Coca‑Cola started its production in Hungary in 1968, half a century ago this year: on 17 June, the first bottle was filled on the line of the Hungarian Liquor Company’s plant in Kőbánya, Budapest. For a long time only the classic two-decilitre glass contour bottle was available, which was later supplemented with the one-litre family version. Since then, of course, the range has expanded enormously: Coca‑Cola Hungary now offers dozens of brands and 94 different products. To celebrate the anniversary, the company designed a special, small-series glass bottle and invited six prominent representatives of contemporary Hungarian literature to share their memories and experiences with Coca‑Cola. Starting from 8 November, the brand new writings of Krisztián Nyáry, and every Thursday, Tibor Bornai, András Cserna-Szabó, István Csukás, Virág Erdős and Lajos Parti Nagy will be published on the www.coca-cola.hu website.
The sensation of the 1967 Budapest International Fair (BNV) was the introduction of Coca‑Cola, a beverage formerly referred to as the "symbol of Western imperialism". The Hungarian Liqueur Company announced that it would start bottling the products of the legendary brand the following year. From 1968, the filling of the classic, two-decilitre glass contour bottles commenced at the factory in Kőbánya, initially with a weekly visit from the inspectors of the Coca‑Cola office in Vienna. This made Coca‑Cola the first American product to be manufactured after the war in Hungary. Demand surpassed all expectations, so in 1970 the Trust of Spirits Manufacturers began to bottle Coca‑Cola in Szabadegyháza, Győr, Kisvárda and Miskolc. In 1980, The Coca‑Cola Company also signed a bottling contract with the Békéscsaba Soft Drinks Manufacturing Company, thus Socialist industrial companies supplied Hungarian consumers with the legendary soft drink from six plants.
Waiting for Fanta for twenty years
Of the world-famous brands of The Coca‑Cola Company, Fanta was the second to be introduced in Hungary: production started in 1988 in Szabadegyháza. Sprite arrived in 1991, by which time a joint venture set up by an Australian bottling company called Coca‑Cola Amatil and the Budapest Liquor Company distributed the entire product portfolio. By 1996, Coca‑Cola Amatil had built its own, state-of-the-art factory in Dunaharaszti. At the turn of the millennium, several bottling companies merged to form the Coca‑Cola Hellenic Bottling Company (HBC), one of the world's largest beverage production and distribution conglomerates. The Hungarian subsidiary of this group has been the owner of the factory in Dunaharaszti and has held the right of domestic bottling ever since.
Since 2002, Coca‑Cola Hungary has been bottling its products at two business sites: that was the year when the Mineral Water Bottling Plant in Zalaszentgrót opened and the Dunaharaszti factory started its export production. A decade later, one of the country's largest capacity beverage production lines was opened in Dunaharaszti, followed last year by the largest food warehouse in the country with a total area of 6,500 m2.
Today, Coca‑Cola Hungary offers 13 brands, 94 different products in 201 different presentations and 18 sizes. Almost half of the company’s soft drink portfolio is sugar- and calorie-free, or has low sugar content. The Coca‑Cola Group has invested approximately 120 billion forints in Hungary, making it one of the most important Hungarian food processing companies: it exports its products to 26 countries and, together with its suppliers, it employs 13,000 employees.
Exceptional literary works, unique bottles
The company invited six well-known and popular contemporary writers and poets to share their memories and thoughts with the readership on the occasion of the half-century anniversary. For example, András Cserna-Szabó, in addition to his personal experiences, wrote about Coca‑Cola's role in Hungarian pop culture while István Csukás went as far as to compose an ode dedicated to the soft drink. Tibor Bornai shared his personal experiences related to the soft drink, Krisztián Nyáry compiled the fanciful history of the brand in Hungary. The brand new, original works will appear every Thursday on the website and social media channels of Coca‑Cola Hungary from 8 November.
To celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of the launch of domestic production, Coca‑Cola Hungary has designed a special, small series decorative bottle of only 550 pieces. The company’s partners, brand ambassadors and influencers will receive a piece of the limited edition. The general public will only be able to get hold of the rarity on the company's social media channels: 25 bottles will be drawn on Coca‑Cola's Facebook page and 25 on Instagram.
About The Coca‑Cola Company
The Coca‑Cola Company (NYSE: KO) is a beverage company producing a full portfolio of soft drinks, which markets more than 500 carbonated and non-carbonated brands in more than 200 countries around the world. In addition to the company's Coca‑Cola brands, our portfolio includes a significant portion of the world's most valuable soft drink brands, such as the AdeZ plant-based beverages, Ayataka green tea, Dasani waters, Del Valle juices and fruit drinks, Fanta, Georgia coffee, Gold Peak teas and coffees, Honest Tea, innocent smoothies and juices, Minute Maid/Cappy juices, Powerade sports drinks, Simply fruit drinks, smartwater, Sprite, vitaminwater and ZICO coconut water. We are constantly developing our portfolio, reducing the sugar content of our products and introducing innovative products to the market. We are also making significant efforts to reduce our ecological footprint by recovering the water used in beverage production and promoting recycling. Together with our bottling partners, we employ over 700,000 people in the Coca‑Cola network, thus providing local communities with economic opportunities globally.