The history of Pepsi

By Thibault Vanderschooten

Dear Sodaholic readers,

Here is a short article about the history of Pepsi Cola.

Pepsi is an american sparkling soda created in North Carolina and commercialize by the PepsiCo company.

pepsi-brads-drink-board

The story began in 1893 at New Bern with the pharmacist Caleb D. Bradham. He made a drug against digestive problem with cola nuts and Seltz water. The beverage had an unexpected success and a lot of curious people wanted to taste “the Brad’s Drink”, first name of Pepsi. In 1902, the Brad’s Drink became officially Pepsi Cola.

The success was huge at the beginning and Caleb D. Bradham decided to transfer hist factory from his pharmacy to a rented warehouse. The first year Pepsi sold 30.000 liters of his syrup and more than 75.000 the year after. But the pharmacist had to face the WWI and the rise of the sugar price and his business collapsed for the first time.

To face the situation, Roy C. Megargel bought the company in 1923 but the lack of ressources led the company to another bankrupt in 1931.

At that time the war against Coca Cola was too hard for Pepsi and a the new owner : Charles Guth tried to relaunch the company. In 1933, he doubled the quantity of the Pepsi bottles and keep the same price. It was the famous slogan of Pepsi “Twice as much for a nickel”. Pepsi made the first Radio ad of the history with this slogan.

pepsi_cola_worth_a_dime

During the 30’s economic crisis Pepsi doubled its benefits bus was still far away from Coca Cola with 1% of market share. Moreover, with its low cost strategy, Pepsi had the image of the poor’s soda.

pepsi5In 1950 Pepsi Cola made a strong come back with another strategy, a new “spiral” bottle, it the beginning of the “Pepsi Generation” the soda for young people “make friends, drink Pepsi”…
Pepsi is the healthy beverage and some stars became the ambassador of Pepsi Cola as Joan Corbeil. Pepsi Cola became the beverage of young and healthy people.

During the 60’s, the red, blue and white colors became the identity of the brand. In 1965 Pepsi made the first “Cola Light” : the Diet Pepsi.

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Pepsi became a powerful brand all around the world, it’s the first product to go through the “iron curtain” in 1963.

In 1965, Pepsi launched the “cola taste challenge” and won it. They proved that pepsi has a better taste than Coca Cola and used a new slogan “Have a Pepsi Day”.

During the 80’s Pepsi used a lots of stars again to promote its soda. They used “thriller” of Michael Jackson but other people such as : Ray Charles, Magic Johnson… They continue this strategy with Mariah Carey, Eva Longoria, Kanye West and more recently “One Direction”.

In 2009 Pepsi changed again his logo and is marketing strategy to became the Company we all know today.
The latest big campaign was about “back to the futur”, they decided to launch the bottle of the movie.

pepsi-ppr

 History of Pepsi logos

logos-pepsi

REFERENCES :

  1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pepsi
  2. http://pepsi-alexcoulombe.com/fr/entreprise/histoire/pepsi
  3. http://ressources.aunege.fr/nuxeo/site/esupversions/27b8236b-063e-4d64-8571-4b3935d719e0/EmeMarSod/co/Histoire.html
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