delivers much-needed electrolytes to your body. It has a light, refreshing taste.
Aquarius does not contain sugar and hence is ideal for diabetics and weight loss.
Electrolytes in Aquarius helps you to remain fresh through the day even while working outdoors or in hot, humid conditions.
To Sum Up
You are now aware of the vast array of soft drinks that are available in the Indian market. Soft drinks are not merely carbonated water laced with sugar and flavouring.
Most carbonated soft drinks also contain caffeine, which helps revive energy when you are feeling low and tired.
If you wish to break away from these traditional carbonated water-based soft drinks, there is a wide range of fruit-based, energy and exotic soft drinks on offer.
Generally, all cold drinks in India meet international standards of food safety.
Top manufacturers like Parle Agro, PepsiCo India and Coca Cola India ensure their products are free from carcinogens and other ingredients that can potentially injure your health.
Hence, you can enjoy these cold drinks safely.