The History of Pepsi Cola

In History, Pop, Products History on December 5, 2008 at 11:05 am

Pepsi Cola

Caleb Bradham of New Bern, North Carolina was a pharmacist. Like many pharmacists at the turn of the century he had a soda fountain in his drugstore, where he served his customers refreshing drinks, that he created himself. His most popular beverage was something he called “Brad’s drink” made of carbonated water, sugar, vanilla, rare oils, pepsin and cola nuts.

“Brad’s drink”, created in the summer of 1893, was later renamed Pepsi Cola in 1898 after the pepsin and cola nuts used in the recipe. In 1898, Caleb Bradham wisely bought the trade name “Pep Cola” for $100 from a competitor from Newark, New Jersey that had gone broke. The new name was trademarked on June 16th, 1903. Bradham’s neighbor, an artist designed the first Pepsi logo and ninety-seven shares of stock for Bradham’s new company were issued.

After seventeen years of success, Caleb Bradham lost Pepsi Cola. He had gambled on the fluctuations of sugar prices during W.W.I, believing that sugar prices would continue to rise but they fell instead leaving Caleb Bradham with an overpriced sugar inventory. Pepsi Cola went bankrupt in 1923.

In 1931, Pepsi Cola was bought by the Loft Candy Company Loft president, Charles G. Guth who reformulated the popular soft drink. Guth struggled to make a success of Pepsi and even offered to sell Pepsi to the Coca-Cola company, who refused to offer a bid.

In 1940, history was made when the first advertising jingle was broadcast nationally. The jingle was “Nickel Nickel” an advertisement for Pepsi Cola that referred to the price of Pepsi and the quantity for that price. “Nickel Nickel” became a hit record and was recorded into fifty-five languages.

In 1964, Diet Pepsi was introduced.

Introducing Diet Pepsi

Pepsi 1970 logo

Slogans for Pepsi
1939: “Twice as Much for a Nickel”
1950: “More Bounce to the Ounce”
1958: “Be Sociable, Have a Pepsi”
1961: “Now It’s Pepsi for Those Who Think Young”
1963: “Come Alive, You’re in the Pepsi Generation”.
1967: “(Taste that beats the others cold) Pepsi Pours It On”.
1969: “You’ve Got a Lot to Live, Pepsi’s Got a Lot to Give”.
1973: “Join the Pepsi people (feeling free)”.
1975: “Have a Pepsi day”.
1979: “Catch that Pepsi spirit”. David Lucas composer
1981: “Pepsi’s got your taste for life”.
1983: “Pepsi’s Now!”
1984: “The Choice of a New Generation”.
1986: “We’ve Got The Taste” (Commercial with Tina Turner)
1991: “Gotta Have It.”
1995: “Nothing Else is a Pepsi”.
1997: “GeneratioNext”.
1999: “Ask for More”/”The Joy of Pepsi-Cola”.
2003: “It’s the Cola”/”Dare for More”.
2007: “More Happy”.

Pepsi Mini campaigns:

Campaigns that suggest Pepsi Cola is simply irresistible:

The new member, Pepsi Light

Anytime, anywhere, any place Pepsi:

Pepsi: An important element as suggested by its B/W background:

Pepsi as a sponsor for a local musical event in Latin America:

PepsiCo achievements and goals in 2008 are the following:

  • PepsiCo Agrees to Buy Bulgaria’s Leading Nuts and Seeds Company
  • PepsiCo Announces Initiatives With the Earth Institute and H2O Africa to Drive Sustainable Water Practices
  • Forbes Names PepsiCo Among Its Best Big Companies
  • PepsiCo India Commissions First Remote Wind Turbine to Generate Renewable, Clean Energy
  • CRO Names PepsiCo to Top 25 100 Best Corporate Citizens 2008
  • PepsiCo to Buy Russian Juice Leader, Lebedyansky
  • Employees Lead Effort to Make Chicago Plaza First LEED-Certified PepsiCo Headquarters
  • Gatorade Launches Gatorade Tiger with Comprehensive Integrated Marketing Campaign
  • PepsiCo Honored with 2008 Energy Star Partner of the Year Award
  • UK Vitamin Water Brand- V Water Acquired by PepsiCo
  • Quaker Plant in Cedar Rapids Closes and Reopens Facility Due Flooding to Protect Employees
  • PepsiCo Foodservice and naked Juice Expand Starbucks Presence
  • Gatorade Sports Science Institute Gathers World’s Leading Researchers on Protein Nutrition
  • PepsiCo International’s China Foods Wins “China’s Top Leaders 2008” Award
  • Wall Street Journal Article Recognizes PepsiCo for Leadership in Employment of People with Different Abilities
  • PepsiCo and Frito-Lay Join SmartWay in Commitment to Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions
  • PepsiCo Beats Coke in Race to Launch New Natural Sweetener (Stevia)
  • PepsiCo France Recognized as “Great Place To Work” by Institute Survey
  • PepsiCo Commits to Reducing Acryalmide Levels in Potato Chip Products and Restructured Potato Snacks in California
  • Subway Names PepsiCo “Vendor of the Year” for Sustainability Leadership
  • Tazo Tea Joins Pepsi Lipton Partnership

Up until today, PepsiCo still considers Coca Cola as its tough competitor in the sector of Non alcoholic beverages. The details of this Cola Giants war will be posted soon.

All images are courtesy of flickr, ads of the world and addshots.

  1. your articles are interesting and so useful for me. Thank you for sharing great information.

  2. Gosh, what an interesting post you have here, I’ve never known this before. Thanks for creating this nice post šŸ™‚

  3. […] Cola and Pepsi Cola, two giants in beverages industry. Related post about History of Coca Cola and Pepsi as well as Cola War will be published […]

  4. please change your websites in peruvian, but i speak and read so little english over my tougths-And now i cant understand everything in this website.

    dont forget…


  5. Dear Anacelly,

    Unfortunately I don’t speak Spanish but you can translate any pages by using Google Translate, just select the original language and translate it into Spanish.

    Here’s the link of the post in Spanish, it may not be 100 % correct but at least it’s fun to try.

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