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PEPSI COLA

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PEPSI COLA

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Pepsi-Cola is a carbonated beverage that is produced and manufactured by PepsiCo. It is sold in stores, restaurants and from vending machines. The drink was first made in the 1890s by pharmacist Caleb Bradham in New Bern, North Carolina. The brand was trademarked on June 16, 1903. There have been many Pepsi variants produced over the years since 1903, including Diet Pepsi, Crystal Pepsi, Pepsi Twist, Pepsi Max, Pepsi Samba, Pepsi Blue, Pepsi Gold, Pepsi Holiday Spice, Pepsi Jazz, Pepsi X (available in Finland and Brazil), Pepsi Next (available in Japan and South Korea), Pepsi Raw, Pepsi Retro in Mexico, Pepsi One, and Pepsi Ice Cucumber in Japan.

History

Origins

Pepsi was first made in New Bern, North Carolina, in the United States in the early 1890s by pharmacist Caleb Bradham. In 1898, "Brad's drink" was changed to "Pepsi-Cola" and later trademarked on June 16, 1903. There are several theories on the origin of the word "pepsi".

The only two discussed within the current PepsiCo website are the following:

  1. Caleb Bradham bought the name "Pep Kola" from a local competitor and changed it to Pepsi-Cola.
  2. "Pepsi-Cola" is an anagram for "Episcopal" - a large church across the street from Bradham's drugstore. There is a plaque at the site of the original drugstore documenting this, though PepsiCo has denied this theory.

The word Pepsi comes from the Greek word "pepsi" (πέψη), which is a medical term, describing the food dissolving process within one's stomach. It is also a medical term, that describes a problem with one's stomach to dissolve foods properly.

Another theory is that Caleb Bradham and his customers simply thought the name sounded good or the fact that the drink had some kind of "pep" in it because it was a carbonated drink, they gave it the name "Pepsi".

It was made of carbonated water, sugar, vanilla, rare oils, and kola nuts. Whether the original recipe included the enzyme pepsin is disputed.

In 1903, Bradham moved the bottling of Pepsi-Cola from his drugstore into a rented warehouse. That year, Bradham sold 7,968 gallons of syrup. The next year, Pepsi was sold in six-ounce bottles and sales increased to 19,848 gallons. In 1924, Pepsi received its first logo redesign since the original design of 1905. In 1926, the logo was changed again. In 1929, automobile race pioneer Barney Oldfield endorsed Pepsi-Cola in newspaper ads as "A bully drink...refreshing, invigorating, a fine bracer before a race".

In 1929, the Pepsi-Cola Company went bankrupt during the Great Depression- in large part due financial losses incurred by speculating on wildly fluctuating sugar prices as a result of World War I. Assets were sold and Roy C. Megargel bought the Pepsi trademark. Eight years later, the company went bankrupt again. Pepsi's assets were then purchased by Charles Guth, the President of Loft Inc. Loft was a candy manufacturer with retail stores that contained soda fountains. He sought to replace Coca-Cola at his stores' fountains after Coke refused to give him a discount on syrup. Guth then had Loft's chemists reformulate the Pepsi-Cola syrup formula.

Rise in popularity

During the Great Depression, Pepsi gained popularity following the introduction in 1929 of a 10-ounce bottle. Initially priced at 10 cents, sales were slow, but when the price was slashed to five cents, sales increased substantially. With a radio advertising campaign featuring the jingle "Pepsi cola hits the spot / Twelve full ounces, that's a lot / Twice as much for a nickel, too / Pepsi-Cola is the drink for you," Pepsi encouraged price-watching consumers to switch, obliquely referring to the Coca-Cola standard of six ounces a bottle for the price of five cents (a nickel), instead of the 12 ounces Pepsi sold at the same price. Coming at a time of economic crisis, the campaign succeeded in boosting Pepsi's status. In 1936 alone 500,000,000 bottles of Pepsi were consumed. From 1936 to 1938, Pepsi-Cola's profits doubled.

Pepsi's success under Guth came while the Loft Candy business was faltering. Since he had initially used Loft's finances and facilities to establish the new Pepsi success, the near-bankrupt Loft Company sued Guth for possession of the Pepsi-Cola company. A long legal battle, Guth v. Loft, then ensued, with the case reaching the Delaware Supreme Court and ultimately ending in a loss for Guth. Loft now owned Pepsi, and the two companies did a merger, then immediately spun off the Loft company.

Niche marketing
1940s advertisement specifically targeting African Americans.

1940s advertisement specifically targeting African Americans.

Walter Mack was named the new President of Pepsi-Cola and guided the company through the 1940s. Mack, who supported progressive causes, noticed that the company's strategy of using advertising for a general audience either ignored African Americans or used ethnic stereotypes in portraying blacks. He realized African Americans were an untapped niche market and that Pepsi stood to gain market share by targeting its advertising directly towards them. To this end, he hired Hennan Smith, an advertising executive "from the Negro newspaper field to lead an all-black sales team, which had to be cut due to the onset of World War II. In 1947, Mack resumed his efforts, hiring Edward F. Boyd to lead a twelve-man team. They came up with advertising portraying black Americans in a positive light, such as one with a smiling mother holding a six pack of Pepsi while her son (a young Ron Brown, who grew up to be Secretary of Commerce9) reaches up for one. Another ad campaign, titled "Leaders in Their Fields", profiled twenty prominent African Americans such as Nobel Peace Prize winner Ralph Bunche and photographer Gordon Parks.

Boyd also led a sales team composed entirely of African Americans around the country to promote Pepsi. Racial segregation and Jim Crow laws were still in place throughout much of the U.S., so Boyd's team faced a great deal of discrimination as a result, from insults by Pepsi co-workers to threats by Ku Klux Klan. On the other hand, they were able to use racism as a selling point, attacking Coke's reluctance to hire blacks and support by the chairman of Coke to segregationist Governor of Georgia Herman Talmadge. As a result, Pepsi's market share as compared to Coke's shot up dramatically. After the sales team visited Chicago, Pepsi's share in the city overtook that of Coke for the first time.

This focus on the African American market caused some consternation within the company and among its affiliates. They did not want to seem focused on black customers for fear white customers would be pushed away.In a meeting at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel, Mack tried to assuage the 500 bottlers in attendance by pandering to them, saying, "We don't want it to become known as the nigger drink. After Mack left the company in 1950, support for the black sales team faded and it was cut.

Marketing
A large advertisement made to resemble a Pepsi cup at the theme park, Nickelodeon Universe inside the Mall of America.

A large advertisement made to resemble a Pepsi cup at the theme park, Nickelodeon Universe inside the Mall of America.
The first of many new designs of Pepsi cans which were released in 2007.

The first of many new designs of Pepsi cans which were released in 2007.

In 1975, Pepsi introduced the Pepsi Challenge marketing campaign where PepsiCo set up a blind tasting between Pepsi-Cola and rival Coca-Cola. During these blind taste tests the majority of participants picked Pepsi as the better tasting of the two soft drinks. PepsiCo took great advantage of the campaign with television commercials reporting the test results to the public.

In 1996, PepsiCo launched the highly successful Pepsi Stuff marketing strategy. By 2002, the strategy was cited by Promo Magazine as one of 16 "Ageless Wonders" that "helped redefine promotion marketing.

In 2007, PepsiCo redesigned their cans for the fourteenth time, and for the first time, included more than thirty different backgrounds on each can, introducing a new background every three weeks.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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