Coca Cola

10 Facts You Didn't Know About Coca-Cola

Delving into the history of the storied brand, Coca-Cola
Coca Cola

We took a trip down memory lane to discover just how America's sugary drink of choice came to be.

It's easy to jump on the "down with big soda" train, seeing as more and more evidence links Coca-Cola, Pepsi, and their thousands upon thousands of products with obesity, aggression, and health problems galore. But did you know that back in the day, soda's leading lady, Coca-Cola, was in fact produced, and marketed, as a health tonic?  

Click here for the 10 Facts You Didn't Know About Coca-Cola Slideshow

Because we obviously can't get enough of soda, we took a trip down memory lane to discover just how America's sugary drink of choice came to be. Coca-Cola, which was first served in 1886 (as a fountain syrup; it was first bottled in 1891), today has more than 40 percent of the market share of sodas. But the drink has a long, twisting road as to how it came to be.

Mark Pendergast's third edition of the book For God, Country and Coca-Cola: The Definitive History of the Great American Soft Drink and the Company That Makes It gives an in-depth picture of the cultural and societal factors that made Coca-Cola into what it was. From the "nerve tonic" it was originally sold as to the intoxicating soda it is today, Coca-Cola was eventually crowned the queen of all sodas, even amid the competition. "Coca-Cola is the world's most widely distributed single product, available (legally) in every country in the world except North Korea and Cuba," said Pendergast in a Q&A. "It is the second best-known word on Earth, after 'OK.'  In the vast sweep of human history, Coca-Cola has not been around that long, and no one can predict far into the future. But I do not foresee another brand becoming as iconic any time soon." We'd have to agree.   

We learned more than we ever thought we could about Coca-Cola's reign over the world; click here to find 10 Coca-Cola facts you didn't know before


This article was originally published on August 26, 2013.