Inka Cola, national drink of Peru

Phillip Orange

Many are aware of the soft drink but few know its history.

Inka Cola, national drink of Peru

(Photo:Archivo El Comercio)

Inka Cola is a well-known soft drink loved by Peruvians- so much so, that it is seen as the national soft drink that represents Peru.

The origin of this drink comes from the British immigrant Joseph Robinson Lindley, also known as José, who was born in Doncaster, Yorkshire in 1859. Lindely and his wife, Martha Stoppanie, moved to Peru in 1910 and settled in the Rimac district of Lima. They began to work on a soft drink based on the native plant Lemon Verbena. Located at 371 Jirón Cajamarca, they opened a small bottling plant where all the work was done by hand. This small place was called Fábrica de Aguas Gasificadas Santa Rosa.

In 1918 they obtained the first machines to assist in the production of their product and in 1928 changed the name of the company again to Corporación José R. Lindley S.A. In 1935, to celebrate the 400th anniversary of the founding of Lima, Lindley launched Inca Kola with the logo “Solo hay una y no se parece a ninguna” (“There is only one, and it’s unlike any other”).


Johnny Lindley Taboada, grandson of the founder, became the chairman of Corporación José R. Lindley S.A and worked with Coca-Cola striking a deal which stated that he would be the sole owner of the trademark Inca Kola outside of Peru and within Peru a joint-venture with Coca-Cola. During the years that the two companies negotiated, smaller business started selling their own branch of soft drinks like Isaac Kola, Triple Kola, Concordia, Oro and Kola Real. Their main smear against Inca Kola was that Inca Kola was no longer Peruvian and was a sell out to an international company.

Corporación José R. Lindley S.A continues to buy out bottling plants, bottling both Coca-Cola products and Inca Kola and, to celebrate its 100 years in Peru, it received a medal of honour from the Congress of Peru in 2010. On January 28, 2014, Johnny Lindley Taboada passed away and Johnny Lindley Suarez became the new chairman.

To read the full article visit Gringo Peru. Gringo Peru is a blog that helps you explore the history of Peru. Read about famous Peruvians, tourist sites, festivals and random things like the history of Inca Kola. Follow Gringo Peru on Facebook

Your comment will be submitted for approval by an administrator. We reserve the right to not publish offensive or profane remarks.