Cola Cao
TypeMalted dairy drink
ManufacturerIdilia Foods
Country of origin Spain
VariantsCola Cao Original, Cola Cao Turbo, Cola Cao 0%, Cola Cao Noir, Cola Cao Puro, Avenacao, Cola Cao Shake, Cola Cao Shake 0%, Cola Cao Complet, Cola Cao Energy

Cola Cao is a sugary chocolate drink with vitamins and minerals that originated in Spain and is now produced and marketed in several countries.[1][2] The brand is owned by the Barcelona-based company Idilia Foods (formerly Nutrexpa).[3][4]


In 1945, José María Ventura and José Ignacio Ferrero, two brothers-in-law from the Gràcia neighborhood of Barcelona, Spain, created a soluble cocoa called Cola Cao.[5]

In 1962, they began to broadcast their first advertisements on television, which adapted the radio tune to some cartoons. In 1972, Cola Cao was associated for the first time with the slogan "Olympic food", after becoming a sponsor of the Spanish Olympic team at the 1972 Summer Olympic Games. In the 1980s, "Cola Cao VIT" was produced, an instant and enriched version with vitamins of the classic Cola Cao. It went out of production in the late 1980s.

In 1988, in a connection with the 1992 Summer Olympics scheduled for Barcelona Cola Cao began sponsoring the Spanish Olympic Committee through the ADO Program, an alliance that continues until today. Along the same lines and to promote urban sports, the brand installed what are popularly known as "Cola Cao Circuits" in green areas of a large number of Spanish cities, such as Esplugues de Llobregat and Córdoba, among others. In the mid-nineties, with the slogan the same flavor of Cola Cao with half the calories, a version of Cola Cao without sugar and with sweeteners called "Cola Cao Low in Calories" was launched, which in the mid-2000s was renamed "Cola Cao Light".


Cola Cao is prepared using sugar, processed cocoa, wheat flour and cola nut, and is enriched with vitamins, Calcium and Phosphorus.[2][6]


Warm Cola Cao in a mug

Cola Cao comes in a powder form which is intended to be mixed with milk,[1] but can also be mixed with water or soya milk. It can also be added to breakfast cereal or used as a baking ingredient. In Spain in particular, Cola Cao is a popular accompaniment to breakfast,[1] or dinner.


The "Cola Cao song" used to promote the product in 1952 is a nostalgia item.[1][4] Its first verses are still remembered: "Yo soy aquel negrito del África Tropical / que cultivando cantaba la canción del Cola Cao /..." ("I am that little black guy from Tropical Africa / who sang the Cola Cao song while cultivating").[1][7] The company released a new version of the song in 2020, modifying the lyrics perceived as racist.[8] In Spain,since the late 80's, Cola Cao has been marketed in association with the Olympic Games and other sporting events.[9][7][10]


Cola Cao in powder form is sold in containers of various sizes, and it is also produced in liquid form that is purveyed in plastic bottles.[1]


Cola Cao is exported to various countries[7] such as Spain, Portugal, Chile, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and China (where is known as 高乐高 Gao-le-Gao).[11] It was introduced to Japan (under the name コラカオ), Russia (under the name Кола Као) and Greece in early 1990s only to be discontinued a few years later. However, since 2007, "Cola Cao Chocolate Roll Cakes"[12] manufactured in China are sold at dollar stores.

Cola Cao factories have production lines unique to each region:[11]

Online Controversy and Coverage

The companies Nesquik and Cola Cao have been closely compared to each other online. However on March 31, 2016 a parody Cola Cao Twitter page sparked an argument with a parody Spanish Twitter page. Cola Cao said about how they "have a song" but questioned what Nesquik has instead, "a talking rabbit". The Nesquik account later swore and commented on the signature bits.[16] This resulted in the official pages of the two brands along with companies like Nestlé clarifying the correct and verified company pages.[17]

The OCU [es], a member organization of Euroconsumers, compared the two brands to help to close the arguments online directed at which brand is better.[18] They compared the cocoa contents and added fibers of the two brands and the OCU concluded that, although other companies provided higher quality chocolate sources, Cola Cao placed 4th: higher than Nesquik.[19] People on Twitter and Facebook argue about which is better and try to bring everyday evidence to suggest that one company has a new product which makes it better than the other; and this has quickly spread onto the local news. For example, on July 6, 2020 McDonald's released the Cola Cao McFlurry[20] which people have used as arguments against Nesquik,[21] questioning if the company has this or not.[22]

See also


  1. ^ a b c d e f Howse, C. (2013). The Train in Spain. Bloomsbury Publishing. pp. 20–21. ISBN 978-1-4411-2839-3. Retrieved November 23, 2017.
  2. ^ a b Dalby, A. (2013). The Breakfast Book. EBL-Schweitzer. Reaktion Books. p. 94. ISBN 978-1-78023-121-1. Retrieved November 23, 2017.
  3. ^ generico# (October 11, 2017). "Idilia Foods, propietaria de Cola Cao y Nocilla a Valencia". La Vanguardia (in Spanish). Retrieved November 23, 2017.
  4. ^ a b c Guillén, M. (2005). The Rise of Spanish Multinationals: European Business in the Global Economy. Economía y empresa. Cambridge University Press. pp. 47–48. ISBN 978-0-521-84721-6. Retrieved November 23, 2017.
  5. ^ "ColaCao, el imperio del cacao que crearon dos cuñados en un pequeño local de Barcelona". El Español (in Spanish). 2019-11-24. Retrieved 2022-05-13.
  6. ^ "Calories in Cola Cao Chocolate Powder – Calories and Nutrition Facts". January 20, 2016. Retrieved November 23, 2017.
  7. ^ a b c Grant, T. (2008). International Directory of Company Histories. International Directory of Company Histories. St. James Press. p. 285. ISBN 978-1-55862-613-3. Retrieved November 23, 2017.
  8. ^ Ortuño, Almudena (2020-07-02). "Spain's Conguitos candy pushed to rebrand 'racist' imagery". EL PAÍS English Edition. Retrieved 2022-12-27.
  9. ^ McNeill, D. (2005). Urban Change and the European Left: Tales from the New Barcelona. Taylor & Francis. p. 48. ISBN 978-1-134-69794-6. Retrieved November 23, 2017.
  10. ^ Consumer Goods Europe. Corporate Intelligence on Retailing. 2000. p. 56. Retrieved November 23, 2017.
  11. ^ a b "Grupo NUTREXPA". Archived from the original on 2007-01-16. Retrieved 2007-04-26.
  12. ^ a b "Cola Cao y Nocilla, también a València". Levante-EMV (in Spanish). October 11, 2017. Retrieved November 23, 2017.
  13. ^ World Food Marketing Directory. Euromonitor. 1999. pp. 138–139. Retrieved November 23, 2017.
  14. ^ Keegan, W.J.; Green, M.C. (2002). Global Marketing Management. Prentice Hall International. Prentice Hall. p. 470. ISBN 978-0-13-033271-4. Retrieved November 23, 2017.
  15. ^ Mercurio, Richmond (February 29, 2016). "Liwayway Group buys Spain's Cola Cao business in China". Philippine Star. Retrieved November 23, 2017.
  16. ^ "Las parodias de Nesquik y Cola Cao, suspendidas tras pelearse por los grumos". Verne (in Spanish). 2016-04-06. Retrieved 2022-12-27.
  17. ^ "Cola Cao Twitter clarification". Twitter. Retrieved 2022-12-27.
  18. ^ "OCU - Our Network | Euroconsumers". Retrieved 2022-12-27.
  19. ^ "Is Cola Cao or Nesquik better? The OCU has the answer - Padeye". 2021-05-15. Retrieved 2022-12-27.
  20. ^ España, McDonald's. "". (in Spanish). Retrieved 2022-12-27.
  21. ^ "Clara Gómez Twitter McDonald's McFlurry argument". Twitter. Retrieved 2022-12-27.
  22. ^ "McDonald's lanza un helado de Cola Cao y Burger King uno... ¿De Nesquik?". (in Spanish). 2020-07-09. Retrieved 2022-12-27.