When it comes to the Cola Wars fighting in Papua New Guinea seems to be pretty intense. Obviously he main players are Coke and Pepsi, but there is also GoGo Cola Drink, a plucky upstart taking on the big players.
Pepsi Are Trying Really hard In Papua New Guinea
While regular Coke seemed to the weapon of choice for most restaurants and bars in PNG Pepsi seem to be by far the biggest advertisers. It seemed you could not go more than 500 metres without seeing a sign saying that Pepsi was the most popular drink in PNG. You can see a Tok Pisin sign below stating as much.
To read about Tok Pisin click here.
There are no sure fire stats available, but I don’t think I saw a single person drinking Pepsi, but I digress. On the Papua New Guinea soft-drink scene though, there are a number of cool #FantaQuest entrants, such as “creaming soda”, but also a lot of indigenously made drinks, which includes the GoGo Cola Drink brand.
The GoGo Cola Drink Story
One thing I like about traveling around the Pacific Islands such as Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands is that there are a number of local products, as well as signs promoting the buying of said local products.
Nice though this is, it is fare to say that Coke and Pepsi both produce their drinks in country, but GoGo Cola is the only one that can claim tone truly indigenous.
Originally founded in 2014 the drink aims, or at least claims to try and use as much local produce as possible and is made by Pacific Industries, who also make the extremely good Gold Spot #SodaQuest brands. Don’t worry they will get their own entry at some point.
I first tried GoGo Cola back in 2017 when passing through the ever forgetful Port Moresby. My opinion at the time? GoGo Cola was an awful drink, but at the time I did not write about it, nor did I even think about it again, until I ended up back in PNG.
GoGo Cola Drink take 2 – the 2022 Taste Test
To cut a long story very short Port Moresby is a very dangerous city, so dangerous in fact that you cannot simply stroll down to the store to get supplies. This left my dinner options on what night to being visited a supermarket. Here is discovered two things. Firstly the PNG folk make a good saveloy and that GoGo Cola was still a thing.
To read about the PNG Saveloy click here.
Pies, saveloys, chips GoGo and Coca-Cola in hand I went back to my hovel of a hotel to test the waters.
So how does GoGo Cola taste and how does it compare to the bog guns of Coca-Cola and Pepsi? Well you could do a spoiler alert and just watch the following video, or you can let me explain.
Basically GoGo Cola is a mixed bag of tricks, it tastes a little bit like a store brand cola, but not “as bad”. In a pure pound for pound fight against Coca-Cola it would lose, as it would to Ize Cola of Cambodia – probably my top #ColaQuest finds. One redeeming quality that it did not have though was that due to the local ingredients it had an almost Root Beer/Sarsi twang to it, which I enjoyed.
Can you mix GoGo Cola drink with liquor?
In the video I had no liquor at hand, but i surmised that due to its Sarsi element it would be better with rum, rather than vodka. I was alas not able to test this out and instead had to make do with piar wara, or PNG “Moonshine”.
To read about PNG Moonshine click here.
In this respects it went pretty damned well and was t least on par with firewater and Sprite, the main weapon of choice, at least for the locals.
Overall #ColaQuest Score and popularity with the locals?
At one of the Kai Bar Restaurants I asked for GoGo Cola only for the proprietor to politely point out that they had Coca-Cola, she meant no harm, but it certainly gave me a feel for what locals really felt about the drink.
To read about Kai Bar click here.
Overall i’ll give at firm #ColaQuest score of 6.5, so on the top end of colas I have tried around the world, but certainly not the “real thing”. GoGo Cola Drink, worth and try and a great chaser for the firewater.