Coca Cola is the world’s largest producer of soft drink concentrates and syrups, as well as the worlds’s largest producer ofjuice and juice-drink products, The company holds a 45% interest in Coca Cola Enterprises, its largest bottler. The Beverages division primarily manufactures soft drink and non-carbonated beverages and syrups, which are sold to independent and company-owned bottling and canning operations, as well as, fountain wholesalers.
Brands include Coca-Cola classic ( best selling soft drink in the world), Caffeine free Coca-Cola Classic, Diet Coke ( sold as Coke light in foreign markets), Cherry Coke, diet Cherry Coke, Fanta, Sprite, diet Sprite, Barq’s, Mr. PIBB, Mello Yello, Tab, Fresca, Power Aide, Minute Maid, Fruitopia and other products developed for specific markets, including Georgia ready to drink coffees. The Foods division is the world’s largest maker and distributor ofjuice and juice-drink products. Brands include Minute Maid, Five Alive, Bright & Early, Hi-C And Bacardi.
Coke was invented in 1886, by Atlanta pharmacist John S. Pemberton, It was named by Frank- Robinson (Pemberton’s bookkeeper), after it’s two main ingredients, coca leaves and Kola nuts, In 1891 the company was sold to druggist Asa Candler for $2. 300, and by 1895 the soda fountain drink was available in all US states, and expanded to Candia and Mexico by 1898, Candier sold most of the US bottling rights in 1899 to Benjamin Thomas and John Whitehead of Chattanooga for $1. 00. With the backing of John Lupton, Thomas and Whitehead developed a regional franchise bottling system, expanding to over 1,000 bottlers within 20 years.
The bottlers used the contoured bottle designed by the C. J. Root Glass Company in 1916, In 1916 Candler retired to become Atianta’s mayor; his family sold the company to Atlanta banker Ernest Woodruff for $25 million in 1919, that same year Coca-Cola went public. In 1923 Wooddruff appointed his son Robert president. Robert continued as chairman until 1942 and remained influential until his death in 1985 at the age of 95- Robert Woodruffs contribution were in adverting and overseas expansion.
During NnrWIl Woodrtiff decreed that every soldier would have access to a 5-cent bottle of Coke. With government assistance Coca-Cola built 64 overseas bottling plants during WKVII. Also during this period the company accepted “Coke” as an official brand name. In 1960 Coca-Cola brought Ntinute Maid and introduced Sprite in 1961, Tab in 1963 and Diet Coke in 1882. In 1981 Woodruff was succeeded by Roberto Goizueta, a Yale educated chemical engineer, who rose through the ranks. Goizueta is credited with refocusing and rejuvenating the company.
In 1982 Coke purchased Columbia Pictures followed by several other entertainment purchases. All were sold to Sony in 1989. In 1989 the company consolidated the US Bottling operations it owned into Coca-Cola Enterprises and sold 5 1 % of the new Company to the public. In 1990 Coke introduced Powerade, its entry in the rapidly growing sports drink mark-et. In 199’/,- the company formed Coca-Cola Refreshments-Moscow, established operations in Afiica and renounced its return to India. In 1993 Coke entered a joint venture with FEMSA, Mexico’s largest beverage Co.
The 90’s has not found Coke resting on its’ laurels either. To keep up with the lifestyles changes and decline in cola consumption, coke set forth a plan of sassy advertising and new-age product diversification. To attract younger consumers, Coke introduced Fruitopia “alternative” fruit drinks to compete with Snapple and Powerade to Challenge Gaterade. In 1995 Coke bought Barq’s root Beer it’s first US beverage purchase in 3 decades. Also in another campaign to boost sales, Coke sponsored the 1994 World Cup and the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta.