Coca-Cola History


John Pemberton

1886 - 1887

John Pemberton, an Atlanta pharmacist, stirred a fragrant, caramel-coloured liquid. When the liquid was finished, Pemberton carried the liquid to Jacob’s Pharmacy, where they combined the mixture with carbonated water. They had customers sample the drink and they all agreed that the drink was special. (“Our story 1886-1892: the beginning”, n.d.)

Gallons of Syrup

1888 - 1891

Ten billion gallons of syrup was produced by the Coca-Cola Company. Asa Griggs Candler, an Atlanta businessman, becoming Coca-Cola’s first president, secured the rights to the business for the total amount of around $2 300 (around £1 500). Candler is the first to bring any real vision to the business and the brand of Coca-Cola. (“Our story 1886-1892: the beginning”, n.d.)

First Bottles

1892 - 1894

Coca-Cola was put in bottles in 1894 by Joseph Biedenharn, a Mississippi business man. He sent 12 of the bottles filled with Coca-Cola to Asa Griggs Candler. Chandler would give away coupons for people to get the first taste of Coca-Cola. He distributed clocks, urns, calendars and apothecary scales that bear the Coca-Cola brand to pharmacists. The aggressive promotion worked because people would see the Coca-Cola brand everywhere. (“Our story 1893-1904: the early years”, n.d.)

Syrup Plants

1895 - 1898

Many syrup plants where built in Chicago, Dallas and Los Angeles by Candler. (“Our story 1893-1904: the early years”, n.d.)

Candler Loses Coca-Cola

1899 - 1904

Candler did not realize that Coca-Cola would become bottled and portable for people to carry anywhere, when he still did not realize what the brand could become, two lawyers from Chattanooga, Benjamin Thomas and Joseph Whitehead. They would than secure the exclusive rights of bottling and selling of the beverage for one dollar from Candler. (“Our story 1893-1904: the early years”, n.d.)

Designing The Bottle

1905 - 1918

Root Glass Company of Terre Haute, Indiana, won the contest to design a bottle that could be able to be recognised in the dark. In 1916, they began manufacturing the famous Contour Bottle, which remains as the signature shape of the Coca-Cola today. (“History of Coca-Cola 1905-1918: Coke finds its identity”, n.d.)

Introducing Coca-Cola to the Olympics

1919 - 1940

Robert Woodruff, who was a marketing genius, saw the opportunities everywhere. He expanded overseas and in 1928 he introduced Coca-Cola to the Olympic Games for the very first time, the beverage travelled with Team USA to the 1928 Amsterdam Olympics. ("Our story 1919-1940: Coke's first Olympics", n.d.)

World War II and Coca-Cola

1941 - 1959

In 1941, America entered World War II and thousands of the US citizens were sent overseas. Showing support for the brave men and women, the Coca-Cola President Robert Woodruff ordered that “every man in uniform gets a bottle of Coca-Cola for five cents, wherever he is and whatever it costs the company”. ("Our story 1941-1959: the war and what followed", n.d.)

‘I’d Like to Buy the World a Coke’

1960 - 1981

International appeal of Coke was then embodied by the famous 1971 commercial where there was a group of young people from around the world gathered on top of a hill in Italy to sing ‘I’d Like to Buy the World a Coke’. (“Our story 1960-1981: going global”, n.d.)

New Taste

1982 - 1989

One of Goizueta’s other initiatives in 1985 was that he developed a new taste for the Coca Cola, which was the first change in the formulation in 99 years. (“Our story 1982-1989: the debut of Diet Coke”, n.d.)

Polar Bear

1990 - 1999

The Coca-Cola advertising campaign was then launched in 1993 and the world then met the lovable Coca-Cola Polar Bear for the first time. ("Our story 1990-1999: new drinks, new characters", n.d.)

Counting More Drinks

2000 - Present

In 2008, Coca-Cola counted more than 160 low-calorie and no-calorie drinks that were in the company’s range, which included Coke Zero and PowerAde Zero. In the UK 39% of drinks that were sold are now lower or no calorie. ("Our story 2000 to now: 130 years later" n.d.)