Bastien Poulain launches new Quebec-inspired cola, '1642'

An entrepreneur who created a cola with materials in Quebec is hoping the city of Montreal will use the new drink during its 375th anniversary.

Only part of soda not from Quebec is the bottle cap

Bastien Poulain said he's surprised by how well his new cola, 1642, is selling. (Salimah Shivji/CBC)

An entrepreneur who concocted a cola using materials from Quebec is hoping the city of Montreal will use the new drink during its 375th anniversary celebrations.

The creator of the cola, Bastien Poulain, isn’t a Montrealer by birth, but said he found inspiration from his new home.

“I was born in France but now in my heart, I feel totally like a Montrealer," he said

His soda uses exclusively Quebec ingredients. The sugar is Quebec beet sugar, there’s a subtle taste of maple syrup, and even the labels and bottles are made in Quebec.

In fact, the only part of the product that isn’t from Quebec is its bottle caps, which Poulain had to import from Greece.

Poulain said he’s approached the city regarding being part of the 375th anniversary, but said it’s too early to enter into a partnership right now.

Appealing to Quebecers

Playing into Quebec pride could help make the drink a commercial success in a very competitive cola market, according to a Concordia University marketing professor.

Jordan LeBel said the strategy of playing on patriotic heart strings works very well, particularly in Quebec.

In the 80s, Coca-Cola was outselling Pepsi across the world, although Pepsi was always more popular in Quebec. 

Pepsi hired Quebec comedian Claude Meunier to do some advertisements, which have been credited with helping Pepsi keep it stronghold on the province.

Even today, Pepsi outsells Coke in Quebec.

David vs. Goliath

Poulain says more than 8,000 bottles have been sold since the cola was released in November 2014.

That’s more than he expected, given the tight grip cola giants have on the market.

“It’s a little David against Goliath," he said.

Poulain said he’d like to create a niche in the market rather than try to overtake Coke and Pepsi.