Coca-Cola was originally invented by John Pemberton and patented as French Wine Coca nerve tonic in 1885. Pemberton was hoping to create a substitute for morphine, to which he had become addicted after an injury during the Civil War.
His original recipe contained both alcohol and cocaine but, after prohibition was enacted in Georgia, Pemberton removed the alcohol. He had renamed the drink "Coca-Cola" by 1886. Cocaine was removed from the formula in 1903.
Originally Coke was sold as a cure-all medicine at soda fountains. It was bottled for the first time in Vicksburg, Mississippi, during 1891, while Coke cans didn't appear until 1955.
Since 2012, Coca Cola has been officially available for sale in every country in the world, except North Korea and Cuba.
More about Coca-Cola:
- Originally, Coke used bitter kola nuts as a source of caffeine, but they have been removed from the modern formula.
- The original recipe for Coca-Cola was committed to paper when investors bought the company in 1919. It is currently in a vault on display at the World of Coca-Cola in Atlanta.
- Coca-Cola has been one of the top three most valuable brands in the world for over a decade as of 2014, according to brand consultancy, Interbrand.
Frequently Asked Questions
Who is the original inventor of Coca-Cola?
The original inventor of Coca-Cola was Dr. John Stith Pemberton, a pharmacist from Atlanta, Georgia. On May 8, 1886, he created the syrup for Coca-Cola and carried a jug of the new product down the street to Jacobs' Pharmacy, where it was sampled, pronounced "excellent," and placed on sale for five cents a glass as a soda fountain drink. Pemberton's bookkeeper, Frank M. Robinson, is credited with naming the beverage and designing its trademarked, distinct script.
What was the initial purpose of creating Coca-Cola?
Coca-Cola was initially created as a patent medicine. Dr. John Stith Pemberton sought to develop a coca wine and ended up creating a distinctive tonic that contained extracts of coca leaf and kola nut. The beverage was marketed as a remedy for various ailments, including morphine addiction, indigestion, nerve disorders, headaches, and impotence. It was also promoted for its uplifting qualities that could relieve exhaustion.
How did Coca-Cola evolve from a pharmacy drink to a mass-produced beverage?
After Pemberton's death in 1888, Asa Candler, a businessman, acquired complete ownership of the Coca-Cola business. Under Candler's leadership, aggressive marketing strategies were employed, and the distribution of Coca-Cola expanded beyond Atlanta. Candler also focused on bottling the beverage, which allowed for wider distribution and increased popularity. By 1895, Coca-Cola was being sold in every state in the U.S., marking its evolution from a pharmacy drink to a mass-produced beverage.
What role did the Coca-Cola Company play in the drink's global expansion?
The Coca-Cola Company, established in 1892 by Asa Griggs Candler, played a crucial role in the global expansion of the drink. Strategic marketing, branding efforts, and franchised bottling operations allowed the company to scale up production and distribution. The company's decision to provide equipment and syrup to independent bottling companies enabled rapid expansion both domestically and internationally. By the early 20th century, Coca-Cola was being sold in multiple countries, laying the groundwork for its status as a global icon.
Has the formula for Coca-Cola changed since its creation?
Yes, the formula for Coca-Cola has undergone changes since its creation. The most notable change was the removal of cocaine, which was present in the original recipe due to the use of coca leaves. This ingredient was phased out by 1929 with the development of "spent" coca leaves, which contained only trace amounts of the cocaine alkaloid. Additionally, the company briefly introduced "New Coke" in 1985 with a new formula, but due to public backlash, the original formula was reinstated as "Coca-Cola Classic."