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Pokka The Innovative Drinks Company With The Unconventional Approach

Date Posted: 2000-07-07

The next time you buy a can of lemon or hot or cold coffee from a vending machine you might well be sampling a product from Pokka, an innovative company with an interesting history.

It is proud of the fact that its founding products, Pokka Lemon and canned coffee were born of unconventional ideas. It was the company that pioneered selling drinks in 1972 via vending machines, with different ones for hot and cold drinks. This revolutionized the beverage industry.

For years the company tried to find the “ideal” canned coffee, using innovative technology like infrared roasting and ultra high pressure treatment. It believes the distinctive aftertaste of its coffee derives from these processes.

Pokka’s factories in Nagoya and Gunma can fill 1,200 cans a minute. Its Fujioka factory specializes in coffee bean roasting with infrared rays radiated from a ceramic plate. It was the first Japanese company in the drinks industry to establish an overseas base, in Singapore in 1977. Now it also has factories in China, Malaysia and the United States.

The company is also developing the food side of its business and has over 20 coffee shops and Japanese style restaurants in Hong Kong, Singapore and other Asian countries. On the USA’s west coast it also has a drinks business and a Californian lemon orchard. It has started to import lemons from there.

A subsidiary company Pokka Farm Co. Ltd. is also now growing orchids and selling gardening items. It is also using its bio-technology expertise to recycle the coffee bean waste from its factories and turn it into organic compost.

To enhance its green credentials more, Pokka has invented Cartocan, an unconventional drink container which uses no aluminium. It can be used in vending machines, then recycled like a milk carton. It is made from pulp taken from leftovers at lumber mills.

Another unusual development is that all Pokka factories are now supplying uniforms to their staff using fiber made by recycling used plastic bottles.

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