Tag Archives: Guyana: Sweet Drink – The Puma Presence – By Vibert Cambridge

Guyana: Sweet Drink – The Puma Presence – By Vibert Cambridge

Stabroek News – By September 19, 2021

A Preliminary Exploration of the Social History of Nonalcoholic Carbonated Beverages in Guyana (1870–2020).

On February 23, 1970, Guyana adopted a Republican constitution and became the Cooperative Republic of Guyana. This signaled a substantial shift in governance and the adoption of a new economic paradigm. By 1970, Banks DIH had emerged as the dominant player in Guyana’s sweet drink marketplace. Its bottling plant was new, and the company had a robust national distribution system with storage bonds in New Amsterdam, Linden (formerly Mackenzie), and Bartica, as well as on the Essequibo Coast.

By the 1970s, cakeshops and cakeshop–salt goods shops, rather than soda fountains (as anticipated by the U.S. consul in 1924), were the primary outlets for nonalcoholic carbonated beverages. Cakeshop–salt goods shops were at almost every intersection in the urban areas. Cakeshops and grocery outlets were in every village and settlement in the rural areas. A variant was also evident in many hinterland settlements. Most of these businesses were connected to the Banks DIH distribution network. This distribution infrastructure was used to deliver a fortified food: Puma, a product that evoked fond memories for many Guyanese, even in 2020.

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