Fun Facts About Pepsi

The Coca-Cola Company had the opportunity to purchase Pepsi-Cola company three times between 1922 and 1933, but declined every time.

Pepsi, originally known as Brad’s Drink in 1893, has grown into a multi-billion dollar brand offering more than just cola.

PepsiCo’s Dominance

PepsiCo is the parent company of Pepsi and other well-known brands including Lay’s potato chips, Doritos, Tropicana, 7 Up, Mountain Dew, Naked Juice, and Nobby’s Nuts.

Created in a Drugstore

Pepsi, initially called Brad’s Drink, was developed by Caleb Bradham in his drug store in New Bern, North Carolina in 1893, where it was later sold.

The drink was renamed Pepsi-Cola on August 28, 1898, after two of its ingredients, pepsin and kola nuts.

Vanilla and sugar were also included in the original recipe. In 1903, Pepsi Cola became a registered trademark and moved from Caleb’s drug store to a rented warehouse. Within a year, sales increased to 19,848 gallons.

Pepsi-Cola Hits the Spot

In 1905, the Pepsi-Cola logo was first designed and used. A famous racer advertised Pepsi in 1909, describing it as “refreshing, invigorating, a fine bracer before a race.”

The slogan “Delicious and Healthful” was used for over 20 years. From the early 1930s, the most used slogan was “Pepsi-Cola Hits the Spot.”

Pepsi-Cola Company’s Financial Struggles

In 1931, during the Great Depression, the Pepsi-Cola Company went bankrupt due to the rapid increase in sugar prices after World War I.

The Pepsi trademark was sold to Roy C. Megargel, then to Charles Guth, the President of Loft Inc, a candy manufacturer with successful retail stores.

After a dispute with Coca-Cola about discounts on syrup, Charles Guth changed the formula of the Pepsi-Cola syrup using the company’s chemists.

Filling Market Gaps & Facing Backlash

In 1936, Pepsi-Cola introduced a 12-ounce bottle for the same price as a 6.5-ounce Coca-Cola bottle, doubling their profits within two years with a clever radio advertising campaign targeting cost-conscious consumers.

In the 1940s, Walter Mack targeted African Americans to increase sales, as soda for this demographic was an untapped market. He hired Edward F. Boyd to lead a team of black people around the country to promote Pepsi, but they faced racial discrimination from Pepsi co-workers and the Ku Klux Klan.

In the course of their advertising campaign, the Pepsi team visited Chicago, where they surpassed Coca-Cola in sales for the first time. However, the campaign’s direct targeting of black people had the unintended consequence of excluding other groups. After Walter Mack’s departure from the company in 1950, the black sales team was no longer utilized.

In the 1950s, Pepsi-Cola’s new president was Alfred N. Steele, whose actress wife Joan Crawford became the face of Pepsi in television ads. Joan took over as president after Steele’s death in 1959. During her tenure, Pepsi became the sixth-largest military in the world. Joan held her position until 1973, during which time the Pepsi logo underwent yet another redesign.

In 1975, PepsiCo conducted a blind taste test between Pepsi-Cola and Coca-Cola, with most participants selecting Pepsi as their preferred cola. This led to a worldwide advertising campaign that reinforced Pepsi’s reputation as a superior-tasting cola.

Over the years, PepsiCo has employed a variety of celebrities to endorse Pepsi in their advertisements, including Joan Crawford, Cindy Crawford, Michael Jackson, Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera, Janet Jackson, Mariah Carey, One Direction, and Beyoncé. PepsiCo has also released a variety of flavors around the world, including Pepsi Samba (mango and tamarind) in Australia, Pepsi Twist Mojito in Italy, and Pepsi Fire (hot cinnamon) in Thailand.


1. What is the history of Pepsi?

Pepsi was first introduced in 1898, by a pharmacist named Caleb Bradham in New Bern, North Carolina. It was originally called “Brad’s Drink” and was made with a mixture of sugar, water, caramel, lemon oil, nutmeg, and other natural ingredients. In 1903, the name was changed to Pepsi-Cola, and in 1961, it was shortened to just Pepsi.

2. What is the meaning behind the name Pepsi?

The name Pepsi comes from the digestive enzyme pepsin, which was believed to aid in digestion. Caleb Bradham believed that his drink would “aid digestion and boost energy”, and so he named it Pepsi-Cola.

3. What is the Pepsi logo and what does it represent?

The Pepsi logo is a circle with a red, white, and blue color scheme. It was designed in 1940 to represent a “cultural bridge” between the United States and Canada, where Pepsi was sold. The logo was updated in 2008 to be more modern and streamlined, but the basic design and color scheme remain the same.

4. What are some of the unique flavors of Pepsi?

Pepsi has released a variety of unique flavors over the years, including Pepsi Blue, a blue-colored drink with a berry flavor; Pepsi Twist, which had a lemon flavor; and Pepsi Kona, which was made with coffee extract. There have also been limited edition flavors like Pepsi Fire, which had a cinnamon flavor, and Pepsi Salted Caramel, which was released in 2017.

5. What is the Pepsi Challenge?

The Pepsi Challenge was a marketing campaign that began in 1975, in which participants were asked to blind taste test Pepsi and Coca-Cola and choose which one they preferred. The campaign was a huge success and helped to boost Pepsi’s sales and popularity.

6. What is the Pepsi Refresh Project?

The Pepsi Refresh Project was a philanthropic campaign launched in 2010, in which Pepsi pledged to donate millions of dollars to fund community projects proposed by individuals and organizations. The project ran for two years and funded over 1,000 projects across the United States.

7. What is the relationship between Pepsi and Michael Jackson?

Pepsi had a long-standing relationship with Michael Jackson, beginning in 1983 when he appeared in a commercial for the company. In 1984, Pepsi sponsored Jackson’s “Victory” tour, and in 1988, they signed a $5 million deal for him to star in a series of commercials. In 1984, Jackson also suffered from a severe burn during the filming of a Pepsi commercial, which led to him undergoing numerous surgeries and becoming addicted to painkillers.

8. What is the PepsiCo Foundation?

The PepsiCo Foundation is the philanthropic arm of PepsiCo, and it works to support communities around the world through grants, partnerships, and volunteerism. The foundation focuses on areas like nutrition, water, and economic empowerment, and has donated over $1 billion since its inception in 1962.

9. What are some of the controversies surrounding Pepsi?

Pepsi has been involved in several controversies over the years, including accusations of using child labor in its supply chain, contributing to environmental damage, and using controversial ingredients like high fructose corn syrup. The company has taken steps to address these issues, such as implementing a sustainable agriculture program and reducing its use of high fructose corn syrup.

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