June 24, 2020 7 min read
History was created in May 1886 when Dr John Smith Pemberton, a pharmacist, added a specially formulated syrup to carbonated water to prepare the first ever glass of Coca Cola. Today, Coca Cola is the most popular soft drink in the world. But did you know that there are so many interesting facts about Coca Cola that you probably didn’t know. So, here are some interesting bits of trivia about Coca Cola that you can use to impress your friends.
After the English term “OK”, the term “Coca Cola” is the most widely understood term across the globe. The name was derived from the two main ingredients used in the original drink formulated by Dr. Pemberton : the coca leaf and the kola nut. Today, the coca leaf has been replaced by caffeine, but the iconic name still remains.
In the early days, Dr. Pemberton marketed his original formulation for Coca Cola as a non-alcoholic health tonic, that supposedly had mental benefits for users. In early advertisements, Pemberton described Coca Cola as an important brain tonic - thanks to the properties of the Kola nuts - that would help cure all nervous afflictions, and was extremely safe to drink, since it was non-alcoholic. Today, it may not provide all the benefits that it once supposedly promoted, but it still remains the most popular soft drink in the world.
In the mid 1980s, the Coca Cola company came up with an ambitious plan to offer NASA astronauts the chance to drink their favourite fizzy drink while they were on a space shuttle orbiting the Earth. Nothing like this had never been tried before, and the scientists knew that traditional soda cans just wouldn’t work in space. The Coca Cola Company spent a lot of money and time to develop special “Coca Cola Space Cans” with a modified sipper and opening mechanism that would keep the drink fizzy inside the can, even in the micro-gravity of space. Next, Coca Cola approached NASA to test the Space Cans aboard one of their space shuttles. When Pepsi found out what their competitors were planning, they quickly designed their own fizzy drink dispenser, and asked NASA to take their cans aboard the space shuttle as well. Finally in July 1985, astronauts on NASA's Challenger space shuttle carried specially designed Space Cans from Coca Cola as well as Pepsi into space which the astronauts then got to taste. Since it was originally Coca Cola’s idea, the astronauts first tested and tasted the Coca Cola Space Can, giving it the distinction of being the first fizzy drink ever to be consumed in outer space. Pepsi got its turn 8 hours later, when the same astronauts tried the Pepsi drink.
The iconic Coca Cola Bottle, also known as the Contour Bottle, is one of the most distinctive shapes in the world, and can be distinguished from other beverage bottles, purely by touch, even in the dark. In 1915, Coca Cola launched a competition, asking designers to design a unique bottle for them, and the Contour Bottle was created by bottle designer Earl Dean, who worked with the Root Glass Company, Indiana. Originally, the design was supposed to be based on either the cocoa leaf or the kola nut, the two main ingredients in the original drink. But, since nobody knew what those ingredients looked like, Dean took inspiration from the cocoa pod - which is different from the cocoa leaf and was never used as an ingredient in Coca Cola - and designed the unique bottle that we all know today.
According to some estimates, Coca Cola factories consume almost 300 billion litres of water per year. This huge amount of water is used as mainly as ingredient in its different beverages, as well as canning, bottling, sterilisation and transportation of Coca Cola products across the world. On an average, it takes approximately anywhere between 1.5 litres to 3 litres of water to make 1 litre of Coca Cola. The Coca Cola Company sources its water from water extraction plants located all over the world, including Russia, India, Colombia and El Salvador.
Prior to the 1930s, everybody’s favourite Santa Claus was pictured in several different coloured suits, including blue, green and sometimes even red. However, according to legend (and the Coca Cola website), in 1931, Coca Cola commissioned artist Haddon Sundblum to create a new range of advertisements for the fizzy drink. Sundblum was inspired by the 1822 poem “A Visit from St. Nicholas” by Clement Clark Moore, and depicted Santa Claus as a chubby, laughing grandfather type, with rosy cheeks, a white beard and a red coat, the image which we all associate with Santa Claus today. Over the years, this image of Santa Claus has become accepted over the world so much, that we can never image Santa Claus as anything else.
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