Pepsi, originally introduced as Brad’s Drink in 1893, has since grown into a multi-billion dollar brand which has much more than just cola to offer.
Pepsi is manufactured by PepsiCo, which also owns well-known brands such as Walker’s crisps, Doritos, Tropicana, 7UP, Mountain Dew, Naked Juice and Nobby’s Nuts.
In 1893, Pepsi – or Brad’s Drink was created and developed by Caleb Bradham in his drug store in New Bern, North Carolina, United States, where the drink was later sold. It was renamed as Pepsi-Cola on 28th August 1898, due to two of the ingredients used in the recipe, which were pepsin and kola nuts. The original recipe also included vanilla and sugar.
In 1903, Pepsi-Cola moved from Caleb’s drug store to a rented warehouse and within a year, Pepsi was sold in six-ounce bottles, with its sales increasing to 19,848 gallons. A year later, in 1905, the Pepsi-cola logo was also designed and used.
In 1909, Pepsi was advertised by a famous racer at the time, who described the drink as “A bully drink… refreshing, invigorating, a fine bracer before a race.” The slogan for the advertisement campaign was “Delicious and Healthful”, which was used for over 20 years.
During 1922 & 1933, The Coca-Cola Company was offered a chance to buy the Pepsi-Cola company, and it declined on three separate occasions.
In 1926, Pepsi had its first logo redesign since the original design in 1905, and only three years later, the logo was changed again.
From the early 1930’s, Pepsi-Cola’s most used slogan was “Pepsi-Cola Hits the Spot” – which was used again for over 20 years.
In 1931, during the Great Depression in 1931, the Pepsi-Cola Company entered bankruptcy, mainly due to the rapid increase of price on sugar after World War.
The Pepsi trademark was sold to Roy C. Megargel, then shortly after sold to the President of Loft Inc, Charles Guth. Loft Inc was a candy manufacturer with several successful retail stores. After the company got into an argument with Coca-Cola about discount on syrup, Charles Guth used the company’s chemists to reformulate the Pepsi-Cola syrup formula.
In 1936, Pepsi-Cola introduced a 12 ounce bottle for the same price as a 6.5 ounce bottle of Coca-Cola, with a clever radio advertising campaign targeting anyone trying to save money, Pepsi-Cola’s profits doubled within two years, taking them out of bankruptcy.
By the 1940’s, Walter Mack became the President of Pepsi-Cola, where he aimed Pepsi-Cola at African Americans to increase sales, as soda for African Americans was an untouched gap in the market. After a couple of years – and many problems – he hired Edward F. Boyd to run the campaign where he led a team of black people around the country to promote Pepsi. During this time, Edward Boyd’s team received a lot of racial discrimination, from insults by Pepsi co-workers, to threats by the Ku Klux Klan. During this campaign, they visited Chicago, where the sales of Pepsi overtook Coca-Cola for the first time. The only problem with the advertising campaign was that by directly aiming Pepsi at black people, they were cutting out everyone else, which is not what they intended to do, as a result, once Walter Mack left the company in 1950, the black sales team was no longer used.
In the 1950’s, the new president for Pepsi-Cola was Alfred N. Steele, whose wife, Joan Crawford – an actress – became the spokesperson for Pepsi, appearing on television advertising Pepsi. She took on Alfred Steel’s role when he died in 1959. She held this position until 1973. During this time, the Pepsi logo was redesigned again, which was used until 1987.
In 1975, PepsiCo set up a blind tasting between Pepsi-Cola and rival Coca-Cola, during these blind taste tests, the majority of people picked Pepsi their favourite of the two. This was advertised world-wide for many years where more and more people agreed that Pepsi was the better tasting cola.
In 1987, the font of Pepsi in the logo was slightly modified to a more rounded version which was used until 1991.
In 1991, Pepsi was sold in Israel for the first time.
Pepsi Center is an indoor multi-purpose sports arena in Denver, Colorado, United States.
Pepsi sponsors the Pakistan cricket team.
Over the years, PepsiCo has used many celebrities to advertise Pepsi, some of these include: Joan Crawford, Cindy Crawford, Michael Jackson, Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera, Janet Jackson, Mariah Carey, One Direction and Beyoncé.
In 2007, PepsiCo redesigned its cans for the 14th time!
In 2009, Pepsi, Diet Pepsi & Pepsi Max used the lower-case font for the Pepsi name brand.
In 2012, Pepsi introduced Pepsi Next, which has half the amount of calories as a regular Pepsi.
In Back to the Future Part II, in the scenes set in 2015, a variation of Pepsi shown in the movie was Pepsi Perfect, which is not an actual Pepsi product… yet!
Finally, if like me, the only flavours you’ve seen of Pepsi is cherry, then you’ll be shocked to know there have been many flavours produced around the world. If you’ve never heard of the Pepsi Ice Cucumber flavour, here’s a few more of the most delicious and bizarre flavours we’ve found:
Australia: Pepsi Samba (Mango and Tamarind flavour).
Italy: Pepsi Twist Mojito.
Japan: Pepsi White (yoghurt flavour), Pepsi Blue Hawaii (pineapple lemon flavour), Pepsi Red (spicy ginger flavour), Pepsi Baobab (monkey bread fruit flavour), Pepsi Pink (strawberry milk flavour), Pepsi Mont Blanc (based on a French chestnut dessert), Pepsi Shiso and Azuki Sweet Bean Pepsi.
Poland: Pepsi Summer Chill (apple flavour).
Russia: Pepsi Ice Cream & Pepsi Cappuccino.
Thailand: Pepsi Fire (hot cinnamon flavour) and Pepsi Ice (cool mint flavour).
USA: Pepsi Holiday (cinnamon flavour), Pepsi Vanilla and Pepsi Jazz, which came in three flavours, black cherry French vanilla, strawberries and Cream, and caramel cream.