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piranja-cola in an interview

by Yascha Roshani
piranja-cola im Interview: Waldemar Berghof

Waldemar Berghof on the emergence of new varieties, similarities with piranhas and the changing beverage market

You might think that craft drinks have only been around for a few years. After all, we haven't been used to hearing about a new gin, craft beer or fancy new lemonade every week for too long. But there are still some who were around long before the big hype. One of them is Waldemar. He founded piranja-cola in 2010 because he was more interested in launching a new type of cola on the market than pursuing a traditional career as a business economist. Almost ten years later, there are a total of nine different varieties - in addition to cola, there is also iced tea and lemonade. Waldemar and his team have always maintained their regional roots in Saarland. In this interview, Waldemar tells us what makes piranja-cola special, where the name comes from and what has changed in the craft drinks scene.

You can order piranja-cola here

How does piranja-cola differ from other lemonade, cola and iced tea producers?

We focus on unusual flavor combinations, produced in the best quality. We are particularly fond of herbs. Whether it's piranja-cola, which gets its unique taste from the special composition of seven different herbs, or our iced teas and lemonades, where we always try to reinterpret classics such as peach iced tea or orange lemonade.

Das sind die drei Eistees von insgesamt neun verschiedenen Sorten
These are the three iced teas from a total of nine different varieties

How did the name piranja-cola come about?

We impress with our personality and stand out from the crowd. We want to communicate this through our brand essence, which is why the piranha with its sharp teeth is the perfect counterpart for us in the animal world. We also bite our way through and are swarm animals, so we rely on a good network and close customer contact.

Nine different varieties is quite a board! How does it work or did it work for you when you start working on the recipe for a new lemonade, iced tea or cola variant?

The big advantage of having a small team is that we can make our decisions quickly and based on our gut feeling. We find inspiration for this everywhere. Be it the reaction to trends, such as the desire for less sugar, or personal preferences. Our own herb garden can be the decisive factor in trying out new things.

Neben Eistee und Cola gibt es drei Limonaden im Sortiment - hier zu sehen: Waldmeister-Limette
In addition to iced tea and cola, there are three lemonades in the range - shown here: Woodruff lime

Three colas, three iced teas, three lemonades - can we look forward to new flavor creations soon?

The recipes for our drinks are constantly being updated and perfected. So it will definitely remain exciting.

You founded piranja-cola nine years ago. So you've witnessed the rise of craft beverages yourself in recent years on the supplier side. This includes more and more lemonade start-ups. How has the market changed as a result? Is this growth noticeable for you in any way?

With more competition on the market, it has of course generally become more difficult to assert yourself. However, in the food sector in particular, where our lemonades are also included, you can see that consumers are also making their decisions based on the aspect of regionality and that our customers, especially in Saarland, are always happy to buy our products.

If you were to start up again today, would you start with a classic drink like cola or, as a newcomer in 2019, do you immediately need an atypical, novel creation that clearly stands out?

Of course, it would have been possible to launch an unprecedented lemonade on the market or to make a name for ourselves with extravagant combinations right from the start. However, the aim was not to overwhelm the customer, but to show what else cola can do. That's why my tip is not to take too big a step, but to grow with your tasks. We may have started with "the classic" on the market, but in my opinion the terms atypical and innovative still fit our piranja-cola in 2019.

Mit Cola hat piranja-cola damals angefangen - heute gibt es drei Sorten: Cola, Cola Kirsche und Cola zuckerfrei
Back then, piranja-cola started with cola - today there are three varieties: cola, cherry cola and sugar-free cola

Do you have a favorite drink within the team - i.e. a variety that is seen particularly often in the office? Or are your team tastes just as varied as your portfolio?

I don't think so. Because we in the team are all interested in the industry and are passionate about what we do, we often try out completely different lemonades in the office and take inspiration from them.

Fancy some delicious lemonade, cola and iced tea? You can order a tasting pack with all varieties here.

Matching products to the article

20x Piranja-Cola
20x Piranja-Cola
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20x Piranja Limo Orange Cardamom
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20x Piranja Limo Woodruff Lime
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20x Piranja Iced Tea Peach Blood Orange
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20x Piranja iced tea lime mint
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About the autor:

Yascha Roshani

Yascha Roshani

Mitgründer von Honest & Rare

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Mich begeistern Getränke aller Art. Ob Bier, Gin, Weinbrand, Cold Brew Kaffee oder Limo. Vor allem liebe ich die Kultur, regionalen Bezüge und Herstellung von Getränken. Selbst braue ich ab und an Bier, setze Liköre an und röste Kaffee in der Pfanne.