Understanding the Background of the Companies

Pepsi Cola

Founded in 1965, PepsiCo, Inc is an American food and beverage company. The name PepsiCo came about when the company merged with Frito-Lay Inc. With over 200 products available across the globe, the very first Pepsi – Cola drink was created in 1902 by Dr Caleb Bradham, a pharmacist in New Bern, North Carolina. Hoping to replicate the successes of Coca-Cola in 1898, Dr Caleb Bradham named his carbonated cola-flavoured beverage Pepsi-Cola.

The initial intention of Caleb Bradham was to create a drink for people with stomachaches. The name Pepsi – Cola was carved from pepsin (the chief digestive enzyme in the stomach), kola nuts, vanilla, and sugar. Years after its inception, with a tremendous pace in success, Dr Caleb incorporated the Pepsi-Cola company in 1902. However, the soft drink was initially known as Brad’s Drink when it was first made after Caleb Bradham himself.

Unfortunately for Bradham, his dream of duplicating the success of the Coca-Cola company came to an end when the company entered a dire strait of economic hardships after World War 1. Due to this, the company went through a phase of reincorporation and reorganisation in the 1920s. Finally, after years of numerous attempts to revamp the company, the trademark and assets of the company were bought by Charles G. Guth in 1931. He’s recognised as the modern founder of the Pepsi-Cola company.

In the wake of his takeover, Charles Guth charged a chemist to formulate a better version of Bradham’s creation. He quickly set up a bottling operation as part of expansion measures and propelled the company into a new success space. In no time, the new Pepsi-Cola beverage became so popular, and a 12-ounce bottle was sold for five cents.

The red, white, and blue colours of Pepsi were introduced to represent the American flag. Since its introduction and expansion into new markets worldwide, Pepsi has had different formulas instituted in other markets to produce products that best suit each region it finds itself in. Today Pepsi is the largest food and beverage company in North America.


The Pepsi drink comprises carbonated water, caramel colour, sugar, phosphoric acid, high fructose corn syrup, caffeine, citric acid, and natural flavours. A can of Pepsi (355 ml) contains 41 grams of carbohydrates (all sugar), 30 mg of sodium, 0 grams of fat, 0 grams of protein, 38 mg of caffeine, and 150 calories. Interestingly Pepsi has ten more calories and two grams of sugar and carbohydrates than Coca-Cola.

Nonetheless, Caffeine Free Pepsi contains the same amount of ingredients without caffeine.

Popular Beverages

Some of the infamous beverage products from PepsiCo in the U.K include 7UP, Pepsi Max, Mountain Dew, Lipton Ice Tea and Gatorade.

The Coca Cola Company

In 1886, John S. Pemberton, a Pharmacist in Atlanta, founded Coca-Cola at his Pemberton Chemical Company. Frank Robinson, his bookkeeper, brought about the beverage’s name and quickly penned it down in the Spencerian Script that became the company’s trademark.

The initial intention was to create a drink that would serve as a tonic for most common ailments, and as such, carved the glass from cocaine from the coca leaf and caffeine-rich extracts of the kola nut. However, cocaine was removed from Coca-Cola’s formula around 1903. In the wake of his creation, Pemberton sold his drink to local soda fountains, and in no time, the glass became famous and successful courtesy of advertisement. By 1891, the company was picked up by Asa Griggs Candler, another pharmacist in Atlanta. Candler secured full ownership of the company after paying $2,300 and incorporated the Coca-Cola company a year later. In 1893, the Coca-Cola trademark was registered in the U.S Patent Office.

Arguably the biggest soft drink company in the world, the company as of today produces and sells other soft drinks and citrus beverages. Boasting 2,800 products, the Coca-Cola company is the largest beverage producer and distributor in the world. Over the years, various variants of Coca-Cola have been produced across the globe. These variants include the Caffeine-Free Coca-Cola, Coca-Cola with Lemon, Coca-Cola Raspberry, Coca-Cola Orange, and Coca-Cola Black Cherry Vanilla.


When the drink was first launched, Coca Cola key ingredients were caffeine and cocaine.


In the UK, some variations of Coca-Cola include Powerade, Coca-Cola signature mixes, Schweppes, Dr Pepper, Fanta, Diet Coke, Coca-Cola Zero Sugar, and Coca-Cola Energy.

Do Coke and Pepsi contain Alcohol?

Would you have ever thought Pepsi and Coca-Cola contain alcohol? Certainly not! This is most especially the case because they both fall under the soft drinks range of nonalcoholic beverages.

According to tests undertaken by the National Institution of Consumption in Paris, France, during the year 2012, the nonalcoholic beverages contain alcohol and probably have for years. The research was carried out on cola drinks from major brands across the world and supermarkets own brands.

However, the findings were unexpected as traces of alcohol were found in Pepsi, Coca-Cola, Coke Zero, and Coca-Cola Classic Light. Alcohol levels as low as 10 mg are believed to be in every litre of these drinks. Putting it in perspective, this is about 0.0001 per cent alcohol.

These findings sparked significant concern among religious bodies, individuals from every walk of life who pride themselves on not taking alcoholic beverages yet were unknowingly consuming alcohol in their favourite soft drinks without a single thought of it.

But responding to the findings, both companies debunked the claims made by the National Institution of Consumption in Paris – citing that alcohol is not an ingredient in their recipes. Furthermore, a spokesperson of Coca-Cola intimated that the makeup of their products are regulated by government and health authorities in more than 200 countries – of which all of them have recognised Coca-Cola as a non-alcoholic beverage.


During its initial stages of introduction into the beverage market, the critical ingredients of Coke or Coca-Cola and Pepsi were cocaine and caffeine as well as carbonated water, caramel colour, and sugar, respectively.

Known as the leading producers of nonalcoholic beverages globally, minute traces of alcohol were found in products from Coca-Cola and Pepsi courtesy of research findings carried out by the National Institute of Consumption in Paris, France.

John Pemberton founded Coca-Cola in 1886, a pharmacist in Atlanta. Over the years, Coca-Cola has grown into a global brand that boasts been highly recognised as the largest manufacturers of soft drinks and a leading distributor in soft drinks across the globe.

Founded by Caleb Bradham, PepsiCo, which was built on the hopes of replicating Coca-Cola’s success in the beverage industry, has seen itself amongst the best beverage producers in the world after years of impressive performance characterised by superior product quality and customer satisfaction. 

Frequently asked questions

Many consumers of Coca-Cola were surprised when they first found out the soft drink had caffeine been part of its key ingredients. Interestingly, caffeine plays a crucial role in giving coke its unique taste. Speaking on the inclusion of caffeine in some of its products, Coca-Cola revealed that because it knows not all of its customers take in caffeine, the company took upon itself to produce a range of drinks void of caffeine, including it Caffeine-Free Diet Coke leaving consumers the opportunity to decide for themselves and what is best for them.

There have been widespread rumours and videos about how one can use Coca-Cola to clean their toilet bowl and get rid of tough stains from clothing due to the acid in Coca-Cola.
It is accurate, and this is because there is an amount of acid in Coca-Cola, just like there are in many other foods. However, the acid present in Coca-Cola is edible and poses no danger to consumers. It is not even as strong as the natural acid in the stomach.

Pepsi earlier revealed that their infamous Pepsi Diet is not suitable for vegans. However, speaking on behalf of the company in an official statement with Metro, the company spokesperson revealed that regular Pepsi and Pepsi Max are ideal for vegetarians and vegans, unlike Diet Pepsi that is only suitable for vegetarians due to the traces of ingredients that are not suitable for people following a strict vegan diet.
There are moderate amounts of caffeine in Pepsi. For centuries, caffeine has been recognised as a safe ingredient in the production of food and beverages. It is, however, worthy to note that it is one of the most researched ingredients in the food supply system. In addition, 35-38 mg of caffeine is contained in the regular Pepsi model, giving the drink a refreshing, great taste.
Artificial colouring is added to Pepsi products to safeguard them from natural colour loss due to exposure to light, air, poor storage conditions, and extreme temperatures. In addition, all colours used in every Pepsi product is approved by the Food and Drugs Board Authority in every country the company has established itself.

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With over 100 years down their belt since their inception, two soft-drink giants: Pepsi and Coca-Cola have become household names in almost every corner of the world. These two companies boast of their presence in over 200 countries, with over 300 brands offering between them.

About Author

Nicholas Conn

Nicholas Conn

Nicholas Conn is a leading industry addiction expert who runs the UK’s largest addiction advisory service and is regularly featured in the national press, radio and TV. He is the founder and CEO of a drug and alcohol rehab center called Help4addiction, which was founded in 2015. He has been clean himself since 2009 and has worked in the Addiction and Rehab Industry for over a decade. Nick is dedicated to helping others recover and get treatment for drug and alcohol abuse. In 2013, he released a book ‘The Thin White’ line that is available on Amazon.

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