Pepsi Cola. Pepsico History.
In 1893, Caleb Bradham created a drink in his home spicing it with kola nuts and the enzyme pepsin. At first, he called it “Brad’s Drink” and this was the first name of Pepsi Cola. It was so delicious that he soon started selling it in his neighborhood. Later, in 1898, this tasty beverage was renamed to Pepsi Cola and this was when the start of this world brand was put.
The first years Bradham prepared Pepsi in his drugstore, but soon he was not able to supply the increased quantity that people wanted to buy. In 1903 he rented a building where the bottling of the drink was moved. The sales in that year reached almost 30000 liters. Seeing a big potential in his drink, Caleb started building a brand and actively marketing his product. He developed a new handy bottle, which could be sold almost anywhere. This simple move more than doubled the sales, which reached nearly 75000 liters in 1904.
The next year the first logo of Pepsi was created. A few years later, Bradham hired the racer Barney Oldfield, who became the first face of Pepsi Cola, advertising it as a nice refreshing drink, a nice bracer before a race. Everything went well, Bradham enjoyed increasing sales and people enjoyed more and more his drink.
In 1936, Pepsi was sold in a 0.35L bottle for 10 cents, but the sales at that price were not going well. At that time Coca-Cola was sold at a higher price, but in smaller bottles of six once, 6 cents each. Pepsi decided to reduce the price 50% in order to increase the revenue and fight against the strong brand of its main competitor.
They combined this with some radio advertisements featuring “Pepsi-Cola hits the spot, Twelve full ounces, that’s a lot, Twice as much for a nickel, too, Pepsi-Cola is the drink for you”, and in fact, the goal was achieved.
The sales skyrocketed and the profits doubled in 1938. But the real benefit was that Pepsi became stronger and far more established brand.
In 1940, a new smart move was made by Pepsi’s new president – Walter Mack. He noticed that African Americans were ignored in the marketing campaigns of the company. This was a real gold mine because nobody was directly targeting towards them. This was a great way of increasing the market share. A “black sales” team was formed, but World War II stopped these plans.
The campaign was resumed in 1947, by Edward Boyd, who was hired for only for this purpose. A sales team only of blacks was formed to promote the drink across America. The team faced great resistance caused by racism, but this helped, because they were able to use discrimination as a weapon against Coca-Cola – they didn’t want to hire African Americans. That’s why they wouldn’t buy Coke. Pepsi’s market share increased significantly and for the first time, the sales of the company surpassed the sales of Cola in some areas (Chicago for example).
But the focus on African Americans caused some problems in the company and its bottlers. There was a fear, that Pepsi would become the “the black drink”, which would hurt the sales to whites. That’s why in 1950, the “black team” was dismissed.
Pepsi started an innovative marketing campaign in 1975 – a blind tasting of Coca-Cola and Pepsi drinks. The people who tried the drinks had to tell which one was better, without knowing what she/he drunk. Amazingly, most of the people chose Pepsi as the better drink. Later the results of these tests were shown on TV and other media, making a lot of noise and attracting a lot of attention. On the next year, the first woman was employed by the company.
In 1984 Pepsi’s new generation had become 20 years old. This was the time for the “The Choice of a New Generation” campaign to be launched. This once again puts Pepsi on the leading edge of contemporary culture. In its early stages, the New Generation campaign featured the greatest pop star of that time – Michael Jackson.
He and his famous “Billie Jean” starred in a series of Pepsi-Cola commercials. This was the time of fierce fighting between Pepsi and its main rival – Coca-Cola which, was really annoyed because of the fast rise of Pepsi. They even changed the secret recipe of the Coke, but the change was rejected by the customers and these who liked Coke, quickly switched to Pepsi. Coca-Cola had no choice and returned to the old recipe of their drink.
In the 80s many other stars were attracted for the advertising campaigns of Pepsi. Some of them were Tina Turner, David Bowie, Lionel Richie, Gloria Estefan, Glen Frey and many other. Even Geraldine Ferraro – the first woman vice-presidential candidate in the U.S participated in a campaign dedicated to “Diet Pepsi”.
During the 90s, Pepsi Co signed a huge trade agreement with The Soviet Union. The company signed a $3-billion deal to more than double production and sales of soft drinks in the Soviet Union in exchange for ships and the rights to sell more Soviet vodka in the United States. Pepsi also increased its investment activities in hot markets as Eastern Europe, Southeast Asia, Argentina and some other countries.
PepsiCo today is a world leader in convenient snacks, foods, and beverages, with more than 280000 employees and revenue reaching $60 billion of dollars. The company is the owner of some of the greatest world brands Pepsi-Cola, Mountain Dew, Diet Pepsi, Lay’s, Doritos, Tropicana, Gatorade, and Quaker.