In 1892, Doctor John Pemberton made the first official Coca-Cola.. Yes, a doctor. He was a pharmacist from Atlanta, Georgia. Now… Why on Earth would a doctor need Coke? Isn’t it unhealthy?! Well, yes, it is unhealthy, but he first made it as a tonic to cure headaches. Weird, right? Who would have ever thought of a soft drink as a medicine? Right now, though, it’s not. The recipe has changed, but we’ll talk about that later.When Pemberton concocted the first batch and actually tried it, he liked the taste, and so did the people who used it, so he decided to start selling it at ‘Jacob’s Pharmacy’. Although it was still used as a tonic for headaches. From there, it really picked up.
At first, Coca-Cola was sold only at Jacob’s Pharmacy. It’s key ingredients were extracts of coca plant (which is no longer used) and the kola nut. (Hence the name ‘Coca-Cola’. There were two ‘C’s because everyone thought that looked nice.) When it was just a tonic, there was no carbonation in the drink, but one day, someone accidentally added it, and everyone liked how that tasted, so that was the first and only change in 99 years that Coca-Cola made.
In 1891, Asa Candler bought the brand from Dr. Pemberton for $2,300 (which of course was a lot back then). He bought it because he always had many headaches, and had heard that Coca-Cola really did help, so he tried it. And then it worked. Once he bought it, the advertisement slogan he used was ‘The Wonderful Nerve and Brain Tonic.”
Pretty soon, Candler started really advertising. He sent coupons to the pharmacies that sold Coca-Cola for free drinks. When he really started believing the new soft drink could take off, he started advertising it everywhere. He put the name on calendars, posters, coasters, and even clocks! The name ‘Coca-Cola was patented in 1893.
In 1895, the new soft drink got big. Like big. It was sold everywhere in the US!! (And now we know the best way to advertise is to put your name in clocks.) To make the product stand out from all the other soft drinks, Coca-Cola was being sold in funky glass bottles. You know, the original ones with all the curves and fancy things. There are two theories on why they did this, but no one really knows. The first one was that the bottle was to mimic a hobble skirt (a popular women’s fashion trend at the time). And the second one was that it was supposed to imitate the shape of a coca bean. Whichever one it really was, it worked!! Coca-Cola became more popular because of this original design.
In 1919, Candler sold the company to Ernest Woodruff, who’s son was then elected the company president. The Woodruffs decided they wanted the drink to come in a dispenser premixed and cold, which was a new idea for the soft drink industry. Everyone loved this. It was a lot easier for people to just buy a Coke and drink it, than for them to mix the drink themselves.
In the 1928 Summer Olympics in Amsterdam, Coca-Cola was sold. This made the product very well known to places worldwide. So, when World War II started, Coca-Cola was everywhere. It helped families get through the tough time.
In the 50s, there were ‘choice bottles.’ They came in three sizes- 10 ounce, 12 ounce, or 26 ounce (what a big jump there- I guess Coke thought all or nothing! Well, maybe not nothing, but not so much.) But where were the Coca-Cola cans? You know, the ones that you always have at… well… everywhere!! Well, these didn’t come along until the 60s. This was also the time Coke started making Fanta, Sprite,Tab (a low calorie drink), and bought Minute Maid to start making soft drinks from it and selling it in the US.
Starting in 1982, Coke started making new flavors, such as: Diet Coke, Caffeine-free Coke, Cherry Coke, Diet Lemon Coke, Vanilla Coke, and Diet Vanilla Coke. Also happening around this time, the recipe for Coca-Cola changed. After 99 years of the same thing, it changed. Why? Well, this was at the time when PepsiCo started getting big. Pepsi products were lighter than Coke products, and Coke was worried that people liked Pepsi better than Coke. Some loyal Coca-Cola drinkers were completely opposed to the change. They loved the hard cola!! But the change was made, and Coca-Cola no longer used the coca tree in their recipe.Now, Coke is huge! It’s crazy to think that something that started in ‘Jacob’s Pharmacy’ could turn into something so gigantic like Coke. Coke has always been very loyal to its customers, as the customers have been to Coke, even though it has evolved so much!!
How did Coca-Cola Change Society??
Coca-Cola started out as a tonic for headaches (as we learned earlier) and became, well, what it is today- the biggest soft drink company in the world!! Coke has almost even changed our society. Like, we just take Coke for granted. No one even thinks about where it all really came from. Also, in places like Texas, all sodas are just called ‘Coke.’ Without even thinking about it, ‘Do you want a Coke?’ Not a soda, or pop, or even soda pop or whatever some people say!! Just a Coke. That’s how easily we take Coke for granted.
Did you know Coca-Cola does a lot, like a lot for our communities? One of the things they do is what they call, the ‘5 by 20.’ This helps women get water. Now, why is that so important?? Well… there’s almost like a butterfly effect. If women don’t have to spend all of their time finding and moving water in places like Africa, they will have time to go to school. Once they go to school, they can go get jobs and help the economy and make a difference in the world. So, some of Coke’s money is spent on helping build more places to store water for this reason!
Along with the water for women, Coca-Cola has a goal to give as much water to the community as they have used in Coke products by 2020. This truly is amazing. Think of all the things that could be done in a community just by having fresh, good water!!The Coca-Cola Foundation is working on really pushing schol. They don’t want any dropouts, they have funds for global arts, business management education, and even for college scholarships!! As much as we give Coke, Coke gives us more! Without Coke, many places wouldn’t have fresh, good, clean water. This is such an important thing in societies because with no fresh water, many diseases spread, and this causes deaths. Having fresh water also has many butterfly effects, like the women getting educated. What Coca-Cola is doing is so important and helpful to everyone!!
Asa Candler was the second owner of the Coca-Cola company. Candler bought the company from Pemberton in 1891. Mr. Candler decided to buy the Coca-Cola company because he really liked the product, and thought it was an effective cure for headaches. He was the first one to really start pushing the product, which was very important. He advertised it so well and really believed that the company could take off. If he didn’t, I don’t think it would be anywhere near where it would be today!He advertised the company anywhere he could- in calendars, clocks, posters, coasters, and even gave out coupons for free drinks. This really made Coca-Cola famous. Candler and his team at the time came up with very unique ideas like the new bottle design that really made Coke stand out. Not very long after Mr. Candler bought Coca-Cola, the company was sold in all states in the USA instead of just one. He really had a big impact on the product’s sales.