Pepsi was first introduced as "Brad's Drink" in New Bern, North Carolina, United States, in 1893 by Caleb Bradham, who made it at his drugstore where the drink was sold. It was renamed Pepsi-Cola in 1898 after the Greek word for "digestion" (πέψη, pronounced the same as Pepsi), which the drink was purported to aid, and "cola" after the kola nut. The original recipe also included sugar and vanilla. Bradham sought to create a fountain drink that was appealing and would aid in digestion and boost energy.
In 1903, Bradham moved the bottling of Pepsi-Cola from his drugstore to a rented warehouse. That year, Bradham sold 7,968 gallons of syrup. The next year, Pepsi was sold in six-ounce bottles, and sales increased to 19,848 gallons. In 1909, automobile race pioneer Barney Oldfield was the first celebrity to endorse Pepsi-Cola, describing it as "A bully drink...refreshing, invigorating, a fine bracer before a race." The advertising theme "Delicious and Healthful" was then used over the next two decades.
In 1923, the Pepsi-Cola Company entered bankruptcy—in large part due to financial losses incurred by speculating on the wildly fluctuating sugar prices as a result of World War I. Assets were sold and Roy C. Megargel bought the Pepsi trademark. Megargel was unsuccessful in efforts to find funding to revive the brand and soon Pepsi's assets were purchased by Charles Guth, the president of Loft, Inc. Loft was a candy manufacturer with retail stores that contained soda fountains. He sought to replace Coca-Cola at his stores' fountains after the Coca-Cola Company refused to give him additional discounts on syrup. Guth then had Loft's chemists reformulate the Pepsi-Cola syrup formula.
On three separate occasions between 1922 and 1933, the Coca-Cola Company was offered the opportunity to purchase the Pepsi-Cola company, and it declined on each occasion.
Let the Cola Wars begin! Both of these companies have earned themselves immense amounts of brand loyalty over the years, and we're going to examine both Coke and Pepsi on a number of different criteria, before finally settling upon one empire to rule the kingdom of carbonated beverages! Welcome to WatchMojo, and in today's instalment of "Versus," we're going to be pitting two of the soft drink world's biggest rivals against each other once again for cola supremacy.