With Coca Cola shutting down their bottling plant in Adelaide after 80 years, South Australians are losing another 180 jobs in these tight economic times. While thinking over what this means for unemployed people looking for a job, it also raised some questions in my mind.
Aren't there any South Australian owned soft drink manufacturers? Do they use all South Aussie ingredients? What soft drinks are made in South Australia? Why haven't I bought local soft drinks? And are South Australian soft drinks better?
The obvious place to look for answers was at Foodland, with their strong South Australian connections and independent ownership. I wasn't disappointed, finding South Australian owned and manufactured beverage products on their supermarket shelves. Let's take a look what other SA beverages are around, then ask - would you buy these SA drinks first?
SA Made: Bickfords Cloudy Pear Juice (Image: Bickford's Australia)
Bickford's Australia - A South Australian Tradition Bickford's started making cordials in Adelaide way back in 1874, and the company is still South Aussie owned, making beverages today with the help of 160 SA staff. Most of us have tasted Bickford's Lime Cordial (named a Heritage Icon by the National Trust of South Australia in 2006), but there is much more to the Bickford's Australia range of soft drinks now.
Inside the Bickford's Australia Factory (Image supplied)
Since the early days, the iconic cordial range has expanded to include premium fruit juices, milk shake mixes and traditional sodas. The Bickford and Sons Classic Mixer range has no synthetic ingredients, while the ready to drink Sparkling range contains Australian sourced fruit juice and offers native Australian flavours like Lemon Myrtle and Davidson Plum.
MOJO Kombucha - Organic, Healthy and Cool A very different family business success story started in Willunga around eight years ago, when Organic and Raw started producing their MOJO range of soft drinks. Thirsty people looking for healthy refreshments have a choice of fantastic flavours in two distinct product lines:
This small South Australian company is going great, selling their innovative range of beverages through Foodland, IGA and Woolworths stores in SA and interstate. I just love the flavour names like Strawberry Hibiscus, Blueberry, Turmeric Trio and Mojo Peppermint Greens. With drinks like these, why would you bother drinking the alternatives from multinationals?
Head over to Facebook and show them some love - and why not give the Mojo Kombucha range a try?
Nippys - The Quiet Achiever
I have been drinking Nippy's fruit juices for years for a very good reason. Nippy's fruit juices taste so much better, and have a far higher fruit content than any alternatives I've tried. What I was less aware of is their range of other soft drinks, including the Iced Honeycomb flavoured milk which is a favourite of mine.
Are You Thirsty for Nippy's Juices? (Image Supplied)
Since the 1930s Nippy's has been making beverages in SA for South Aussies. From sports drinks to ginger beer and lots in between), they have a South Australian made soft drink to suit your tastes. Thanks guys for making such great refreshments - and keeping South Australians in jobs.
Douglas Park Organics - Quality Organic Fruit Juices
Not so many of us have heard of Douglas Park Organics, although this South Australian family business has been trading for over a hundred years. One reason for this is the way large supermarket chains squeeze the life out of small business, so Douglas Park Organics have tried a different approach to selling their soft drinks.
The Juicing Line at Douglas Park Organics (Image Supplied)
As their name implies, the company has a strong focus on natural organic products. They sell their locally made beverages into boutique and health food stores in SA and interstate, and also export lots into Asia, particularly Japan. Douglas Park Organics also make jams and honey, in addition to a broad range of fruit juices.
If you'd like a juice that is free of added sugar, artificial colours and preservatives, give Douglas Park Organics a go.
Foodland South Australian Creamy Soda from Lobethal
What Do You Think - Are South Australian Soft Drinks Better?
With Coke being 30% owned overseas, profits from nearly a third of every drink goes to the United States. Wouldn't it be better to support South Australian entrepreneurs and investors, and help to keep your friends, family and neighbours in jobs?
Why not try out some of the South Australian soft drinks that I have highlighted? Until I wrote this article I wasn't aware what a wide range of beverages we make in SA. I'll definitely be trying some of these soon, join me - here's cheers!