Kinnie, the iconic beverage brand, this year celebrates its 60th anniversary since its launch on the local market in 1952. From the outset, Kinnie set out to be different from the other beverages then available and over the past 60 years the unique and unrivalled bittersweet soft drink has evolved to become one of Malta’s leading and much loved brands.
“The story of Kinnie is as unique as is its distinctive taste and flavour, and this year marks an important milestone in its heritage as Kinnie celebrates its 60th anniversary,” said Ms Susan Weenink, Head of Marketing & Communications at Simonds Farsons Cisk plc.
Kinnie was the brainchild of former Chairman and Managing Director of Farsons, the late Anthony Miceli Farrugia, or is-Sur Ninì as he was better known. It was developed as a response to the entry of a number of international brands that were being introduced into post-war Malta. In Sur Ninì’s own words “When we launched Kinnie in 1952, we had no intention of coming into the market with a soft drink which tasted like any of the renowned international beverages. Our new drink had to possess a distinctive character, so as to identify it from the competition.”
Being different and original was a key condition to Kinnie’s development and in spite of the many imitations that Kinnie has inspired over the years, it has continued to retain its appeal, even successfully competing against the world’s largest global soft drink brands.
Ever since Kinnie was launched, its original recipe, which remains a closely guarded secret, has remained unchanged. Natural essences extracted from oranges and a blend of aromatic and exotic herbs contribute to the brand’s original flavour and golden amber colour.
Renowned for its focus on innovation, Farsons has over the years extended the Kinnie brand which today includes Diet Kinnie, a low-calorie version launched in 1984, and Kinnie Zest, a sugar-free, extra orange flavour variant that appeals to a younger generation of new consumers, launched in 2007.
Kinnie now plays an important role within Farsons’ overall strategy looking at exports as a key area for future growth. Following its successful introduction to the UK trade in 2010, Kinnie enjoyed a breakthrough listing with Amazon UK last year, resulting in encouraging sales and pleasing the many Kinnie consumers resident in the UK who are now able to order online and have their favourite soft drink delivered to their doorstep.
In 2011 a rebranding exercise was rolled out, the result of many months of research which was conducted both locally and overseas. This upgrade focused mainly on packaging, with the orange symbol remaining at the core of the new design, but now modernised with a fuller 3D effect.
“To celebrate Kinnie’s 60th birthday, a celebration campaign will be launched, with several promotions and events planned with the intention to keep on sharing, enjoying and celebrating together with the many loyal Kinnie consumers out there,” announced Ms Yanika Mattei, Brand Executive for Kinnie.
Kinnie is produced, marketed and distributed by Simonds Farsons Cisk plc, a member of The Farsons Group.