Up until the 1980s, Jolly Cola had a market share of about 40% of the Danish cola market.This was extraordinary, as Denmark is one of a few countries in the world, where another cola than the original Coca-Cola has had a larger market share.Another reason is that it was only possible to buy Coca-Cola in Copenhagen and a few larger cities in Jutland in the early years of the hectic ‘cola war’.Hence, it was not until the 1960s that it was possible to buy Coca-Cola nationwide.In the same year, a trial between the brewery Vestfyen and the association of Danish breweries almost compromised Jolly Cola’s existence.Vestfyen believed that the association of Danish breweries would rather market Pepsi Cola at the expense of Jolly Cola.Coca-Cola had been marketed with moderate success from the middle of the 1930s, but then came a war, followed by rationing of sugar and finally a special tax on cola, which made the soft drink just as expensive as a beer, and therefore kept it out of the Danish market.The taxation came as a result of skilled lobbyism, carried out by breweries and producers of mineral water – and it worked as intended.
This became an immense success, and in 2004 Jolly Cola made up 25% of Coop amba's cola sales.
There are several explanations for Jolly Cola’s success.
However, the most important one is that ‘Dansk Coladrik’ could make use of the brewing industry’s comprehensive network, distributing system and knowledge of the Danish market.
A Danish soft drink bottle contained exactly 25 cl, whereas the characteristic ‘chubby’ Coca-Cola bottle only contained 19 cl.
The argument about value for your money was important in a time where a soft drink was considered to be a luxury product.