Coca-Cola is the trademarked name (registered 1893) for a popular soft drink sold in stores, restaurants and vending machines around the world. It also popularly known as "Coke", which the company also claims as a trademark. Coca-Cola also registered a trademark on the distinctive bottle shape in 1960. Coca-Cola was sold in bottles for the first time starting on March 12, 1894 and cans of Coke first appeared in 1955.

The name derived from the coca leaves and kola fruits used as flavoring. The exact Coca-Cola Formula is a legendary trade secret. Reportedly a copy of the formula is held in a safe in Atlanta with only two corporate officers having access.

The distinctive "cola" flavor comes mostly from the mix of sugar, orange juice, lemon juice and vanilla. The other ingredients change the flavor only very slightly.

In the United States, however, Coca-Cola is now sweetened with corn syrup, causing the flavor to be blunted. Coca-Cola with sugar is still available in Canada, Mexico, Europe, and in certain American markets during Passover.

In the original formula, the natural cocaine content of the coca leaves, and caffeine from kola nuts, provided the drink's stimulant effect. Shortly after the turn of the century, cocaine was removed from the coca leaves by processing (leaving a physiologically insignificant trace), and the amount of caffeine was reduced. The company's web site states on this issue that "Coca-Cola does not contain cocaine or any other harmful substance, and cocaine has never been an added ingredient for Coca-Cola". It should be noted that such a statement is entirely consistent with the presence of cocaine in the coca leaves in the original formulation. [1] [1] [1]

The coca-leaf processing is done at the only licensed coca-leaf processing plant in the U.S, in New York City. Importation of leaves to other facilities is a felony. It is rumoured that the only reason the relevant laws have a licensing provision is because of lobbying by Coca-Cola Corporation.

Coca-Cola Corporation is the world's largest customer of natural vanilla extract. When new Coke was introduced, in 1985, the economy of Madagascar crashed, and only recovered after New Coke flopped. The reason is because New Coke uses vanillin, a less-expensive synthetic substitute, and purchases of vanilla more than halved during this period.

Coca-Cola is the market leader for soft drinks in all countries of the world, except Scotland, where the locally produced Irn Bru is more popular, and Quebec, Canada, where Pepsi is the market leader.

Table of contents
1 History
2 Accusations made against Coca-Cola
3 Notable Employees of Coca-Cola
4 Bibliography
5 External links


Coca-Cola was formulated by John S. Pemberton, originally as a cocawine called Pemberton's French Wine Coca, and originally sold as a patent medicine for five centss a glass at soda fountains, which were popular in America due to a contemporary view that soda water was good for your health. The first sales were at Jacob's Pharmacy in Atlanta, Georgia, on May 8th, 1886, and for the first eight months, only thirteen drinks per day were sold. Pemberton then ran the first advertisement for the beverage on May 29 of the same year in the Atlanta Journal.

The drink and its advertising campaigns have had significant impact on American culture. The company is frequently credited for "inventing" the modern image of Santa Claus as an old man in red-white garments; however, while the company did in fact promote this image starting in the 1930s in its winter advertising campaigns, it was already common before that time [1]. In the 1970s, a song from a Coca-Cola commercial called "I'd Like to Teach the World to Sing" became a popular hit single.

In the 1980s, Coca-Cola attempted to change the formula of the drink with a highly publicized effort. Some authorities believe that New Coke was invented specifically to cope with a commercial competitor, Pepsi. Blind taste tests indicated that people preferred the taste of Pepsi to Coke. Pepsi has more lemon oil, less orange oil, and uses vanillin rather than vanilla. New Coke was reformulated to emulate Pepsi. In blind taste tests, most people favored New Coke to Coke, as well.

The commercial failure of New Coke was therefore a grievous surprise to the management of Coca-Cola Corporation. Quite possibly, if they had made the change either secretly, or gradually, no notice would have occurred and their brand loyalty would have been unchanged.

The new Coca-Cola formula caused a public backlash and the company was forced to return to the old formula under the name Coca-Cola Classic on July 10, 1985. The company was later suspected of playing this move as an elaborate charade to both introduce a new product and revive interest in the original. The company president responded to the accusation with "We are not that stupid, or that smart."

Meanwhile, the market share for the new product dwindled to only 3% by 1986. The company renamed the product "Coke II" in 1990, but sales falloff caused a severe cutback in distribution. By 1998 it was only sold in a few places in the midwestern U.S.

During the 1990s, Pepsi-Cola began running television advertisements showing people doing blind taste tests in which they preferred their product over Coke. Coca-Cola ran ads to combat Pepsi's ads in an incident sometimes referred to as the cola wars.

Today the drink is manufactured as a syrup and then supplied to various franchisess that reconstitute, bottle and distribute it. The company produces many other soft drinks, including other varieties of Coca-Cola such as Diet Coke (which uses aspartame, a synthetic phenylalanine-containing sweetener, in order to reduce the sugar content of the drink), Cherry Coke, Diet Cherry Coke, Vanilla Coke, Diet Vanilla Coke, and the recent Coke with Lemon and Diet Coke with Lemon.

The Coca-Cola Corporation also produces a number of other soft drinks including Fanta, Sprite, Pibb, Mello Yello, and the bottled water Dasani.

Coca-Cola's greatest rival is Pepsi-Cola. Mecca-Cola has been marketed as a pro-Palestinian alternative.

The Guerrilla News Network has reported that Coca-cola is in a legal dispute with Bob Kolody that could cost the company US$ 4 billion. The full story can be found here

Accusations made against Coca-Cola

  • Coca-Cola is accused of having ordered the murders of union leaders in Colombia, with the help of paramilitary groups.

  • Coca-Cola was banned from import in India in 1970 for having refused to release the list of its ingredients. In 1993, the ban was lifted, with Pepsi arriving on the market shortly afterwards. One study led by the Center for Science and the Environment (CSE), an independent laboratory in New Delhi, found that the sodas contained residues of dangerous pesticides, with one dose 36 times greater than the European standard for Pepsi, and 30 times greater for Coca-Cola. The presence of these products could provoke cancers, negatively affect the nervous and immune systems, and cause birth defects. No law bans the presence of pesticides in drinks in India.

In the state of Kerala, one agency reported that it found 201.8 milligrams of cadmium per kilogram in the mud coming from the factory, which is offered as fertilizer to farmers. This dose, four times greater than normal doses, could lead to cancer.

The non-governmental organization Greenpeace could also have found a rate greater than the standard criteria and asked for the closing of the production site.

In response to the news, numerous Indians burned bottles of these two brands of soda in the streets. The Indian government asked for a comparable study of soda bottles destined for markets in the United States.

On August 6, 2003, India asked for the withdrawal from circulation of Coca-Cola and Pepsi products.

Notable Employees of Coca-Cola


Pendergrast, Mark: For God, Country, and Coca Cola: The Definitive History of the Great American Soft Drink and the Company That Makes It. New York: Basic Books, 2000 (second edition; ISBN 0465054684).

See also: Junk food, List of major flops ("New Coke")

External links