Passiona is an iconic soft drink produced only in Australia by Schweppes, and formerly by Cottee’s. As the name would suggest, the drink is passion fruit flavoured, and at one point it was Australia’s number one soft drink in terms of sales. Here’s a list of fascination Passiona facts:
- Passiona was initially developed as a cordial: While most younger fans of Passiona would only know it in its carbonated form, the drink was initially produced to be a cordial in the 1920s.
- A dairy farmer in Lismore created the drink to avoid wasting passion fruit at his farm: The name of the farmer, Spencer Cottee, would later become famous after he started his successful Cottee’s drinks brand.
- According to some historical accounts, Cottee ended up with a surplus of passion fruit because he was just too good at growing them: All contemporary fans of Passiona owe it to Cottee’s extremely talented farming techniques!
- By the 1930s, the drink had become such a part of Australia culture that there are record of people taking it with them overseas – even to distant places such as North America and the Middle East.
- While Passiona was Cottee’s first hit, the success soon prompted the launch of a variety of other products: In addition to cordials, Cottee’s started produced everything from jams, to jellies – and even peanut butter!
- Legend has it that during the 1960s, an advertising campaign promotion Passiona was so successful that it had to be scrapped – because production couldn’t keep up with the increased demand!
- Prior to the introduction of Coca Cola in Australia, Passiona was the nation’s top-selling soft drink!
- Keen to cash in on the popularity of Passiona, a rival soft drink manufacturer named Kirks opened shop in 1959: Their equivalent drink, Pasito, is still produced to this day and provides an endless source of debate to the question of whether Pasito or Passiona is better (I prefer Passiona). Kirks is now owned by Coca Cola Amatil.
- In recent years, purchasing Passiona is becoming more of a challenge in Australia: The two major supermarket chains, Woolworths and Coles, appear to have stopped stocking it in recent years. It still seems to be available at independent grocery chains (IGA, Foodworks, etc), and also in smaller bottles at convenience stores.
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Passiona vs. Pasito: Which of the passionfruit soft drinks do you prefer? Let us know in the comments below.