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Ricola - Who Invented it?!

Despite the season (supposedly summer) I managed to catch a cold and am now going through the usual routines of fighting it off with home remedies. One of such remedies we us here in Switzerland is Ricola, the famous Swiss cough drops.
Ricola Cough Drops

I remember when I was a child my mom used to buy Ricola cough drops in a tin and the drops were cube shaped and tasted and were made of herbs. By now, they are popular internationally and sold all over the world. A Swiss success story.

I believe you can still find those original Ricola in most supermarkets in Switzerland. However, these days the more common version of Ricola comes in a bag where the drops are individually wrapped or in little cardboard boxes much like gum. Also, instead of just having the one flavor there are dozens of new flavors: Mint, Lemon Grass, Cranberry, Honey-Cherry and more. There is even Ricola chewing gum. The original Ricola is still my favorite though!

Why I (still) like Ricola

What I like about Ricola is that not only do they create great cough drops but they also have these funny advertising campaigns, much like their colleagues from Rivella. The main theme of all Ricola commercials in the last few years has been the 'Swissness' of it and the spot always run along the same lines.
  1. People from a country that is not Switzerland (e.g. Finland, England, Greenland) hold a bag of Ricola and share a toast to the goodness and usefulness of Ricola cough drops.
  2. A slightly annoying Swiss guy (who happens to be also very short) appears and pulls/pushes/bothers/attacks the non-Swiss people and forces them to admit who really created Ricola (the Swiss) and who manufactures it (Ricola Company). He says: "Wer hat's erfunden?!" which means "Who invented it?!" in such an exaggerated way that it this phrase became part of Swiss slang for a while.
  3. The Swiss guy joins in with the others in whatever they were doing (e.g. Sauna, horse riding)
This video is a good example of such a spot. You'll understand what's going on even without understanding Swiss German!



  1. I love your blog. It really makes me smile to read about all these Swiss products that make you feel good just thinking about them.
    Greetings from Lugano.


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