A NEWCASTLE soft drinks company is toasting its successful launch into a host of North East retailers.

The brainchild of two lifelong friends, 40 Kola is an all-natural, caffeine-infused version of a classic cola. Created from a kitchen in Jesmond, Dan Young and Kieran Dougan came up with the idea after seeing the explosion in the United States of the ‘craft soda’ market.

Having only launched in March, the drink is already winning fans across the North East, with the likes of Gateshead’s Block & Bottle, Newcastle’s Mmm… and Glug…, By The River Brew Co. and Ouseburn’s Arch2 all stocking the cola.

The soft drink has been crafted from 11 all-natural ingredients and enjoys a tangy, fruity taste. 40 Kola contains 40mg of caffeine, the equivalent of a double espresso.

Co-founder Dan Young, said: “We are thrilled with the progress we have made in the short time we have been established. It’s great to work with partners who share our ethos. We feel like this is just the beginning though and we have some really exciting growth plans.

“We are working with retailers who fit with our brand – we want people who are not only looking for a unique drink but people who will buy into the 40 Kola lifestyle. We are for the late-night thinkers, the party bringers and simplicity seekers.”

To create the unique drink, the pair stripped out anything artificial and added in extra citrus to keep things fresh. 40 Kola can be enjoyed on its own or as a mixer. Pairings which have already proved popular include velvety oaky bourbons or dark, fiery rums.

Dan added. “More and more people are not only seeking premium non-alcoholic options as they change their lifestyles, but responsible alcoholic drinkers are aiming to maximise their experiences by pairing their favoured tipple with quality mixers. There are an increasing number of consumers looking to discover new and interesting taste experiences and we think we have achieved just that with 40 Kola.”

Dan, a former marketing manager, and Kieran, who was a chemical engineer, are both aged 26 and have both quit their jobs to focus fully growing their penetration in the North East and into other key cities in the North before the end of the year.

40 Kola is available from www.40kola.co.uk and Amazon RRP £24 for 12 bottles.