Coca Cola’s History

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Updated: Mar 14, 2023
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Coca Cola is a well known and loved beverage all over the world. It is available in well over two hundred countries. Their mission, as stated, is to refresh the world in mind, body and spirit, inspire moments of optimism and happiness through their brands and actions and to create value and make a difference. Coca Cola takes pride in their product and it is shown through their values: leadership, collaboration, integrity, diversity, and quality.

Coca Cola is a company that originally started as a small experiment.

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In Atlanta, Georgia, in 1886, John Pemberton had a spark of inspiration to experiment with a concoction. He made a caramel colored syrup and brought it to Jacobs’ Pharmacy to mix it with carbonated water. It was evident that the drink was memorable. This new beverage was given the name Coca Cola by Pemberton’s bookkeeper, Frank Robinson. In the first year, very little Coca Cola was sold daily, however, one hundred years later, more than ten billion gallons are produced and sold. Asa Candler purchased the rights to Coca Cola in the course of three years. Candler brought a real vision to the company. He was able to turn Pemberton’s experiment into a successful business. In 1894, Joseph Biedenharn was the first to bottle Coca Cola. Copycats began to appear on the scene as Coca Cola grew in popularity, so the company urged customers to ‘demand the genuine’ refreshment. To ensure that there was a more evident difference between the real thing and a copycat, Coca Cola created a bottle with a distinct shape, that is still used to this day. Robert Woodruff expanded the company to overseas because he saw opportunities everywhere. He also introduced Coca Cola in the Olympics for the first time in 1928. Woodruff’s ideas made major impacts on the company, his new thinking made Coca Cola a big part of people’s lives. To show support during World War II, Woodruff offered every man uniform a Coca Cola for only five cents. During the war, many people were able to enjoy the refreshing drink, and when peace finally came, Coca Cola began to lay foundations to officially do business overseas. In the 1980’s, Roberto C Goizueta became chairman of the board of directors and CEO. He had a new strategy that he called ‘intelligent risk taking’. He was the one who led the introduction of Diet Coke, which was the first extension of the Coca Cola trademark. The 1990’s introduced even more new growth to the company. Coca Cola continued their support of sports with the Olympics, FIFA World Cup, and the NBA. In 1993, the lovable Coca Cola Polar Bear was introduced. New beverages were added to the line of Coca Cola products in the 90’s, such as: Powerade sports drinks and Oasis fruit drinks. In 2009, Coca Cola launched Live Positively, which is “a public commitment to make a positive difference in the world by redesigning the way we work and live so that sustainability is part of everything we do” (Journey Staff). Today, Coca Cola remains dedicated in offering quality drinks for every lifestyle and occasion.

From that start, Coca Cola has used its resources to demonstrate its leadership and to benefit the community. They have done it to such an extent that Coca Cola has been identified as a good corporate citizen. The Company believes that it is important to give something back to the communities in which it does business.

Since Coca Cola is one of the most popular beverage companies, they have some major competitors: PepsiCo, Dr. Pepper Snapple, Red Bull, Nestle, and Parle. Coca Cola’s biggest competitor is PepsiCo. PepsiCo was formed in 1965, after the merger of Pepsi and Frito lay. The two companies compete over soft drinks, health and energy drinks as well as bottled water and juices. Red Bull is an unexpected competitor, however, despite its limited product its competition are energy drink products of Coca Cola. Dr. Pepper Snapple has a product line of more than 50 refreshing brands, such as: carbonated soft drinks, juices, teas, mixers, waters and other beverages. The brand is a major competitor for Coca Cola in the US market. Nestle competes with the brand across specific product categories. Parle is an Indian brand and competes with Coca Cola across some product categories that include bottled water and juices.

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Coca Cola's history. (2019, Nov 12). Retrieved from