Cairo: More than a century after it debuted in the Egyptian market, a once-famed soft drink brand is basking again in the spotlight, no small thanks to a campaign launched to boycott pro-Israel products.
Since the anti-Israel calls were made last month in support of Palestinians, sales of the Egyptian-made soda drink Spiro Spathis have reportedly tripled and eclipsed foreign rivals.
Launched in Egypt in 1920 by a Greek man of the same name, Spiro Spathis gained wide fame 21 years later when its manufacturer was awarded a medal from Egypt’s then ruler, King Farouk, who was deposed in the 1952 revolution.
Spathis fortunes were reversed years later when the drink continued to struggle in the market dominated by foreign brands.
Now, it is favoured and touted by online boycotters of pro-Israel products as a local tasty replacement of foreign drinks and an example of Egyptian products.
Some enthusiasts have posted phone numbers of the drink’s distributors natonwide in a boost of the campaign.
Coffee shops and restaurants in several parts of Egypt have shifted sights to Spathis to cope with and cater for patrons’ increasing deamand, according to local media.
The drink’s manufacturers have capitalised on the windfall and said they have expanded the distribution network across Egypt.
“Our sales have increased nearly three times since calls for boycotting similar fizzy drinks started,” Morqos Talaat, the Spathis marketing manager, told the Egyptian news website Masrawy.
“Our products in the Egyptian market now have eight tastes. We are tyring to introduce more flavours,” he added.
“We are also trying to increase our share of the market and reach the largest number of the public.”
On its Facebook page, the company sounds keen to stress its Egyptian identity and history.
“Spiro Spathis is a century-old soda drink brand, pretty well known for generations,” it notes to increasing fans. “Spiro Spathis is a 100% Egyptian product,” it adds.