The History of Coca Cola

Did you know that the Coca-Cola Company has been around since May 8, 1886? Doctor John Stith Pemberton, a pharmacist invented the formula. He began selling the concoction for five cents a glass at a local Atlanta pharmacy (Atlanta Beginnings). It was not long before Stith’s concoction became the number one selling soft drink. A title Coca-Cola has continued to retain.

However, in the early eighties, the company brought on a new chairperson; under his headship, changes began to take place. One of those changes resulted in a decision to alter the original formula (New Coke). Its new name was New Coke. Was the New Coke an attempt to draw new prospects, or to retain the title of number one soft drink?

From the very beginning, Coca-Cola advertisements consisted of slice-of-life images showing Americans enjoying a refreshing “pause” (Coca-Cola at Home). Bovee and Williams both authors of advertisement state, “Sponsors find that advertising is most effective when it actually reflects the society and the market to which it is targeted.”

The Coca-Cola advertisement team was very particular in reaching that society. In a typical advertisement, one could enjoy images such as a youthful couple on a date enjoying the refreshing soft drink; or a middle-aged women stopping during her gardening to sip a cold Coca-Cola; or even a man on the golf course pausing for a drink.

The advertisers knew how to reach the people by utilizing the average American, in which most could associate with in their daily life. “In reality, the first responsibility of advertising is to aid its sponsor by informing, persuading, and reminding the sponsor’s customers and prospects” (Bovee and William). Advertising was Coca Cola’s route to informing the world of their refreshing soft drink. It was their door to reaching the consumer and it was paying off well.

However, in the early eighties, even with all their spectacular advertisement, Coca-Cola began losing ground to the Pepsi Cola Company. Coke at that time was selling double of what Pepsi sold; unfortunately, Coca-Cola sales slowly began to fall (Demott). Coca Cola’s market dropped from 22.5 % to 21.7 %, while Pepsi’s rose over 18 % giving the company approximately an 8 % increase of sales. “Each point represent[ed] about $200 million in sales” (Demott). It was during this time that Robert C. Goizueta became the new chairperson (Diet Coke and New Coke). His plan for the company was what he called “Intelligent risk taking” (Diet Coke and New Coke). He implemented a plan to introduce a new soft drink called diet coke. While working on this new soft drink, he had the idea of creating a new twist to the old Coca-Cola. This change resulted in what he called the “New Coke”, which was “the first change in the formulation in 99 years” (Diet Coke and New Coke).

The company began to implement secret taste tests of the new concoction, of which “the new one beat the old one by 55% to 45%” (Demott). In reference to these results, coke began to go full force with its new formula. The company had the idea that change would be a great way of boosting their sales lead over the “Archrival Pepsi” (Demott). “The company even created some misinformation. Coke told bottlers that it would soon put a 100th anniversary label on its packages and that they should begin clearing out stocks of preanniversary bottles” (Demott).

On April 23, 1983, Coke finally introduced the “New Coke.” Consumers did not take the news very well. Some people began storing the old formula in their homes. “In June 1985, Newsweek reported that savvy black marketers sold old Coke for $30 a case” (Ross).

Many outraged consumers began to voice their opinion of the New Coke. Sam Craig, professor of marketing and international business stated, “[t]hey didn’t ask the critical question of Coke users: Do you want a new Coke? By failing to ask that critical question, they had to backpedal very quickly” (Ross).

Most consumers were so fond of the original formula that they demanded its return. The Coca-Cola Company loosing further ground responded to those demands. On July 10, 1985, “eighty seven days after the new coke was introduced, the old coke was brought back in addition to the new one” (History of Coke). The Coca- Cola Company admitted to its marketing mistake. President Donald R Keough stated, “We did not understand the deep emotions of so many of our customers for Coca-Cola” (qtd. Ross).

This recognition, along with the return of the old Coca-Cola brought the Company nearly eighteen thousand calls of appreciation. After the return of the old coke, their market rose to the highest peak in twelve years. This was an outstanding success for the Coca-Cola Company.

As you can see, the New Coke was not an attempt to draw new prospects but rather a way of saving the company from slipping into second place under Pepsi. Perhaps the publicity of the New Coke itself, though negative, sparked a greater audience resulting in many more Coca-Cola drinkers.

Which is better Coke or Pepsi

Everyone who drinks soft drinks will know that there are two major players in the cola market at the moment, namely Coke and Pepsi. Between them they hold a massive majority of the soft drinks industry and are both available globally. Their respective popularity have both fluctuated over the years and they have constantly been in competition for the biggest market share of the industry. So much so that when you go to fast food or cinema chains you will usually see one or the other but never both. This is because either company makes the companies they supply to sign exclusivity deals to ensure that their rivals aren’t allowed to compete with them. The exception being supermarkets, who are too large and powerful to be dictated to.

Personally i very slightly prefer Pepsi to coke, although i will drink either, and they are very similar. To describe the tastes i would say coke tastes sharper, and Pepsi sweeter. In fact my preference is marginal enough that i will usually just buy whatever is on offer n the store where i go, as usually one or the other is on sale. There are some people however who claim that they love one of the drinks and hate the other, which seems strange seen as they are so similar. I think a lot of people are similar to me in that the aren’t that bothered which they drink and will fluctuate between buying Pepsi and coke.

In the United Kingdom coke is the bigger brand, although Pepsi is available in all supermarkets and most shops. Strangely enough in most of the place i have visited in the United States, Pepsi seems to be a lot more popular. There are often a lot more Pepsi products available than coke, even though coke has the larger market share and is supposedly more popular. The difference between the two probably coming from corporate deals such as coke’s with Mcdonalds.

Other then the availability of either in certain chains, there really is very little between them. They look the same, are the same price and are sold in the same amounts. Pepsi is made from kola nuts and coke is made from prunes, neither of which many people eat by themselves, meaning there are no real comparisons to be drawn there. As for the other products that the respective companies make, there is quite a lot of variation. Pepsi own Lipton’s ice tea, mountain dew, sierra mist, Lays and Doritos. Coke on the other hand produce Fanta and Sprite, and have many sponsorship deals, such as the long running deal with the English premier league (soccer). So in terms of their overall companies they are fairly similar as well.

Overall at the moment coke have a slight edge in market share over Pepsi, due largely to the fact that coke is more popular in most parts of the united states. However this is only ever one advertising campaign from being reversed, so it looks like these two giants will be locked in their battle for a good while yet. As for which is the best it wold be hard to say for sure, although Pepsi has overall been more popular over the course of the two drinks being in competition, even though it isn’t at the moment. There was also famously a campaign by Pepsi where they conducted blind taste tests on the public, the majority of which seemed to prefer the taste of Pepsi to coke.