Did you know these crazy facts about the Coca-Cola company? Or that Fanta originated from Germany?Pemberton’s French Wine Coca
Pemberton’s French Wine Coca
Before Coca-Cola started trying to make the world happier, Coca- cola was originally called Pemberton’s French Wine Coca and was intended as a medicinal tonic. It was created by pharmacist John Pemberton in Atlanta, Georgia who was injured in the Civil War and became addicted to morphine. In 1884, in an attempt to cure his addiction he created French Wine Coca, a predecessor to Coca-Cola made up of wine, cocaine, and caffeine-containing kola nuts. (Hence the name Coca-Cola). Pemberton was most likely influenced by the success of other Coca Wines during that time such as Vin Mariani, which was a tonic wine that mixed coca leaves and red Bordeaux wine. They all promised to fortify and refresh the body and brain and treat illnesses and addiction. Pemberton’s wine was advertised as being able to cure everything from constipation to chronic diseases, as well as acting as a “most wonderful invigorator of the sexual organs.” On one label Pemberton’s French Wine Coca promised to cure morphine and opium habits and even alcoholism. With wine…
Fun Fact: The Coca-Cola logo was created by John Pemberton’s bookkeeper, Frank Mason Robinson, in 1885. Robinson came up with the name and chose the logo’s distinctive cursive script
Once Atlanta introduced prohibition in 1886, Pemberton changed the recipe and replaced the wine with sugar syrup. The soda was marketed for its medicinal effects and became very popular among high-class white society. It was referred to by many as an “intellectual beverage.”
Despite the claims of the drink’s restorative powers, Pemberton sadly died of stomach cancer in 1888 and was never able to cure himself of his morphine addiction.
After his death, businessman Asa Candler rescued the company and in 1891, became the sole owner of Coca-Cola. Candler is responsible for the marketing tactics that led Coke to its dominance of the world soft-drink market.
Fun Fact: The Coca Cola Company claims that Candler is responsible for developing one of the most innovative marketing techniques in history, the coupon! He hired traveling salesmen to pass out coupons for free Coke, hoping people would drink it, like it, then buy it later on. It obviously worked! He also decided to spread the work of Coca Cola by plastering the logo on everything from calendars to posters, notebooks, bookmarks and anything else he could think of to make it a national brand.
Candler also tried to sell Coca-Cola syrup as a patent medicine, claiming it would get rid of fatigue and headaches. The Coca-Cola recipe was a closely guarded secret, but in 1891, an Atlanta newspaper reported what many had already suspected: Coca-Cola contained cocaine. Coke was forced to change its marketing strategy and began referring to their product as “refreshing,” rather than promoting any medicinal advantages. In 1898 Congress passed a tax on all medicines during the Spanish-American war so Coca Cola was no longer sold as a drug.
Coca-Cola began taking cocaine out its soft drink in 1903 because of racially-promoted fears among white society with white people in the South claiming that black men were using the substance before raping white women.
Cocaine was eventually made illegal in the United States in 1914, but it wasn’t until 1929 that Coca-Cola perfected its formula. Before that year, the psychoactive elements of the coca leaf could still be found in the soda in small amounts.
Quiz Question (?)- Do you know which country consumes the most Coca Cola products?
The current formula of Coca-Cola remains a trade secret and the company produces concentration, which is then sold to licensed Coca-Cola bottlers throughout the world. The bottlers produce the finished product in cans and bottles from the concentrate in combination with filtered water and sweeteners.
Fun Fact: Coke is now sold in every country in the world except Cuba and North Korea. (Even Cuba might be selling Coca Cola soon.)
Merchandise N. 5/Coca Leaves
Ok, so I don’t know if this is supposed to be a secret or not but coca leaf extract is still used today as an active ingredient in coca cola. The ecgonine alkaloid, which gives cocaine its accelerating effect on the brain, is extracted from the coca leaf before processing.
This is done in New Jersey by The Stepan Company (pronounced Steppin) that specializes in chemical processing. It is believed that Stepan owns the sole license from the DEA to import coca leaves into the US.