13. Karma Cola

In a world where consumers are becoming more conscious about which brand they choose to buy - from ethical supply chains to natural/organic ingredients to interesting brand stories - a brand like Karma Cola is challenging the status quo. They are reacting to a category which has had little innovation or change recently because of the dominance of the two big players in the market: Coca-Cola and Pepsi.

All Good Organics (umbrella company) was founded by three New Zealanders, Simon Coley, Chris Morrison and Matt Morrison who felt the world had become complacent always producing food the easy way or the cheap way.  They wanted to form a company that cared about sourcing ingredients in a way that was good for the land, good for the people who grew them and good for the people who ate and drank them.

They realised that 1.7 billion cola drinks are consumed in the world every day, but most of what’s available is famously sugary and unhealthy, and is dominated by the two big players.

Enter Karma Cola, the fair trade and organic cola drink that is challenging traditional cola brands like Coca-Cola…and they aren’t afraid to say so either! 

The business has sent $75,000 (£50,000) to Sierra Leone in the past three years, a figure that is forecast to rise to $500,000 by 2018.

What makes the brand exciting is the purpose behind the fizzy drink.  Sourcing the cola nut in Sierra Leone, Karma Cola will directly improve the lives of local people who have been affected by their Civil War and Ebola, by giving the cola nut producers three pence for every bottle of cola sold. The business has already sent £75,000 (£50,000) to Sierra Leone in the past three years, a figure that is forecast to rise to $500,000 by 2018. 


Unlike its rivals, Coca-Cola and Pepsi, who are notoriously secretive with their recipe and allegedly re-brand e-numbers, Karma Cola is incredibly transparent about what ingredients they use in their recipe. As co-founder Simon Coley says “ Everyone should know what they’re consuming especially when you’re putting it in your mouth. There shouldn’t be anything hidden.” Quite radical in this category.  This openness is what consumers are appreciating and have to come expect. Their strap line ‘A drink with no evil’ underlines this.

Everyone should know what they’re consuming, especially when you’re putting it in your mouth. There shouldn’t be anything hidden.
— Simon Coley, Founder

Karma Cola have recently launched in the UK and have sold 300,000 bottles in the first six months through Waitrose.

On top of their donations to the cola nut producers, they also send 45 young children to school annually through the Karma Cola Foundation. They're the good guys! 





A strategic brand consultancy with a single focus: challenger thinking and behaviour. eatbigfish exist to study challenger behaviour and work with businesses who want to become challengers themselves.