The History of Pepsi – Cola

History of Pepsi – It is really astonishing to know how a single cold drink has become so famous and one of the largest selling brand of the world. This is the result of continuous efforts and story of struggle. Pepsi – Cola, being one of the most oldest cold drink brand, is widely celebrated and consumed all over the world on every occasion and on daily routine. FoodRavel takes you to the journey on the history of Pepsi – Cola.  Let’s go through the chronological adventure of the history of Pepsi – Cola.

History of Pepsi Cola
Caleb Bradham
Pic Source 

History of Pepsi - Cola
History of Pepsi – Newspaper ad for Pepsi-Cola from 1919 Source The independent. (Elizabeth City, N.C.), 05 Sept. 1919. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Lib. of Congress. Image Source

The theme line of Pepsi is “Exhilarating, Invigorating, Aids Digestion

History of Pepsi – A Chronology of Evolution of Pepsi

Read the history of Pepsi which has been written chronologically.

1893: Started by a young pharmacist, Caleb Dradham from New Bern, North Carolina, USA, at his drug store soda fountain. He experimented with different types of concoctions of soft drinks. He named it as “Brad’s Drink”.

1898: Launched as “Brad’s Drink”, on August 28, 1898 it was renamed as “Pepsi – Cola” was a combination of sugar, vanilla, cola nuts, rare oils and carbonated water. The drink got its first logo.

1902: The drink became widely popular and Bradham started to focus on this as a full time business. He got it registered and trademark with US Patent Office, Washington DC. That’s how Pepsi – Cola Company came into existence.

History of Pepsi - Cola
History of Pepsi – 1940s advertisement for Pepsi, one of the very first to be targeted specifically towards African Americans. The young boy pictured is Ron Brown, future United States Secretary of Commerce.
Image Source

New Bern Weekly Journal advertised Pepsi – Cola for the first time.

1903: Bradham moved to a rented warehouse from his drug store for production of Pepsi – Cola. In its first year of operation only, he sold 7,968 gallons of beverage.

1904: He purchased “Bishop Factory” in New Bern in $5,000. He moved his bottling and manufacturing unit to this building. Pepsi came in a 6 ounce bottle  and the sales increased to 19,848 gallons.

1905: The first franchises for Pepsi – Cola bottling was established at Charlotte and Durham, North Carolina.

Pepsi – Cola got a new logo, since its first change in 1898.

1906: In the eight years, Pepsi – Cola got logo changed for third time. The new logo came with a slogan, “The Original Pure Food Drink.”

History of Pepsi - Cola
History of Pepsi – This is a logo owned by Pepsi Inc. for Pepsi. It is a historical logo. Its historical usage is as follows: The Pepsi logo used from 1973 to 1991. It is now used on Pepsi Throwback..

Pepsi – Cola owns 15 bottling plants in the US. It registered its trademark in Canada. The sales rose to 38,605 gallons. It was another big event in the history of Pepsi. 

The Pure Food and Drug Act was passed by the then Federal government. This banned several chemicals such as uranium, barium, lead and arsenic from beverages and food. As a result, several soft drink companies such as Coca – Cola changed their formula. But Pepsi – Cola had confirmed that they had no impurity in their drink, claiming to meet out the federal government act requirements.

1907: Pepsi – Cola grew and expanded it to 40 franchises of bottling. The sales crossed 100,000 gallons.

Pepsi – Cola trademarked in Mexico. The sales reached 104,026 gallons.

1908: Pepsi – Cola became the first company who modernized the delivery to the motor vehicles from horse carts.

1909: Barney Oldfield, the automobile race pioneer, endorsed for Pepsi – Cola in newspaper as “A bully drink… refreshing, innovating, a fine bracer before a race.”

1910: Pepsi – Cola bottlers’ first convention took place in New Bern, North Carolina.

1920: The theme line of Pepsi – Cola spoke to the customer as “Drink Pepsi – Cola, it will satisfy you.”

1923: The company went bankrupt and was sold to the Craven Holding Corporation, North Caroline for $30,000.

A Wall Street broker, Roy C Megargel, bought Pepsi – Cola from the Carven Holding Corporation in $35,000, owing its business, trademark and goodwill and formed Pepsi – Cola Corporation.

1928: Megargel reorganized Pepsi – Cola Corporation as National Pepsi – Cola Company after five long years continuous. It became the only fourth parent company to have Pepsi trademark.

1931: The National Pepsi – Cola Company went bankrupt for the second time, declared by District Court of Eastern District Virginia. This was the second time the company had gone bankrupt since its formation.

History of Pepsi - Cola
This is a logo owned by Pepsi Inc. for Pepsi. Further details: The Pepsi logo used from 1992 until late 2008/early 2009 in the United States.

The Pepsi was acquired by the Loft Candy Company. The president of Loft Candy, Charles G Guth, took the leadership of Pepsi in his hands and reformulated the beverage formula.  

1933: The company was insolvent by the end of the year.  Megargel acquired interest in the company and owned 91% of the company.

1934: A landmark year for the company. The beverage became hit and the sales rose. The company introduced its 12 ounce bottle at five cent price, first in Batlimore, where it became an instant hit. The sales skyrocketed throughout the country.

The founder of Pepsi – Cola, Caleb Bradham, died on Feburary 19th, 1934 at 66.

1935: Guth shifted the complete operational unit of Pepsi – Cola to Long Island City, New York.

1936: 94 new franchises were granted and the profit touched $2,100,000 by the end of the year.

1938: A new president was elected for the Pepsi – Cola Company. Water S Mack, Jr, the VP of Phoenix Securities Corporation. He focused on advertising part and turned Pepsi – Cola into a modern marketing company.

1939: “Pepsi and Pete” comic strip was introduced in newspaper themed “Twice as much for a nickel.”

Water S Mack became the CEO of Pepsi – Cola. Guth was removed by the Board of Directors from Pepsi Payroll as he planned to acquire the cola personally.

1940: “Nickel, Nickel” was the first ad jingle becoming hit to be broadcast  on a national radio.

1941: The Pepsi stock was first traded by the NewYork Stock Exchange.

Pepsi changed its color to red, white and blue in support of the war effort.

1943: Pepsi reinvented its theme line as “Bigger Drink, Better Taste.”

1948: The company shifted its headquarters to Midtown Manhattan from Long Island City.

1950: Alfred N Steele was elected as the CEO and President of Pepsi – Cola. His wife, Joan Crawford, who was a Hollywood movie star promoted the product line.

Pepsi reinvented its logo fifth time with a bottle cap look.

1953: Pepsi – Cola launched a campaign which focused on caloric content reduction in the company’s product line. It was named as “The Light Refreshment.”

1955: Herbert Barnet was elected the new President.

1959: Pepsi debuted at Moscow Fair. US Vice President Nixon and Soviet Premier Khrushchev shared a Pepsi.

1960: Pepsi focused on young generation and advertised its product line as “Now it’s Pepsi, for those who think young.”

1962: Pepsi again modified its logo. It was the sixth time. The new bottle cap ‘serrated’ logo was introduced. It had the company’s groundbreaking “Pepsi Generation” ad campaign.

1963: Donald M Kendall was elected the next CEO of the company.

The company introduced its 16 ounce sized bottles. Pepsi – Cola was the leading company in the market of soft drinks.

The company introduced its 12 ounce cans to the military for worldwide transportation.

1964: Pepsi introduced country’s first diet soft drink, Diet Pepsi.

Mountain Dew was acquired by Pepsi – Cola from Tip Corporation.

1965: Pepsi – Cola merged with Frito – Lay of Dallas, Texas, which gave rise to PepsiCO, Inc.

The 12 ounce cans for the military was a huge success.

The first ad campaign of Mountain Due was launched as, “Yahoo Mountain Dew… It’ll tickle your innards.”

1970: Pepsi introduced first two liter bottles. It also introduced recyclable, light – weight bottles made up of plastic.

New President of Pepsi – Cola, Vic Bonomo.

Pepsi moved to Purchase, New York from Manhattan.

1974: Pepsi opened its first plant in the USSR.

A new theme was launched in TV ads, “Hello, Sunshine, Hello Mountain Dew.”

1976: Pepsi became the single soft drink brand to be sold largest in the US supermarkets.

Pepsi introduced a classic ad campaign “Have a Pepsi Day”, it was a commercial hit. Another ad “Puppies” became the best loved ad in the US.

1977: Pepsi got its next President, John Sculley.

1978: The company experimented with new flavors and launched 12 pack cans.

1980: Pepsi topped the sales to take the home markets.

1981: China and PepsiCo signed agreement for soft drink manufacturing. It started by the next year.

1982: A caffeine – free cola, Pepsi Free was introduced. The company penetrated 76% of the American market.

1983: “Dew it to it” theme was launched by Mountain Dew.

History of Pepsi Cola

In November 1983, one year after “Thriller” was released, Michael Jackson (with his brothers) and PepsiCo struck a $5 million partnership that would shatter the record for a celebrity endorsement deal, link the two entities for a decade and set the bar for every integrated marketing campaign that would follow. 

History of Pepsi Cola
Spears made a whopping $8 million from the Pepsi deal in 2001

1984: The cold drink became the Choice of New Generation.

A real fruit juice soft drink was introduced, Lemon Lime Slice, making a separate soft drink category as juice added. Mandarin Orange Slice became the top orange soft drink in America. This was a major event in the history of Pepsi. 

Diet Pepsi was reformulated with the brand Sweetener, NutraSweet.

1985: Pepsi dominated the market and Coke lost to the company.

The New Generation ad campaign received more than 58 ad and film awards by 1985. As per the consumers’ polls, the ad featuring Loinal Richie was the most remarkable ad campaign.

1986: D Wayne Collaway became the chairman as Donal M Kendall retired that year.

In Canada, 7 – Up International was acquired. Mug Root Beer was also acquired by Pepsi.

1987: Roger Enrico was elected as the CEO and President of  PepsiCo Worldwide Beverages.

The company’s headquarters shifted from Purchase to Somers, NY.

After a long absence of almost 27 years, Pepsi came back to the Broadway, along with a new neon sign in Times Square.

1988: The new CEO/President of the company, Craig Weatherup.

1989: Pepsi entered into the next decade, declared the Pepsi Lovers as “A Generation Ahead.

The president of Pepsi – Cola International, Chris Sinclair.

Wild Cherry Pepsi was introduced as a new flavor.

1990: Young MC, the Grammy and American Music Award winner wrote and performed for Pepsi on national radio. Later on, Ray Charles also joined to endorse Diet Pepsi with slogan line, “You Got the Right One Baby.”

1991: Pepsi elected Craig Weatherup as the CEO of Pepsi – Cola North America, because the  company made Canada a part of operations in North America.

For the first time, the company introduced PET bottles (Polyethylene Terephthalate) in the market. First time, the recycled plastic was used for food packaging.

1992: Pepsi launched “Gotta Have It” ad campaign.

Pepsi – Cola partnered with Lipton Tea. The distribution of Lipton Original and Lipton Brisk products came in hands of Pepsi.

Pepsi launched Crystal Pepsi. It was a clear soda with no caffeine, containing 100% natural flavors with low sodium content and no preservatives. Mountain Dew launched the highly popular slogan “Get Vertical.” It was a very significant step which was taken in the history of Pepsi.

Pepsi – Cola profit crossed $1Billion.

As Pepsi became a household name, the consumption grew drastically. So, to satisfy the consumption demands, introduced the 24 – can multipack, the Cube.

1994: New ad campaigns introduced the freshness and features of Diet Pepsi. The CEO Craig Weatherup explain the relation between super taste and freshness.

PepsiCo Foods and Beverages Company was formed by merging Pepsi – Cola International and Pepsi Foods International.

1995: The company launched its “Nothing else is a Pepsi” ad campaign and took top honors at the National Advertising Championship.

1996: Pepsi launched one of the greatest entertaining websites. Pepsi World turned out to be the most searched, landed sites on the internet which marked Pepsi’s online presence.

1997: Pepsi launched new ad campaign. GeneratioNext was totally targeted on young and the celebration of a creative spirit.  This ad was for those who are young and challenge the norm at every step with their new innovative ideas.

Pepsi Co. announced that from Oct 16th, it would spin off its restaurant division, becoming the Tricon Global Restaurants, Inc. It would include Taco Bell, Pizza Hut and KFC. It would be the largest company in restaurants and second largest in terms of sales. This was all about the history of Pepsi, till the article was written. Keep in touch to more. Apart from history of Pepsi, we have got some more interesting facts and stories, which you can read in the links given at the bottle of this post.

Pepsi celebrated its 100th anniversary in 1998

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