Sunday, May 8, 2011

Coke celebrates 125 years of being 'the real thing'

EXACTLY 125 years ago an Atlanta pharmacist mixed up a cure for headache and fatigue and stumbled upon the recipe for what has become one of the world's most recognisable drinks and brand names.

Coca Cola is celebrating the moment when on May 8, 1886 John Pemberton made his way into American culture, creating a soft drink now sold in more than 200 countries and earning the company a place among the world's top 100 firms.

Regular Coke, as opposed to its numerous offshoots such as Diet Coke, remains the world's favorite soda with a whopping 17 per cent market share, trouncing its rival Pepsi. The recipe is a closely guarded secret passed down through the generations, and according to legend safely stashed away in a company vault.

'The Coca Cola saga has been reverentially preserved and nurtured over the years,' writes author Mark Pendergrast in his book For God, Country And Coca-Cola which relates the history of the drink.

The official version of events in this rags-to-riches story 'has all the earmarks of the class American success myth.' According to the legend which has grown up around Coke the poor but kindly Pemberton was transformed from a dishwasher into a millionaire.

But in reality Pemberton was no grumpy, herbal doctor who unwittingly brewed up his magic potion in his backyard, Pendergrast maintains. Coca-Cola was a typical by-product of 'the golden age of quackery' at the end of the 1800s when many doctors were trying to patent all kinds of cures and medicines for a variety of ailments.-- AFP

1 comment:

  1. This is my first time of hearing the history of cocacola....interesting..but it has lost it's flavour, it has become kind of bland and leaves my teeth edgy...hardly take soft drinks though.