"Cola Wars" What are the reasons for the enmity between "Pepsi" and "Coca-Cola"?

"Cola Wars" What are the reasons for the enmity between "Pepsi" and "Coca-Cola"?

Despite the fierce competition between the two sides since the first day of their founding in the late 19th century, the marketing campaign that Pepsi ignited in 1975 marked the beginning of the decade-long Cola wars, and ended in favor of Coca-Cola in the last round in 1996.

The term "Cola Wars", which appeared in the United States in the early eighties of the last century, refers to the long and intense rivalry between the two giants of the soft drink industry, "Coca-Cola" and "Pepsi", which engaged in advertising and marketing campaigns against each other.

In fact, it was Pepsi who started the war in the mid-seventies after launching a marketing campaign that relied primarily on creating a taste challenge to choose the best taste without knowing the brand of the drink the participants were drinking.

Although the competition between the two companies has existed since their founding in the late nineteenth century, the taste challenge created by PepsiCo represented an important turning point in their marketing struggle, which is still ongoing to this day, which aims to capture the largest share in the market for each of them. Soft drinks.

Soft drinks as a cure

Coca-Cola appeared for the first time in May 1886 in the United States, after the American pharmacist John Smith Pemberton managed to find an alternative drink to relieve pain instead of using the addictive morphine. Pemberton used cocoa leaves and a small amount of cocaine in his recipe, and began offering his drink in drugstores as a headache remedy.

Subsequently, Pemberton added alcohol to his product, called it "French wine coca" and began promoting it more widely. However, the decision to ban alcoholic beverages in the state of Georgia issued in 1886, prompted Pemberton to replace alcohol with carbonated water "soda" in addition to sugar.

As for Pepsi, it first appeared under the name "Brad's drink" in North Carolina in 1893 by another pharmacist named Caleb Bradham, who prepared the drink and sold it in his pharmacy as a cure for indigestion. But the success of "Coca-Cola" prompted Brad to change the name of his drink to "Pepsi-Cola" and establish a company in 1902 under the name "Pepsi-Cola". And "Pepsi" is a Latin word meaning digestion.

It is noteworthy that the company "Schweppes" for soft drinks, which was acquired by "Coca-Cola" at an earlier time, is the oldest soft drink company in the world, as it was founded in Geneva in 1783 by the watchmaker and inventor Johann Schwepp, after adding soda to water to invent the first water gaseous in the world.

Which of the two drinks tastes better?

During the decades that followed the establishment of the two companies, "Pepsi" and "Coca-Cola", the "Coca-Cola" drink succeeded in becoming the most popular drink in the United States, and the company was able to grow exponentially as well as expand into markets outside America, unlike Pepsi, which announced Bankruptcy more than once, starting with the sugar crisis that struck America after the First World War, and later after the Great Depression that hit the American stock market in 1929.

By the mid-1970s, although it had been 10 years since Pepsi had merged with Frito-Lay under the name PepsiCo, they could not compete with Coca-Cola, which controlled more than 60% of the soft drink market in the United States. the United States at the time.

In order to take a bigger share, in 1975, "Pepsi", along with its contract with the most famous American singer Michael Jackson, started a marketing campaign during which it relied on the product of its dominant competitor "Coca-Cola". The campaign was based on a taste test in which participants consumed both drinks "Pepsi". And "Coca-Cola" while their eyes are closed.

During the campaign, the result was decided in favor of "Pepsi" by a very large margin, as tests showed that the public preferred the taste of "Pepsi" whose formula contains more sugar than that of the "Coca-Cola" drink.

Cola war

After losing the taste challenges faced by Pepsi, Coca-Cola decided in 1985 to change its product formula, add more sugar than Pepsi, and named its new product, New Coke. However, contrary to what was expected, it failed miserably, and almost led the company to bankruptcy, and it was forced to return its old drink to the market again.

After losing the first round of the war with Pepsi, Coca-Cola decided to focus on new and innovative marketing methods to address the growing popularity of its competition, especially among young people, and allocated a budget of about 250 million dollars to launch huge advertising campaigns, including sending the "Coca-Cola" drink to The Challenger astronauts in 1985.

During the next 10 years, thanks to its innovative advertising campaigns, the Coca-Cola Company was able to win the "Cola War" in its favour, especially after the miserable failure of Pepsi's advertising campaign in 1996, losing 47% of its profits to Coca-Cola.

Currently, the competition between the two companies is still fierce, but the advertising campaigns are no longer directed directly to challenge the products of the two parties.

"Pepsi" and "Coca-Cola" are the two largest soft drinks and food companies in the world, and under them are dozens of different brands. The market value of "Coca-Cola" and "Pepsi" in 2020 reached about 240 and 214 billion dollars, respectively, while Pepsi's revenues amounted to For about $70 billion in the same period, Coca-Cola's revenue amounted to nearly $30 billion.
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