The Oddest Stories Behind Popular Soft Drinks

When it comes to soft drinks, everyone has a particular personal preference that comes down to them.

There are people eternally claiming that Pepsi is better than Coke, or vice versa, and you of course have people on the sidelines enjoying delicious and cheap soft drinks in piece whilst they bicker.

However, given that fizzy drinks have been around for over 200 years, we have seen all kinds of unique little quirks, stories and secrets regarding some of the world’s most popular drinks.

 

Coca-Cola Made A Bad Drink On Purpose To Ruin Pepsi

For people who do not know the tragedy of Crystal Pepsi, the story of how it came about and how it disappeared from the market outside of several “last chance” revivals and rereleases.

Crystal Pepsi is a cola that looks like sparkling water. There was a trend in the 1990s known as the “Clear Craze” which led to pretty much every type of product imaginable being turned translucent, as that implied they were healthier and had fewer artificial ingredients.

Some people really loved Crystal Pepsi and early on captured a whole per cent of the US soft drink market, which equates to nearly $500m in sales.

This is when Coca-Cola, fearing a potential threat to the market, decided to kill it.

They took Tab, a diet cola brand they had with fairly low appeal after Diet Coke had launched and released Tab Clear in 1992.

This new drink was a competitor to Crystal Pepsi, but also was targeted as a diet drink and had an unpopular name to it, which people then assumed was also true of Crystal Pepsi, destroying both products by 1994 in what a former Coca Cola CEO called a “kamikaze” strategy.

 

When Someone Claimed Pepsi Owed Them A Jet

One of the single stupidest legal cases ever brought was Leonard vs Pepsico, all based on an incredibly ridiculous advert and a loyalty points scheme.

Pepsi Stuff was a campaign where buying certain marked Pepsi products would give you points you could redeem for merchandise and clothing and other items.

It had a thoroughly amazing advert which ended with a very 1990s kid with attitude travelled to school in a Harrier jump jet, advertised for 7,000,000 points.

You could also buy points if you had at least a few so an enterprising man by the name of John Leonard sent a check for $700,000 to buy a jet that was worth $33m at the time.

Pepsi obviously refused and Mr Leonard took him to court, which was thrown out in hilarious fashion and even got a response from the White House, who said the plane would have to be stripped of all military equipment, including its vertical takeoff system.

 

Coca-Cola’s Secret Illegal Ingredient

When Coca-Cola was originally made, it was originally intended to be a temperance medicine intended to help people stay away from alcohol and drugs.

The problem with that came with one of the ingredients. Cola is a reference to the kola nut, which contains caffeine and helps give people energy, but it also contained fresh coca leaf, which also contains cocaine, a Class A drug that’s highly illegal pretty much everywhere.

At one point the recipe called for five ounces of coca leaf per gallon, and the finished drink had about 10 milligrams per glass, although by 1903 this was removed.

Whilst the drink still has coca leaf extract in it, it uses an extract with no cocaine whatsoever, prepared at an authorised government plant that removes all traces of the drug.

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