Mirco Wiegert is co-founder and boss of the soft drink company named Fritz-Kola. Wiegert shared the startup story of two young students Mirco Wiegert and Lorenz Hampl. These two young people wanted to do something creative and unorthodox.
They decided to make a cola company but both of them do not have any idea to make a fizzy drink. But no inconvenient fact could stand in front of these two young people. “We Googled for cola recipes and ingredients,” says Mirco, who was 28 at the time, in 2003.
As Google is not helpful in these sorts of things, so they decided to phone through brewing setups so that they can find someone who tells them the recipe for a fizzy drink. According to Mirco. They hit hundreds of dead ends. But no one told them seriously. And a day comes when eventually a man said yes to them.
“In the end, we found a small brewery in western Germany,” says Mirco. “The brewmaster told us, ‘Come on guys, visit me, and we will get something done.'”
The same year, both the boys had their first 170 crates to sell round about 4,080 bottles on different bars and clubs. The interesting thing is they visited bar to bar and tried to sell their bottles directly.
Today their brand is a domiciliary name in Germany, and last year the brand was the second-largest seller of 330ml glass fizzy cola bottles in German shops, behind only Coca-Cola. The figures from research group Nielsen showed that Fritz-Kola sold 71 million glass bottles of that size in 2019, compared with 74 million at Coke, and just 337,000 at Pepsi.
In 2003, Lorenz and Mirco decide to get registered as a company so they have to design a logo for their brand. Both the young people decided to paint their faces as a logo, and ask for their neighbor to Photoshop to create it. They paid €70 for the brand registration, and that’s how they created their Fritz-Kola font.
Soft drinks analyst Linda Lichtmess from market research firm Euro monitor says Fritz-Cola is popular because customers see it as being authentic.
” Its authenticity springs from its image of a company that was initiated by students who wanted to offer a product with a better taste and sophisticated caffeine content than regular fizzy cola,” Linda says.
Presently Fritz-Kola subcontracts production to five bottling plants. And in addition to its regular cola, it now retails a sugar-free version and a variety of fruit drinks. While the company does not release its financial data, Forbes magazine said in 2018 that the firm’s sales were €7.4m in 2015.
This writing is based on the recent article of The BBC _The Boss Series that interviewed Micro Wiegert.
Cover Photo Credit: Fritz Kola
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