Rong Chyuan Marble Soda Generations of Memories／榮泉彈珠汽水 世代傳承的人情味
Rong Chyuan Marble Soda Generations of Memories
◎English translation: Wendy Wei-chang
Established in the 1950s, Rong Chyuan Marble Soda specializes in a variety of sodas with each bottle having containing a marble inside. When the business first began it was a great success since food sources were scarce, and there were very few other beverages on the market. At that time, Rong Chyuan's marble sodas were very popular and considered a luxury. By 1967, hundreds of boxes of marble soda were sold every day, and sales were at a peak. However in 1993, due to increasing competition in the industry, Rong Chyuan's sales dropped drastically to as few as two boxes a day.
The next generation of owners, Mr. Syue Rong-hui and his wife Ms. Chen Man-chin, decided to revive the 60 year-old soda company, so the traditional beverage could be enjoyed by generations to come. Chen Man-chin works as a General Manager in the company. She recalls when she was a child and how she and her brother not only enjoyed drinking the soda, but also taking the marble out from inside the bottle and playing games with it. It was this nostalgia that gave Mr. and Mrs. Syue the inspiration to revive the business.
The company then underwent many changes to develop the new start it needed. One of the first changes was printing the label to include Rong Chyuan's trademark and telephone number on the bottles. This was found to not only attract more customers, but also made it easier for them to call and place orders. When the business began to grow again, the company then restructured its manufacturing facilities. Rong Chyuan replaced its old semi-automatic production line with a new 10 million dollar, Japanese, automated version. The new technology was designed to meet modern quality and hygiene standards. The glass bottles were also replaced with plastic ones, which also improved distribution efficiency. Lastly, they designed and patented a built in bottle opener and holder. Packaging was also an issue however another automated machine was installed at the end of the production line and bundles 6 sodas were packaged together.
The old-fashioned flavor of Rong Chyuan's marble soda is well known in the region; however, they felt they needed to develop a healthier product. Although they reduced the amount of sugar, the flavor remains the same as it did 60 years ago. Even grandmothers and grandfathers enjoy drinking Rong Chyuan's marble soda and have a strong connection with the company.
Chen Man-chin gets her greatest sense of achievement when she sees happy expressions on the faces of children and their grandparents alike, enjoying their soda together. Whenever a customer visits the company's store, they are always ready with cold soda. Students from nearby elementary schools often come to the store with friends. One teenager told Chen Man-chin that he enjoyed visiting their store every day when he was in elementary school. Some of the kids still come back and visit sometimes, even when they have gone to college. Once another Japanese marble soda company came to visit their production line and was impressed with both their flavor as well as their modern facilities.
Chen Man-chin is honored to carry on the traditions of Rong Chyuan's marble soda. Generations of enjoyment have been the cornerstone of their success. Today the company is selling almost a million bottles per year and is also being exported to Singapore, Malaysia and China.
Rong Chyuan Marble Soda