Coca-Cola, often referred to as Coke (generic trademark), is a carbonated beverage that is available in stores, restaurants, and vending machines across the world. Invented in Atlanta, Georgia, by Doctor John Pemberton, a pharmacist, in 1886, it has become as one of the global market leaders in the beverage industry. However, Pemberton died in 1888, without realizing the success of his product. The beverage has easily captured the local market by focusing on the different local cultures and backgrounds and easily associated it with their happiness. The motto was to benefit and refresh everyone it touches, so that people include the drink in their happiness. Read this article to find the history of Coca Cola.
Interesting Information On Origin & Background Of Coke
The formula for coke was invented by Doctor John Pemberton, in a three-legged brass kettle in his backyard, in May 1886. The name for the drink was given by his bookkeeper Frank Robinson. Frank Robinson gave the first cursive script of Coca-Cola, the flowing letters that remain a part of its famous logo till date.He can be regarded as the first ad-man for the launch and promotion of Coke, as it was his suggestion to give away thousands of free drink coupons and plastering the city of Atlanta with publicity banners and streetcar signs.
Coca-Cola was first sold at the soda fountain in Jacob's Pharmacy, in Atlanta, on May 8, 1886. Surprisingly, the expenses in making it were $20 higher than the price it was sold for, thus a loss for its maker. It was sold at a price of 5 cents per glass.It was supposed to cure diseases like morphine addiction, dyspepsia, neurasthenia, headache, and impotence. By 1888, there were three versions of Coca-Cola in the market that were sold by three separate businesses. Asa Griggs Candler bought the formula from Pemberton for $2300 and incorporated it as the Coca Cola Company in 1888.
In 1888, Pemberton sold the rights of the formula to four more businessmen - J.C. Mayfield, A.O. Murphey, C.O. Mullahy and E.H. Bloodworth. Candler, the current corporation of Coca Cola Company, was then re-established by Candler in 1892, after buying exclusive rights of the formula from John Pemberton, Margaret Dozier and Woolfolk Walker. On March 12, 1894, Coca Cola was, for the first time, sold in bottles, along with the first outdoor wall advertisement in Cartersville, Georgia. The first advertisement for the beverage ran the same year, on May 29, in the Atlanta Journal.
The aggressive marketing of Coca Cola by Candler made it as one of the most popular drinks of America. The syrup was further sold to independent bottling companies that were licensed to sell the drink by Candler’s company. In 1891, first bottling of Coca-Cola occurred in Vicksburg, Mississippi, at the Biedenharn Candy Company, with Joseph A. Biedenharn as its proprietor. The principle of selling syrup to independent bottling companies is still followed by the US soft drink industry.
In 1899, Chattanooga became the site of the first Coca-Cola bottling company. The soft drink was marketed as a tonic by the producer, containing extracts of cocaine as well as the caffeine-rich kola nut, until 1905.The drink also functioned in curing nausea and mildly upset stomach and was sold as coke syrup in pharmacies in US and Canada. The advertising agency, McCann-Erickson, had been long associated with Coca-Cola Company. In 1969, it replaced the popular ‘Things Go Better with Coke’ campaign, with the slogan ‘It's the Real Thing’.
On January 18, 1971, the song "I'd Like to Buy The World a Coke" was broadcasted on Radio. It was written by Billy Davis and Roger Cook with ideation of Backer. Though it flopped at first, Backer persuaded McCann to convince Coca-Cola executives to give it a visual dimension as well. The idea soon clicked with the audience, making it a major hit among the consumers. The song continued to be popular for the next 30 years and remained as one of the best commercials of all time.
It was on April 23, 1985 that the ‘New Coke’ formula was released. However, owing to the nostalgia associated with the previous drink, the company had to return to the old formula under the name Coca-Cola Classic on July 10, 1985. On February 7, 2005, the Coca-Cola Company announced ‘Diet Coke’ for its health conscious consumers, proclaiming that it will give less calories to its consumers, as it was sweetened with the artificial sweetener sucralose (a zero calorie sugar substitute).
In 2005, a new diet product was launched, Coca-Cola Zero, that was sweetened partly with a blend of aspartame and acesulfame potassium. In July 2005, Coca Cola Company planned to resume its operations in Iraq, as the company was boycotted by the Arab League in 1968. In 2007, ‘Diet Coke Plus’ was launched with vitamins B6, B12, magnesium, niacin, and zinc. Since then, coke has been producing different beverages under its brand name, like Caffeine-Free Coca-Cola, Coca-Cola Raspberry, Coca-Cola Citra, Coca-Cola Black Cherry Vanilla etc. The drink, today, is devoured at the rate of more than 1 billion drinks per day.