Thailand: The Original Red Bull

I find the story of Red Bull drink quite interesting. In 1982, an Austrian pharma salesman (toothpaste) went on vacation to Thailand and being seriously jet-lagged tried one of the cheap elixir drinks that promised an energy boost and vitality improvement (like almost anything in Asia does). Surprisingly, he did recover from jetlag quickly. The drink was called Krating Daeng and had a picture of two gaurs (wild Asian bovine) in it against the yellow sun. It’s been around Thailand since 1976, mostly used my truck drivers. The Austrian met with the Thai owner of the drink and they agreed to partner up globally, with Thailand market being off limits for the new Red Bull (not anymore). The Austrian added fizz to the Thai recipe and also had to use narrow thin cans to be able to afford shelf space in European groceries stores. The rest is history and a decade later both partners entered the Forbes billionaire list at #250. The original Thai red bull contains water, cane sugar, caffeine, taurine, B-vitamins and is a syrupy and fairly disgusting drink. It costs pennies and is sold in many varieties in Thailand. The Red Bull as we know it has exact same formula but is carbonated and costs over 10 times the Thai version. Interestingly, both are sold side by side in Thailand.