Pepsi-Cola is a carbonated beverage that is produced and manufactured by PepsiCo. It is sold in stores, restaurants and from vending machines. The drink was first made in the 1890s by pharmacist Caleb Bradham in New Bern, North Carolina. The brand was trademarked on June 16, 1903. There have been many Pepsi variants produced over the years since 1903, including Diet Pepsi, Crystal Pepsi, Pepsi Twist, Pepsi Max, Pepsi Samba, Pepsi Blue, Pepsi Gold, Pepsi Holiday Spice, Pepsi Jazz, Pepsi X (available in Finland and Brazil), Pepsi Next (available in Japan and South Korea), Pepsi Raw, Pepsi Retro in Mexico, Pepsi One, and Pepsi Ice Cucumber in Japan..
Pepsi was first made in New Bern, North Carolina, in the United States in the early 1890s by pharmacist Caleb Bradham. In 1898, "Brad's Drink" was changed to "Pepsi-Cola" and later trademarked on June 16, 1903. There are several theories on the origin of the word "pepsi". The only two discussed within the current PepsiCo website are the following:
Another theory regarding the name's origins is that Caleb Bradham and his customers simply thought the name sounded good and reflected the fact that the drink had some kind of "pep" in it because it was a carbonated drink.
In 1903, Bradham moved the bottling of Pepsi-Cola from his drugstore into a rented warehouse. That year, Bradham sold 7,968 gallons of syrup. The next year, Pepsi was sold in six-ounce bottles, and sales increased to 19,848 gallons. In 1924, Pepsi received its first logo redesign since the original design of 1905. In 1926, the logo was changed again. In 1929, automobile race pioneer Barney Oldfield endorsed Pepsi-Cola in newspaper ads as "A bully drink...refreshing, invigorating, a fine bracer before a race".
In 1931, the Pepsi-Cola Company went bankrupt during the Great Depression- in large part due financial losses incurred by speculating on wildly fluctuating sugar prices as a result of World War I. Assets were sold and Roy C. Megargel bought the Pepsi trademark. Eight years later, the company went bankrupt again. Pepsi's assets were then purchased by Charles Guth, the President of Loft Inc. Loft was a candy manufacturer with retail stores that contained soda fountains. He sought to replace Coca-Cola at his stores' fountains after Coke refused to give him a discount on syrup. Guth then had Loft's chemists reformulate the Pepsi-Cola syrup formula.
During the Great Depression, Pepsi gained popularity following the introduction in 1936 of a 12-ounce bottle. Initially priced at 10 cents, sales were slow, but when the price was slashed to five cents, sales increased substantially. With a radio advertising campaign featuring the jingle "Pepsi cola hits the spot / Twelve full ounces, that's a lot / Twice as much for a nickel, too / Pepsi-Cola is the drink for you," Pepsi encouraged price-watching consumers to switch, obliquely referring to the Coca-Cola standard of six ounces a bottle for the price of five cents (a nickel), instead of the 12 ounces Pepsi sold at the same price. Coming at a time of economic crisis, the campaign succeeded in boosting Pepsi's status. In 1936 alone 500,000,000 bottles of Pepsi were consumed. From 1936 to 1938, Pepsi-Cola's profits doubled.
Pepsi's success under Guth came while the Loft Candy business was faltering. Since he had initially used Loft's finances and facilities to establish the new Pepsi success, the near-bankrupt Loft Company sued Guth for possession of the Pepsi-Cola company. A long legal battle, Guth v. Loft, then ensued, with the case reaching the Delaware Supreme Court and ultimately ending in a loss for Guth. Loft now owned Pepsi, and the two companies did a merger, then immediately spun off the Loft company.
Walter Mack was named the new President of Pepsi-Cola and guided the company through the 1940s. Mack, who supported progressive causes, noticed that the company's strategy of using advertising for a general audience either ignored African Americans or used ethnic stereotypes in portraying blacks. He realized African Americans were an untapped niche market and that Pepsi stood to gain market share by targeting its advertising directly towards them. To this end, he hired Hennan Smith, an advertising executive "from the Negro newspaper field" to lead an all-black sales team, which had to be cut due to the onset of World War II. In 1947, Mack resumed his efforts, hiring Edward F. Boyd to lead a twelve-man team. They came up with advertising portraying black Americans in a positive light, such as one with a smiling mother holding a six pack of Pepsi while her son (a young Ron Brown, who grew up to be Secretary of Commerce) reaches up for one. Another ad campaign, titled "Leaders in Their Fields", profiled twenty prominent African Americans such as Nobel Peace Prize winner Ralph Bunche and photographer Gordon Parks.
Boyd also led a sales team composed entirely of blacks around the country to promote Pepsi. Racial segregation and Jim Crow laws were still in place throughout much of the U.S., so Boyd's team faced a great deal of discrimination as a result, from insults by Pepsi co-workers to threats by Ku Klux Klan. On the other hand, they were able to use racism as a selling point, attacking Coke's reluctance to hire blacks and support by the chairman of Coke to segregationist Governor of Georgia Herman Talmadge. As a result, Pepsi's market share as compared to Coke's shot up dramatically. After the sales team visited Chicago, Pepsi's share in the city overtook that of Coke for the first time.
This focus on the black market caused some consternation within the company and among its affiliates. They did not want to seem focused on black customers for fear white customers would be pushed away. In a meeting at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel, Mack tried to assuage the 500 bottlers in attendance by pandering to them, saying, "We don't want it to become known as the African-American drink. After Mack left the company in 1950, support for the black sales team faded and it was cut.
In 1975, Pepsi introduced the Pepsi Challenge marketing campaign where PepsiCo set up a blind tasting between Pepsi-Cola and rival Coca-Cola. During these blind taste tests the majority of participants picked Pepsi as the better tasting of the two soft drinks. PepsiCo took great advantage of the campaign with television commercials reporting the test results to the public..
In 1996, PepsiCo launched the highly successful Pepsi Stuff marketing strategy. By 2002, the strategy was cited by Promo Magazine as one of 16 "Ageless Wonders" that "helped redefine promotion marketing.
In 2007, PepsiCo redesigned their cans for the fourteenth time, and for the first time, included more than thirty different backgrounds on each can, introducing a new background every three weeks.
The sole exception is the seasonal release of "Kosher for Passover" Pepsi (and Coca-Cola) products, which may not be available in all geographic regions. Orthodox Kosher law forbids consumption of grain products during the Passover holiday season, hence corn sweetener is replaced with cane sugar during springtime months. The presence of sucrose instead of corn byproducts renders lighter-colored, less brownish carbonation bubbles, and produces what some aficionados describe as a cleaner swallow and sweeter taste.
Excessive sugar intake (including corn-based sweeteners) is thought to be a contributing factor in the development of certain types of diabetes. Sugar is also a leading contributor to tooth decay.
In 1985, The Coca-Cola Company, amid much publicity, changed its formula. The theory has been advanced that New Coke, as the reformulated drink came to be known, was invented specifically in response to the Pepsi Challenge. However, a consumer backlash led to Coca-Cola quickly introducing a modified version of the original formula (removing the expensive Haitian lime oil and changing the sweetener to corn syrup) as Coke "Classic".
Comedian Dave Chappelle starred in ads for both Coca-Cola and Pepsi, an act which drew controversy. When referring to it in his show, Chappelle said, "I can't even taste the difference: all I know is Pepsi paid me most recently, so it tastes better."
In the U.S., Pepsi's total market share was about 31.7 percent in 2004, while Coke's was about 43.1 percent.
Overall, Coca-Cola continues to outsell Pepsi in almost all areas of the world. Saudi Arabia, Pakistan (Pepsi has been a dominant sponsor of the Pakistan cricket team since the 1990s), the Canadian provinces of Quebec and Prince Edward Island and the U.S. states of Michigan and South Carolina are the exceptions..
Pepsi had long been the drink of Canadian Francophones and it continues to hold its dominance by relying on local Québécois celebrities (especially Claude Meunier, of La Petite Vie fame) to sell its product. "Pepsi" eventually became an offensive nickname for Francophones. PepsiCo use the slogan "here, it's Pepsi" (Ici, c'est Pepsi) to answer to Coca-cola publicity "Everyone on Earth drank Coca-Cola" (Partout dans le monde, c'est Coke).
By most accounts, Coca-Cola was India's leading soft drink until 1977 when it left India after a new government ordered The Coca-Cola Company to turn over its secret formula for Coke and dilute its stake in its Indian unit as required by the Foreign Exchange Regulation Act (FERA). In 1988, PepsiCo gained entry to India by creating a joint venture with the Punjab government-owned Punjab Agro Industrial Corporation (PAIC) and Voltas India Limited. This joint venture marketed and sold Lehar Pepsi until 1991 when the use of foreign brands was allowed; PepsiCo bought out its partners and ended the joint venture in 1994. In 1993, The Coca-Cola Company returned in pursuance of India's Liberalization policy. In 2005, The Coca-Cola Company and PepsiCo together held 95% market share of soft-drink sales in India. Coca-Cola India's market share was 52.5%.
In Russia, Pepsi initially had a larger market share than Coke but it was undercut once the Cold War ended. In 1972, Pepsico company struck a barter agreement with the then government of the Soviet Union, in which Pepsico was granted exportation and Western marketing rights to Stolichnaya vodka in exchange for importation and Soviet marketing of Pepsi-Cola. This exchange led to Pepsi-Cola being the first foreign product sanctioned for sale in the U.S.S.R..
Reminiscent of the way that Coca-Cola became a cultural icon and its global spread spawned words like "coca colonization", Pepsi-Cola and its relation to the Soviet system turned it into an icon. In the early 1990s, the term, "Pepsi-stroika", began appearing as a pun on "perestroika", the reform policy of the Soviet Union under Mikhail Gorbachev. Critics viewed the policy as a lot of fizz without substance and as an attempt to usher in Western products in deals there with the old elites. Pepsi, as one of the first American products in the Soviet Union, became a symbol of that relationship and the Soviet policy. This was reflected in Russian author Victor Pelevin's book "Generation P".
In 1992, following the Soviet collapse, Coca-Cola was introduced to the Russian market. As it came to be associated with the new system, and Pepsi to the old, Coca-Cola rapidly captured a significant market share that might otherwise have required years to achieve. By July 2005, Coca-Cola enjoyed a market share of 19.4 percent, followed by Pepsi with 13 percent.
Rarely, though, has the Coke-Pepsi rivalry gone so far as in Thailand, where it has now led to two deaths (source: Time Magazine).
|Amount per 100mL|
The original Pepsi-Cola recipe was available from documents filed with the court at the time that the Pepsi-Cola Company went bankrupt in 1929. The original formula contained neither cola nor caffeine.
Ingredients as seen on products:
carbonated water, glucose-fructose and/or sugar, caramel colour, phosphoric acid, caffeine, citric acid, flavour.