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What Is Karma Cola?

What Is Karma Cola

I’ve been learning about different sodas and was wondering about Karma Cola.

So I did some research to find out what it is.

So, what is Karma Cola? Karma Cola is a soda and juice company that started in 2010, after some people in Sierra Leone gave them some kola nuts.

And they make many different drinks that are Fair Trade organic.

They also created the Karma Cola foundation which does various community projects in Sierra Leone.

Whether you want to know how Karma Cola compares to Coca Cola, if it contains caffeine, is gluten free, and vegan, here’s everything you need to know.

Karma Cola vs Coca Cola

Karma Cola vs Coca Cola

The main difference between Karma Cola and Coca Cola is that Karma Cola uses all natural ingredients that are Fair Trade and organic.

According to the nutrition information for both drinks provided here and here, Coca Cola has about 3 times the sugar, and calories that Karma Cola has.

Below is a table that shows a side by side comparison of the ingredients:

Karma Cola Coca Cola
Carbonated Water Carbonated Water
Organic Fair Trade Raw Cane Sugar High Fructose Corn Syrup
Organic barley malt extract Caramel Color
Natural cola flavour Phosphoric Acid
Organic lemon concentrate Natural Flavors
Fairtrade Vanilla Flavour Caffeine

And here’s a side by side comparison of the sugar and calorie content.

Nutrient per 10 oz (300 mL) Karma Cola Coca Cola
Sugar (g) 9.6 32.5
Calories (kcal) 42 120

As you can see most of the ingredients in Karma Cola are organic and Fair Trade, and Karma cola uses raw cane sugar rather than high fructose corn syrup.

I recently wrote an article where I showed that Coca Cola made in each country uses slightly different ingredients.

For example, in the USA, and Canada Coca Cola is sweetened with high fructose corn syrup.

Whereas, in Mexico, and other countries they use sugar.

You can read the details about this, and whether high fructose corn syrup is healthy for you by clicking [here, link: does Coke use corn syrup?] to go to the article.

Does Karma Cola have caffeine?

Does Karma Cola have caffeine

Karma Cola does not contain caffeine, as shown on the nutrition information here.

Most colas have caffeine, and Coca Cola has said that they add caffeine to Coca Cola to improve the taste.

However, excessive amounts of caffeine isn’t good for your health as explained by Harvard Medical School.

They say that the recommended amount of caffeine per day is around 0.3g, as stated by Harvard Medical School here.

Most sodas that contain caffeine have really high levels of caffeine and have on average 30g to 50g of caffeine per 12 oz (354 mL) – 1 can.

So, it’s a big advantage that Karma Cola doesn’t contain caffeine.

The Center for Science in the Public Interest has collated the caffeine content in popular sodas and showed that they contain the following amount of caffeine:

  • Coca Cola – 34g
  • Pepsi – 35g to 38g
  • Mountain Dew – 54g
  • Fanta Orange – none
  • Sprite – none
  • 7Up – none

Amounts are per 12 oz – 1 can (354 mL).

Coffee is another drink that’s well known for having caffeine, and data provided by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) of the USA shows that an average cup of coffee contains 0.13g of caffeine.

Therefore, you can safely drink around 3 to 4 cups of coffee a day.

However, a cup of soda that contains caffeine by comparison has around 10 times the recommended daily intake.

Is Karma Cola gluten free?

Is Karma Cola gluten free

Karma Cola does contain gluten, as it contains organic barley malt extract.

Sodas can be made in plants that process gluten and so some additional gluten can be present.

If you are looking to limit your gluten intake, it’s best to go with a soda that is certified gluten free to be absolutely sure.

They sell 7 flavors in total.

And most of their fruit based flavors don’t list any ingredients that have gluten on the label.

But, there’s still a risk it contains gluten since they can be bottled in plants where they make other products that contain gluten.

Healthline has stated that almost all sodas don’t contain gluten, and it’s interesting that Karma Cola contains barley malt extract because it isn’t a common ingredient in sodas.

Sodas that contain gluten are typical non-alcoholic beers, which are made using malt.

Malt is a wheat and barley product.

And is commonly used in beers and chocolate flavored drinks.

Malt is the name for both dried barley and weed seeds, and is also used as the name for a barley and wheat seed extract, as I showed in [this, link: what is Malta Hatuey] article about the Cuban Malta soda – Malta Hatuey.

A Malta is a soda made from malt – not to be confused with the island in Southern Europe.

Is Karma Cola vegan?

Is Karma Cola vegan

Karma Cola is vegan because none of the ingredients are animal products.

However, they are certified vegan, and it contains the ingredients: Fairtrade vanilla flavour, and natural cola flavour, which may or may not contain animal products.

In my opinion it’s very likely that it’s vegan. But, without it being certified vegan, it can’t be said for sure.

Where is Karma Cola made?

Where is Karma Cola made

The products that Karma Cola uses to make their sodas are sourced from Sierra Leone, a country in Africa.

However, Karma Cola has offices in Australasia and the UK.

They don’t specifically say where their sodas are made.

But, most sodas are bottled locally at bottling plants to save on shipping costs.

For example, the well known soda Schweppes is trademarked by Keurig Dr Pepper, but is licensed to both PepsiCo and the Coca Cola Company.

Pepsico and Coca Cola have established bottling plants scattered throughout the countries they operate in, and this can make it cheaper to have Coca Cola or Pepsi to produce other company’s sodas.

And it also means that a brand can leverage their brand reputation.

Also, the ingredients in a soda differ based on the country where you buy it.

Which implies that it’s because certain ingredients are easier to source in some countries over others.

So, in my opinion Karma Cola bought in Australasia is made in Australasia, and Karma Cola bought in the UK is made in the UK.

But, Karma Cola doesn’t explicitly state where they’re made.

What flavors does Karma Cola have?

What flavors does Karma Cola have

Karma Cola makes the following core flavors:

  • Karma Cola
  • Lemony Lemon
  • Gingerella Ginger Ale
  • Summer Orangeade
  • Apple and Blackcurrent Switchel – sugar free
  • Lemon and Ginger Switchel – sugar free
  • Peach and Passionfruit Switchel – sugar free

Each country where they sell it has different flavors that are available.

But, you can buy flavors you can’t get in your country on international websites as well.

For example, in Australia they don’t sell the sugar free flavors. And in New Zealand they sell more flavors than what are listed above.

In New Zealand they sell:

  • Razza Raspberry Lemonade
  • Sugar free Karma Cola
  • Cherry and Berry Kombucha
  • Lemmy Lime and Bitters
  • A range of different Kombucha flavors
  • A range of different juices including apple and orange.

For a full list check out their NZ based website here.

Karma Cola is a New Zealand based company, according to this press release.

And was started by Chris Morrison, who formerly owned Phoenix Organics. Here’s an article with an interview with Chris Morrison.

And therefore, it looks like they trial different flavors in NZ first, before making them available overseas.

Conclusion

Here’s a summary of the key points covered about Karma Cola and what it is:

Karma Cola is a soda and juice company that uses Fair Trade and certified organic ingredients.

 

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