The Indie Series – 40 Kola

We talk to Dan and Kieran, two lifelong friends, about their brand vision for 40 Kola and their product – all-natural, no-nonsense soft drinks

Tell us about 40 Kola?

40 Kola is a craft soda that was born from our love of craft products. We love what’s happening in the US with their craft soda boom, and the craft beer boom in the UK. We thought, why not have a go ourselves. After some late nights in the kitchen, a trip to the worlds largest drinks conference in Munich and endless research, we ended up with our first drink – 40 Kola.

What was the inspiration behind the brand?

We wanted to become more than just a product on a shelf. We wanted the brand to be a movement. Through making the best possible products that we can, we want to bring together people by building a community of local artists and creatives, centred around our brand. A community which is for the late night thinkers, the party beginners and the simplicity seekers.

Describe a typical day for you?

We know everyone says this, but no day is ever the same. That’s what is so exciting about growing your own business. But generally we’ll be meeting with suppliers, experimenting with new flavours and solving the next problem that inevitably arises each day!

How does 40 Kola stand out from competitors?

40 Kola is totally natural – nothing hidden. We also use real cane sugar in our drinks. People in the US actually import Mexican Cola because it uses cane sugar rather than the corn syrup that’s used in most soft drinks. Not only does it remove the health issues associated with corn syrup, it tastes SO much better too. Finally, we increased the caffeine compared to other colas, to 40mg to be precise. That’s where our name comes from!

What are the short and long-term plans for the business?

Aside from taking over the soft drinks industry… We’ve only just started our journey, but we have so much planned. The first thing we’re launching is our 40 Additions range – starting with our newest flavour, lemon and lime. With this we’re also launching a 40 Additions event series which supports up and coming artists. The first event was held at Arch2 in Ouseburn on November 30.

What advice would you give to anyone with a business idea?

Don’t be scared of taking a risk with your idea. Think of all the things that can go right, not what can go wrong.


40 Kola