Pepsi Behind the Scenes: 5 Surprising Facts

No matter whether or not you indulge in sodas, it’s almost a guarantee that you know about the Pepsi brand. It can be nearly impossible to go anywhere without seeing advertisements for Pepsi or see their brands well-stocked in grocery and convenience stores. Pepsi has a very long and interesting history and still remains a massive corporation with a yearly revenue of over $80 billion.

Do you know some of the ins and outs of Pepsi’s history, though? There are some facts that aren’t as well known publicly, and these five fun facts regarding the soft drink titan may surprise you.

The Original Name and Use Were Much Different

When you think of Pepsi in its current form, you probably think of a cold, refreshing soft drink that doesn’t really come with any health benefits. However, things were much different at the start for the drink. Caleb Bradham, a pharmacist in New Bern, North Carolina, came up with Brad’s Drink in 1893. Originally, Bradham felt that the drink’s formula could relieve the symptoms of dyspepsia.

Five years after the release of the drink, the marketing changed so that it was more clear of its intended use. With that, it was renamed to Pepsi-Cola in 1898. The name ended up sticking and became a staple of Americana. While Pepsi-Cola is still a familiar name thanks to the parent company being named PepsiCo, the official name of the centerpiece drink was shortened to Pepsi in 1961.

Some Countries Get Exclusive Flavors

Here in North America where Pepsi was founded, many of us are used to seeing a lot of variations from the original flavor of Pepsi. Some of the staples for Pepsi include Diet Pepsi, Pepsi Wild Cherry, and Pepsi Zero Sugar, to name a few. There have also been plenty of limited-release flavors in North America, but other countries around the world get exclusive flavors altogether.

For instance, Poland receives an apple-flavored version called Pepsi Sumemr Chill while Italy gets the Pepsi Twist Mojito. The country outside of the United States that receives the most unique flavors, though, is Japan. The country has had plenty of popular exclusive flavors including Pepsi White (yogurt-flavored) and Pepsi Ice Cucumber. Nearby in Thailand, you can get the exclusive Pepsi Latte.

A 1992 Promotion Ended in Tragedy

PepsiCo has had some of the most successful marketing campaigns in business history, and there have been many ventures into loyalty programs. In 1996, the company debuted Pepsi Points, which would return for two more waves. Most people remember the lawsuit regarding the first Pepsi Points promotion when a man who collected enough points (7 million) didn’t receive the Harrier jet promised in the commercial that was thrown out in court.

While that was comical, a promotion just four years prior in the Philippines ended in tragedy. Pepsi Number Fever had points under each cap, with the grand prize being announced as cap number 349. It turned out that there were 800,000 bottles printed with that number, leaving many in the Philippines to think they won. The following day, a new winning number with only two winners was revealed, but a riot ensued when many thought they had won $40,000, and the riots left five people dead.

Pepsi Used To Own A Lot of Restaurants

When you go to most restaurants, there’s a good chance that you’ll end up seeing Coca-Cola at the fountains, but there are a handful that use Pepsi. The primary reason for that is that Pepsi started to branch out from only selling soft drinks during the later parts of the 1970s. The company acquired popular chains like Pizza Hut, Taco Bell, KFC, California Pizza Kitchen, and even the (mostly) ill-fated Hot ‘n Now.

By the time the late 1990s came around, Pepsi decided to shift its focus from owning restaurants to the snack food business while acquiring more beverage brands. With that, the remaining brands under the Pepsi umbrella were put under the control of Tricon Global Restaurants, which is now known as Yum! Brands, Inc., a separate entity from Pepsi still uses the drink in its fountains at the previously mentioned restaurants.

Four of the 10 Most Popular Brands Are Pepsi-Owned

We all know that the Cola Wars consist mainly of Pepsi vs. Coca-Cola, and although there are some other competitors, the two are far and away the highest-selling soda companies in the world. While Coca-Cola is still the best-selling brand in the world, there is still plenty of representation for Pepsi in the top 10 highest-selling drinks.

Pepsi owns the number two spot with a market share of over $20 billion. Gatorade remains the highest-selling sports drink in the market and the sixth-highest-selling brand worldwide, and that’s also a Pepsi product. Lipton comes in at the number nine spot, entering into the top 10 as PepsiCo focused on healthier drinks. Of course, Mountain Dew is still part of the top 10, and perhaps Pepsi’s second-most-known brand.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *