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Our Story

 
The Begining

The late Takis Christodoulou, a pioneering young chemist with a specialized knowledge in fruit processing, founded KEA, the ‘Cyprus Soft Drinks Company’, in 1949, with the aim of extracting juices, essential oils and other natural ingredients from fresh citrus fruit. They would then be used for drinks, perfumes and cosmetics. The basic materials that were used were the indigenous aromatic herbs of the Cypriot countryside and the ripe varieties of Cypriot citrus fruit.To avoid confusion with another company with a similar name, in 1951 the company soon changed its name to KEAN SOFT DRINKS LTD.Christodoulou perfected the juice extraction process by constant studying and understanding how the fruit should be handled during the growth, the crop and the juice extraction stages, avoiding over or under tipping, bruising, heating and also setting the rules for preserving naturally and storing the juice when concentrated. This is how he created the high standards and the ‘secret’ of KEAN soft drinks. The great fruity taste of the final product is based on the authentic taste and quality of the juice with all its natural characteristic of texture, aroma, colour, vitamins and minerals.

 

 

First Products
The specialized knowledge in the processing of citrus fruit soon gave the impetus for manufacturing a variety of orange, lemon and mandarin juice-based drinks, with a high juice content, on a large scale. The natural quality of the original fruit, the particularities of each taste and the fine processing of such sensitive fruit gave the best guarantee for the taste of the final product.
The first drinks to be produced were the squashes (orange, lemon, almond and sour cherry) with a high sugar content, which acted as a self-preserve ingredient. Soon the products were in great demand and the pressure for  increasing production was strong.
 
 
 

The Factory 

After changing location twice within Limassol, the construction of the KEAN factory commenced in 1951 and completed in 1956 to become a landmark that overlooks the Limassol seafront till today. The factory spreads over 40 acre and is located east of Limassol on the sea front, 10km away from the main port and 20km away from the fruit growing area. When an opportunity to distribute Pepsi Cola was presented, the company ‘Louca and Christodoulou’ was founded in 1959 to undertake the bottling of Pepsi Cola at the KEAN factory. A new partnership was launched and products of both brands were being distributed until 1972.

 

 

Expansion 

 KEAN Soft Drinks Ltd continued its tradition with its own brands and also acquired licenses and bottling franchises from Canada Dry, Nichols International (Vimto), UK and Royal Crown Cola, USA.During the struggling period after the Turkish invasion of Cyprus in 1974, when most of the fruit plantations were lost to the Turkish side together with the 37% of the island, Christodoulou, with his survival instinct, identified new export opportunities in the Near and Far East, for products not exclusively based on these raw materials. The company, who also lost a substantial part of its fleet, refrigerators and accounts, yet managed to survive and recover.
 
 
Tetra Pak era

1981 was a cornerstone for KEAN. The company took  the strategic decision to switch to innovative products and packaging andinvested in modern machinery for packing juice in Tetra Pak cartons. This was a decisive step as KEAN became the first company in Cyprus and among the very few in the broader Eastern Mediterranean to proceed to such an investment. The combination of the expertise in processing the best natural raw materials together with the best final product quality as well as the latest packaging technology, established the KEAN brand as a leader in juices and fruit drinks. Sustaining the momentum and maintaining its  innovative strategy, KEAN continues to invest in the juice production infrastructure to allow for new products, new flavours and new packaging shapes to  be developed. These factors continue to give the company direction and strength to grow with the times.

 

 

 

2000's

2001 was another cornerstone for KEAN; this time it became the 4th company in the world to invest in the newestTetra Prisma 1 litreThis dynamic move allowed for a new design that aided KEAN to communicate its new image and establish itself as a brand and market leader in Cyprus as well as a fast moving brand in existing 

and a new export markets. Tradition, know-how and expertise as well as innovation and forward thinking together with constant technological advances, product improvement and quality control safeguarded the KEAN competitive advantage over the years and allowed for further expansion and brand building which results to increasing sales in existing and new markets.

 

 

A TRUE STORY… (Article from the Cyprus Weekly)

Takis Christodoulou, the founder of KEAN Soft Drinks Ltd, who died this month in Limassol, was an extraordinary Cypriot, and always played down his achievements.The resumé of his life printed in the Greek Cypriot newspapers omitted what in my view was a significant contribution by Takis Christodoulou towards the efforts of the Allies to combat Hitler, the Nazis and the Fascists in World War II.  
 
Field Marshal Montgomery was fighting heroically in the Sahara to stop Rommel advancing towards Alexandria. Erwin Rommel had the advantage of the Volkswagens, which could run in the desert without the need for water to cool the engines. Montgomery relied on a cavalcade of Cypriot donkeys, which were part of the Cyprus Regiment and the island’s contribution to the war. Monty, as he was known, could function better if he refreshed the brilliance of his strategy with a G&T or two, but how on earth could anybody bring gin and tonic to El Alamein and into the Sahara from London? The English Channel was full of U boats and so was the Mediterranean, from Gibraltar to Crete.No way.
 
The inventiveness of Takis Christodoulou, a fully qualified chemist, was put into operation. The tonic was easy. He diluted quinine with sparkling Platres water, a pinch from the rationed sugar and gas for the bubbles. The gin was trickier. Takis re-distilled zivania into pure eau de vie of 43% a good basis, he believed,for a dry gin, but then the most important was not known in Cyprus. He discovered it. He took long walks, carrying baskets in the then virgin peninsula of Akamas and collected from a tree called Aoratos many baskets of berries. Aoratos is the original tree which produces fragrant juniper berries in two colours.Monty’s gin was made in Limassol, loaded onto a caique for Alexandria and then onto donkeys which soon reached the headquarters of the Field Marshall in Sahara. It was like fire water.Field Marshall Rommel was defeated. That was the beginning of the end for the war. Hitler never saw Alexandria. The victory was ours. And this is my tribute to a good friend, a true Cypriot, the late Takis Christodoulou.

Article by George Lanitis in the “Cyprus Weekly” - 24.04.1999