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Today this brand is known to any person. But the start was not easy.
Sales of carbonated drink in the first year brought only losses to the founders of the company. However, with the growing popularity, there were also profits.
And the story of a successful small business began. Amateur chemist John Stith Pemberton, who owned a small pharmaceutical company in Atlanta, created an unusual recipe at home on May 8, 1886. At that time, the former army captain was forced to somehow twist to make ends meet. A long-standing childhood hobby for chemistry came to the rescue, which made it possible to open a pharmaceutical company. Having brewed a new syrup, Pemberton invited his friend, accountant Frank Robinson, to share his discovery. He appreciated the new drink and advised to keep the magic recipe. The sweet and thick syrup was offered for sale in the city's largest pharmacy. You could buy a glass of the drink for 5 cents.
The main components of the drink then were as follows: three parts of coca leaves (from which cocaine was obtained) for one part of the nuts of the tropical cola tree. The new drink was patented as a cure for any nervous disorders. The thick syrup was sold through a vending machine. Pemberton himself argued that his drink can even heal impotence, and it also helps to get rid of addiction to morphine. In those days, cocaine was not considered illegal, it was sold freely. That is why the substance was often added to drinks together with alcohol, making them tonic. So Coca-Cola did not become an innovator in this regard.
The name for the product was coined by Frank Robinson. He, possessing the gift of calligraphy, and inscribed the words Coca-Cola in beautiful letters that remain on the logo today. The new name and its style were registered as a trademark in the Patent Office. This was an extremely wise measure, because many competitors then repeatedly encroached on the corporate identity.
After the first uncertain steps, it was time for development. By the end of 1886, Coca-Cola had become a fizzy drink. It is said that a thirsty southerner stopped by a pharmacy and ordered a glass of syrup. The lazy seller did not want to go for water and offered to dilute the drink with soda. The buyer liked this combination so much that soon Coca-Cola was sold only together with soda.
In the same year, prohibition was introduced in Atlanta. People immediately began to buy more Coca-Cola, the business began to grow. Only now Pemberton's health deteriorated, and there was simply not enough capital for development. He had to sell his formula and production to create a drink to partners. Two-thirds of the stake was bought by the pharmacist Venable, who came up with the effervescent version.
Pemberton carefully recounted the classified recipe for resale: lemon oil, lime oil, nutmeg oil, nutmeg extract, coca leaf extract, vanillin, citrus acid, orange elixir, neroli oil (from orange blossom) and caffeine. For his discovery, the inventor received two thousand dollars. But this money did not help him. On August 16, 1888, Pemberton died virtually in poverty and was buried in the cemetery for the poor. Only 70 years later, a tombstone appeared on his grave.
The company owed its new step in development to an active president. He never tired of coming up with new marketing campaigns. Thus, Candler offered syrup to pharmacies in exchange for the names and addresses of regular customers. Then coupons were sent to them for the purchase of a free glass of Coca-Cola. The expectation was that the drink would be so liked by the visitors that they would certainly order it again. Kandler actively sold calendars, watches and just souvenirs with his trademark, then it was a wonder. The President launched an advertising campaign "Drink Coca-Cola!" Thanks to these actions, the business began to develop rapidly.
In 1906 "Coca-Cola" came to other countries - to Cuba and Panama. There, the company had to face a problem - a massive counterfeiting. Even detectives from the famous Pinkerton agency were hired to investigate.
Until 1894, the drink was sold on tap. This continued until the owner of the Vicksburg store, Joseph Biedenharn, decided to bottle the Coca-Cola to facilitate transportation to the plantation. And after five years, the new spill system was in full swing. Candler saw no benefit in it and sold the right for only a dollar. But it wasn't until 1928 that bottled beverage sales exceeded spill. In 1916, the original Coca-Cola bottle appeared, which helped the drink stand out from the competition.
Benjamin Thomas came up with an unusual bottle with a "waist". He bought the rights to sell the bottled drink. Looking for ways to increase profits, Thomas found a form that made his product stand out. The bottle could be identified in the dark and by touch, and even by the fragments it was possible to understand that it contained Coca-Cola. And she helped to come up with an unusual form of fashion. From 1914, women began to wear skirts-years, intercepted below the waist. These proportions were great for bottles too, which benefited sales. By that time, the bottled drink had already been produced for 15 years; by the beginning of the 1920s, the number of factories selling Coca-Cola in glass containers had exceeded a thousand. In 1977, the contour bottle was registered as one of the company's trademarks.
Santa Claus was hooked up to the advertising campaigns, and he became the star of the Christmas ad for soda water. The image turned out to be so successful that many Americans generally believe that Santa was invented by Coca-Cola. After all, the wizard is dressed exactly in corporate colors and constantly carries a recognizable bottle with him. In 1931, the American artist Haddon Sundblom, commissioned by Coca-Cola, designed a red and white suit for Santa. Until that moment, the wizard dressed in whatever he had to. The artist also came up with the face of Santa, simply depicting himself.
There are many small but handy inventions associated with the drink. So, in 1933, the first vending machines for Coca-Cola bottles appeared. Six-packs appeared in stores, a package of six bottles. The company came up with portable refrigerators that could be put in any store. This allowed the consumer to get much closer to the final product.
In 1919, Aza Kandler sold his brainchild to Atlanta banker Ernst Woodruff and a group of investors for $ 25 million. In 1923 the company was taken over by Robert Woodruff, the owner's 33-year-old son. He headed Coca-Cola for 60 years, becoming its true legend. Robert focused on the quality of the drink. During his tenure, he created the Coca-Cola Export Corporation, which developed business around the world.
A unified standard for the production and sale of bottled drinks was approved. In 1928, the Americans brought a thousand cases of Coca-Cola to the Olympics. Since then, the drink has become firmly associated with sports. Coca-Cola also sponsors the Olympics, World Championships in football and ice hockey, tennis and other sports.
Before the outbreak of World War II, the drink was already sold in 44 countries. At this time Coca-Cola itself was already at war with its main competitor - Pepsi. Robert Woodruff said that during the war, every person in uniform, wherever he was, should be able to buy a bottle of Coca-Cola for 5 cents. As a result, more than 5 million bottles were sold during this time.
In 1958 Fanta appeared in the company's assortment, and in 1961 - Sprite. Since 1960, Coca-Cola has been sold in cans. In 1979 the company was headed by Roberto Gozueta. And in 1985, the legendary drink traveled to space.
Today "Coca-Cola" consists of 11 large bottling companies, which are national in size and several dozen separate unconsolidated bottlers. Today the company produces about 200 types of drinks. Coca-Cola, Fanta and Sprite account for about 80% of the company's global sales. There are 70 varieties of "Fanta" alone. Also "Coca-Cola" produces juices, iced teas and coffee. The company's products are sold in almost 200 countries, with about a billion units sold every day.