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ColaQuest – Aje Big Cola

Aje Big Cola? Ever heard of it? It’s no Coke, nor Pepsi, hell it is not even up the standards of Cuban TuCola, but is somehow the 4th biggest selling brand of coke in the world. How? Well we will get to that little morsel later.

When it comes to quests I am the founder (in my opinion) of #FantaQuest. Where you travel the globe looking for different flavours of Fanta. It is much better and much less geeky than it sounds, I promise you.

TH natural progression was obviously a #ColaQuest, and I have some good, bad and very very ugly. On the plus there’s Cuban coke, and on the negative there is North Korean coke. Cambodia, where I was to discover Aje Cola has something called Ize Cola, which I would go as far as saying I prefer to Coke. How does Aje Big Cola fit in with the big boys then?

Aje Big Cola

AJE formerly known as Ajegroup was founded in the late ’80s in Peru. There are lots of different Aje Big brands, as well as a few beers, with their strategy being really simple. Make your product 25% cheaper, and then export them to countries with huge populations, you know like India, really big populations. Also export to countries that are poor and want a cheaper alternative to Coca-Cola, or Pepsi.

Essentially it is a poor man’s cola, and there is nothing at all wrong with that, well kinda, but we can talk about the taste a little bit later.

Currently, they sell their wares in 22 countries, and by some estimates are the 4th best selling soft-drink brand in the world, only 22 countries, but 4th selling in the world? Remember India? Much like Snow Beer, you do not need to be good to sell a lot. Also 73% of all statistics are made up.

You can read about Snow Beer here (link).

#ColaQuest

There’s surprisingly little online about the company (in English anyway), except for one interesting article I read, which claims that the company is not all that capitalist after all, but is run more on Buddhist principles. Easy to say when you literally have billions in the bank and were formed in capitalist and catholic Peru.

Why is it called Aje Big Cola?

Aje? I have no idea about, but the big part is that in Cambodia anyway, you cannot buy it by the can, but only by 3 litre bottle. Aje Big Cola is genuinely a big big ass bottle of coke. And here at least costs only a few bucks, so much less than Coca-Cola.

Aje Big Cola
Aje Big Cola

Are there any other Aje Brands?

Yes they do, but I will only speak from experience of what Aje sell in Cambodia. They have a green monstrosity that is like a fruit punch. Stay away from that kids. They also Aje Big Orange, which is a Fanta clone. And no it would not cut the mustard in Fanta Quest. Passable, but not good by any stretch of the imagination.

Aje Big Cola – the taste test

So, foreplay aside, how does Aje Big Cola taste? Well, I shall procrastinate no futher on that matter. Aje Cola tastes like ths supermarket cola brands of old, and reminds of the days of going to a poor kids birthday party. Cheap sprite, or lemonade works, cheap orange soda works. Sadly there are few companies that get the cola formula right. Aje fall very much into the later.

I have not bothered to do the liquor test yet, maybe Aje would go with vodka, but mixing it with a fine Cuban rum would not be cool in any way shape, or form.

Written by Gareth

Gareth Johnson is the founder of Young Pioneer Tours, a published writer, and all round entrepreneur. He enjoys street food, and encourage others to get paid to travel the world.

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