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Coca-Cola (often abbreviated to “Coke”) is a carbonated cola drink, and is one of the worlds oldest and most popular soft drinks. The Coca-Cola Company’s headquarters are located in Atlanta, Georgia, where the drink was first concocted around 1886. Coke’s inventor John Pemberton was not a shrewd marketer of his drink, but the ownership of Coke eventually passed to Asa Candler, whose company remains the producer of Coke today. Candler’s successful marketing, continued by his successors such as Robert Woodruff, established Coke as a major soft drink first in the United States and later around the world.
Originally designed to be sold at soda fountains, Coca-Cola was later sold in bottles, whose distinctive shape have become a part of the drink’s branding. Major advertising campaigns have established Coca-Cola slogans such as “The pause that refreshes” and “Always the Real Thing” as part of popular culture. The formula for Coke, whose status as a trade secret has been embellished by company lore, once contained trace amounts of cocaine (about 1/400th of a grain, or 0.16 milligrams, per ounce of syrup, in 1902), although this was removed around 1906 as health regulations were tightened. Nevertheless, Coca-Cola has been criticized for its possible negative health effects, with many urban myths surrounding it. In addition, the commercial success of the drink has been periodically challenged, in particular by its main rival Pepsi-Cola. This tension reached its peak during the 1980s, at the height of the Cola Wars, which eventually resulted in the heavily-publicised introduction of “New Coke”, intended to replace the original Coca-Cola. The widely unpopular decision was eventually rescinded in the face of public opposition.
The Coca-Cola Company has on occasion introduced soft drinks under the Coca-Cola brand name. The most famous of these is Diet Coke, which has become a major diet cola, but others exist, such as Cherry Coke. There are also some drinks marketed by the company but which remain unaffiliated with Coca-Cola the drink, such as Sprite.