Caleb Bradham

Pepsi Cola is one of the most popular products in the world today, almost as famous for its commercials rival soft drink Coca-Cola. These beverages are so popular that even in recent decades, diet and sugar-free samples have been made and offered to applicants with overweightness or diseases such as diabetes. Coca-Cola and Pepsi cola are two very famous brands that have almost dominated the market and formed one of the oldest commercial competitions in the last century.

From its simple origins more than 125 years ago in a North Carolina pharmacy, Pepsi has grown into a product accessible in multiple formulations. Find out how this simple soda became a player in the last decade and became a pop star's best friend.


Reviewing the story of Pepsi's invention and growing into a large, global company in the beverage industry has fascinating story that shows that innovation does not necessarily mean inventing cutting edge technologies or developing strange and complicated device such as an airplane or a light bulb. Sometimes, innovation can be a new way of producing, new method of cooking food, and even producing and offering a different beverage.


An interesting point, or in other words, a common feature of the famous brands of Coca-Cola and Pepsi, is the prominent role of medical and pharmaceutical disciplines among their founders and early inventors. John Pemberton, the famous American physician and genius of chemistry, in 1886, to help quit morphine addiction, made a carbonated drink from the leaves of the plant "Coca", a wonderful drink that later branded Coca-Cola. Its famous competing brand also started from such a similar discipline.

 The original formula for Pepsi Cola was invented in 1893 by pharmacist Caleb Bradham. Like many pharmacists at the time, he operated a soda fountain in his pharmacy, where he served drinks that he created himself. His most popular beverage was something he called "Brad's drink," a mix of sugar, water, caramel, lemon oil, kola nuts, nutmeg, and other additives.

As the beverage become popular among costumers, Bradham decided to give it a snappier name, eventually settling on Pepsi-Cola. in1903, he had trademarked the name and was selling his soda syrup to pharmacies and other vendors throughout North Carolina. By the end of 1910, franchisers were selling Pepsi in 24 states. 


There are various consideration of this name change, including its role in relieving indigestion or "Dyspepsia" and the presence of "Cola" to emphasize the smell and taste of this flower in the drink. Of course, some believe that the name Pepsi refers to the similar function of this drink with the enzyme "Pepsin" in digestion, however this enzyme was never used in the production of Pepsi Cola. "Pepsi Cola" became shorter in the following decades and today it is known as "Pepsi".


By 1905, the company's sales had grown so much that instead of focusing on pharmacies and selling syrup as a remedy for indigestion, the design of an exclusive bottle was put on the agenda and began to be sold to grocery stores. Bradham has contracted with two bottling companies to meet growing customer demand.


During this time, Pepsi's strategies changed dramatically, and while its motto as a digestive aid product was "invigorating, powerful, and aiding digestion," this time the emphasis was on celebrities and their marketing power. In 1913, the company was able to reach an agreement with Barney Oldfield, the famous racing driver, and the athlete was effectively selected as the company's spokesperson and advertising ambassador. With the slogan "Drink Pepsi-Cola. It Will Satisfy You, he increased the reputation of this brand. Pepsi continued this policy in the following decades, and many successful and famous people in the world of sports, media, etc., were selected to advertise the product.

Despite these astonishing successes, Pepsi's story has had its ups and downs. During World War II, Caleb Bradham, who thought that sugar prices would continue to rise, made significant investments. But as sugar prices dropped, this led to the bankruptcy of Bradham, and Pepsi became the property of Charles G. Guth, CEO of Loft, in 1923. He worked hard to re-establish Pepsi and even offered to sell the company to Coca-Cola owners. The offer went unanswered, and while no one expected Pepsi to succeed again, the company started again to success.

Guth reformulated Pepsi and began selling the soda in 12-ounce bottles for just 5 cents, which was twice as much as what Coke offered in its 6-ounce bottles. Advertising Pepsi as "twice as much for a nickel," Pepsi scored an unexpected hit as its "Nickel Nickel" radio jingle became the first to be broadcast coast to coast. Eventually, it would be recorded in 55 languages and named one of the most effective ads of the 20th century by Advertising Age.

In the years after World War II, Pepsi continued to grow. Innovations such as the launch of the first diet soda in 1964, decaffeinated, flavored drinks (cherries, vanilla, etc.) as well as the design of products for the younger generation, enlarged the company's market and practically Pepsi and Coca-Cola became permanent competitors. .


It should be noted that despite the almost identical policy of protecting the basic formulas of production in the form of trade secrets, in both Pepsi and Coca-Cola, there are some similarities and fine differences in relation to their intellectual property strategies. For example, both companies focused on the trademark and its registration in the very early years of its operation, while at the same time forming an extensive patent portfolio for a variety of bottle designs, beverage formulas, and new products. However, in patent litigation, which is often settled out of court, away from media, Pepsi has pursued a more aggressive strategy and can even be said to have been more successful than its rival. Coca-Cola, meanwhile, has tried to address most of these issues through trade agreements, focusing on new innovations and market development.