This week i was lucky enough to catch up with Nermin Celik, the creator of Glam Cola, a clear but colourful cola from Berlin. The idea of a clear cola is nothing new (see Crystal Pepsi and Tab Clear from the early nineties). But the back to basics idea behind Glam Cola, coupled with the excellent branding and refreshing flavour makes this drink stand out in more ways than one. Thanks to Nermin for taking the time to answer my questions.
What does your average day look like running Glam Cola?
The nice thing about running Glam Cola is that there is no such thing as an average day. One day it is all about ingredients, the next day is about the design of our labels and from time to time there are also relaxed days that I can spend in my store with an ice-cold Glam Cola in my hands.
What was your inspiration behind Glam Cola?
It is due to my children that Glam Cola exists! They were real cola addicts and it always bothered me that the colas they drank were full of phosphoric acid and caramel color. I did not want to ban cola because I knew that they would continue drinking it as soon as I am out of sight. The only solution: I had to invent a better cola.
Why cola as a flavour and not something else?
I could have invented an ordinary lemonade but cola was more challenging! Additionally: There are so many brands that do not seem to care about the ingredients of their colas: There simply was room for a better product.
Did you ever try the clear colas from Coca Cola and Pepsi? Did they influence you at all?
The fact that Glam Cola is clear is caused by its ingredients. Or the lack thereof, to be more precise. The significant brown color comes from the caramel color, an ingredient that made me think of inventing a new cola in the first place. I do know the clear colas by Pepsi and CocaCola but they were not my inspiration.
Are there any Glam flavours in the pipeline?
Soon we will launch Glam Cola Kids which has no coffein in it. We are also in the process of developing two new flavours that I am really looking forward to: Rose and lavender. So, so tasty!
What is your favourite soft drink (other than Glam)?
I do like Glam Cola and it does take up a lot of space in my fridge! But as the developer it does not surprise that Glam Cola is to my taste. No matter if it is Glam Cola or another soft drink: I care a lot about the ingredients of the products I consume.
Where do you see Glam Cola in 5 years?
That sounds like a question from a job interview! I once heard that the perfect answer to that question is „That depends on where your company is in 4 years.“ That’s a joke of course. But it is not entirely untrue: Glam Cola determines where this journey will take me.
What has been the best thing about Glam Cola?
I have gotten to know so many new people and so many new sides of myself! I love being my own boss. It is exciting, challenging and fun. All at once.
What has been the biggest challenge?
Inventing a cola is a challenge altogether. I had to spend a lot of time trying to convince people of the idea. I also found that people have more faith in men than in women when it comes to founding a business. But the sceptics from the past are todays fans!