The battle between Coca-Cola and Pepsi has raged on for ages.
America’s love for carbonated beverages started in the early 1800s and has gone through many changes since then. The pioneers of the industry are household names today, and typically people are very partial to one or the other.
Coca-Cola was introduced by John Pemberton in 1886 in Atlanta, Georgia.
Pepsi-Cola followed in 1898, invented by Caleb Bradham.
Pemberton was a pharmacist and through his curiosity came the invention of a flavored syrup Coca-Cola, according to the company’s official website. The drink was featured in small businesses at the time, but the drink didn’t hit it big until 1894 when the beverage was made portable.
In 1899, the drink got even more popular when three businessmen secured the rights to bottle and sell Coca-Cola. Originally, marketing for Coke started with coupons for free samples, further increasing its popularity.
Pepsi-Cola’s history is similar to that of Coke’s. Bradham was also a pharmacist who invented his own beverage out of curiosity.
His drink included ingredients such as sugar, pepsin, Kola nut extract, vanilla and “rare oils”. Bradham originally named it “Brad’s Drink,” but later named it “Pepsi-Cola,” a combination of the ingredients “pepsin” and “cola,” according to the company’s official website.
By 1903, Pepsi-Cola was officially registered with the U.S. Patent Office. In the beginning, Bradham mixed his syrup himself and sold it exclusively.
In 1905, he began selling his drink in bottles and by 1910 there were over 250 franchises. However, because of sugar prices during World War I, Bradham went bankrupt and sold the Pepsi Company in 1923.
Since then, the cola wars have raged on. According to NASDAQ, Coke controls 42 percent of the carbonated soft drink market, followed closely by Pepsi with 30 percent.
Similarly, a poll on debate.org asked whether Coke was better than Pepsi. Sixty-one percent said yes, while 39 percent said no. Many said taste was the biggest factor, but there is some debate on which one is better for you.
The biggest controversy with the cola wars happened in the mid-1980s when Coca-Cola decided to change their original formula with the introduction of “New Coke.”
The American public had such a negative reaction that it created a marketing disaster. Coke fans were outraged as Pepsi fans celebrated and brought more to their side.
Eventually the Coca-Cola company did switch back to their classic formula, but the damage had been done.
Students at Weber also feel quite passionately about their carbonated beverages. Out of 50 students, 28 said they preferred Coke and 22 preferred Pepsi.
The reasons for liking one drink or the other vary, but many said the reason simply came down to taste.
Freshman Crystal Chadwick said, “I think Coke is more harsh, like there’s more acid. And it goes flat faster.”
Freshman and self-proclaimed Coke enthusiast Rachel Barowski argued Coke is better. “Coke is the nectar of ancient gods. And Pepsi sucks,” she said.