Running head: COKE A Coke is a Coke ITT Tech PROBLEM Why do some of us have such strong soda preferences? There’s all this uproar of Coke vs. Pepsi, and really looking at the ingredients, the products aren’t all that different. Both are made of carbonated water, high fructose corn syrup, caramel color, sugar, phosphoric acid, caffeine, citric acid and natural flavors (Pendergrast, 2000, p. 6). The natural flavors are where they differ. Coke includes a “secret ingredient” known as Merchandise 7X, which sounds all mysterious and daring (Pendergrast, p. 6).

According to Pendergrast, the slightest bit can make a big difference! But it’s hard to say why one person likes something while another person can’t stand it. Though each soda has been around for more than a century, the two are still (and most likely always will be) competing for the world’s taste buds. Some may find it absurd to fight an ideological battle over the sodas, especially over two products whose only difference is a few chemical compounds, but for others, this is serious business. HISTORY Coca-Cola is a carbonated soft drink sold in stores, restaurants and vending machines internationally.

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The Coca-Cola Company claims that the beverage is sold in more than 200 countries. It is produced by The Coca-Cola Company in Atlanta, Georgia, and is often referred to simply as Coke or (in European) as cola, pop, or in some parts of the U. S. , soda (Pendergrast, p. 6). Originally intended as a patent medicine when it was invented in the late 19th century by John Pemberton, Coca-Cola was bought out by businessman Asa Griggs Candler, whose marketing tactics led Coke to its dominance of the world soft-drink market throughout the 20th century (Pendergrast, p. ). The first Coca-Cola recipe was invented in a drugstore in Columbus, Georgia by John Pemberton, originally as a coca-wine called Pemberton's French Wine Coca in 1885 (Pendergrast, p. 8) . When launched, Coca-Cola's two key ingredients were cocaine (benzoylmethyl ecgonine) and caffeine. The cocaine was derived from the coca leaf and the caffeine from kola nut, leading to the name Coca-Cola (the "K" in Kola was replaced with a "C" for marketing purposes) (Pendergrast, p. 8).

In 1886, when Atlanta and Fulton County passed prohibition legislation, Pemberton responded by developing Coca-Cola, essentially a non-alcoholic version of French Wine Cola (Pendergrast, 2008, p. 12). The first sales were at Jacob's Pharmacy in Atlanta, Georgia, on May 8, 1886 (Pendergrast, p. 12). It was initially sold as a patent medicine for five cents a glass at soda fountains, which were popular in the United States at the time due to the belief that carbonated water was good for the health. Pemberton claimed Coca-Cola cured many diseases, including morphine addiction, dyspepsia, neurasthenia, headache, and impotence.

Pemberton ran the first advertisement for the beverage on May 29 of the same year in the Atlanta Journal (Pendergrast, p. 14). Coke concentrate, or Coke syrup, was and is sold separately at pharmacies in small quantities, as an over-the-counter remedy for nausea or mildly upset stomach. Pepsi is a soft drink produced and manufactured by PepsiCo. It is sold in many places such as retail stores, restaurants, schools, cinemas and from vending machines. The drink was first made in the 1890s by pharmacist Caleb Bradham in New Bern, North Carolina (Capparell, 2008, p. 3). The brand was trademarked on June 16, 1903.

It was first introduced in North Carolina in 1898 by Caleb Bradham who made it at his pharmacy which sold the drink which was known back then as "Brad's Drink", and was later named Pepsi Cola possibly due the digestive enzyme pepsin and kola nuts used in the recipe (Capparell, p. 5). Bradham sought to create a fountain drink that was delicious and would aid in digestion and boost energy. In 1931, the Pepsi-Cola Company went bankrupt during the Great Depression in large part due to financial losses incurred by speculating on wildly fluctuating sugar prices as a result of World War I (Capparell, p. 9). Assets were sold and Roy C.

Megargel bought the Pepsi trademark. Eight years later, the company went bankrupt again (Capparell, p. 9). Pepsi's assets were then 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 Coke refused to give him a discount on syrup. Guth then had Loft's chemists reformulate the Pepsi-Cola syrup formula. In 1975, Pepsi introduced the Pepsi Challenge marketing campaign where PepsiCo set up a blind tasting between Pepsi-Cola and rival Coca-Cola (Blakesleen, 2004, p. 2).

During these blind taste tests the majority of participants picked Pepsi as the better tasting of the two soft drinks. PepsiCo took great advantage of the campaign with television commercials reporting the results to the public. According to Consumer Reports, in the 1970s, the rivalry continued to heat up the market. Pepsi conducted blind taste tests in stores, in what was called the "Pepsi Challenge" (Blakesleen, p. 2). These tests suggested that more consumers preferred the taste of Pepsi (which is believed to have more lemon oil, less orange oil, and uses vanillin rather than vanilla) to Coke (Blakesleen, p. ). The sales of Pepsi started to climb, and Pepsi kicked off the "Challenge" across the nation. This became known as the "Cola Wars. "

In 1985, The Coca-Cola Company, amid much publicity, changed its formula (Blakesleen, p. 3). The theory has been advanced that New Coke, as the reformulated drink came to be known, was invented specifically in response to the Pepsi Challenge. However, a consumer backlash led to Coca-Cola quickly introducing a modified version of the original formula (removing the expensive Haitian lime oil and changing the sweetener to corn syrup) as Coke "Classic" (Blakesleen, p. ). Overall, Coca-Cola continues to outsell Pepsi in almost all areas of the world. HYPOTHESIS When it comes to the Coke vs. Pepsi challenge, I always prefer Coke. I think it has less of a sugary aftertaste. People say they can tell the difference between Pepsi and Coke, in my opinion they both taste the same! I believe that based on 30 people (half male/half female), women will be the ones who will be able to differentiate between Coke and Pepsi. The subjects for the challenge differed on their choices but all figured they could identify their favorite cola in a blind test. So I challenged them.


I divided the taste test between male and female, 15 male and 15 female. I chilled both the Pepsi can and the Coke can at 53 degrees Fahrenheit and served 4 oz of each in clear plastic cups labeled “Sample A” and “Sample B”. In between the soda tests I gave the test subjects water (and saltine crackers) to wash down the after taste. I observed reactions and body language of each taste subject when test was given. I asked the test subjects to answer these questions before given the sample: Questions: 1.

Current Age: 2. Male/Female: Male Female 3. Do you drink soda on a regular basis? & if so for how long have you been drinking soda? 4. Which one do you prefer over the other and why? By first answering the questions I can get a better understanding of each of the subjects taking the test. The questions aren’t as important as the actual test but I feel that by answering them I can get a better understanding of who my test subjects are. By asking the first and second questions I can start categorizing each individual taking the test by age and sex.

Although age is not a factor in my hypothesis I feel that I can at least get a better understanding of that particular individual. Question three will help me know how long they have been soda drinkers. It will help me know whether or not they are avid soda drinkers. This question is probably thee most important out of all of the questions being asked because I can actually base the hypothesis on knowing this answer. I feel that the more a person drinks a certain drink the more obvious the taste will be to that individual. Question four is just for my interest on why they prefer one soda over the other.

It’s interesting to know that most individuals are influenced by what they see, for example advertisement, then by their own taste buds! RESULTS I kept it simple, Sample A was Coca-Cola and Sample B was Pepsi. After four weeks of giving 50 random people the Coke vs. Pepsi challenge, 24 out of 50 people were able to tell the difference between the two: 13 women and 11 men. Out of those 13 women, 9 of them were above the age of 25. Out of those 9 women, 5 are avid soda drinkers. For the men on the other hand, 7 of them were 24 yrs or younger.

For question number three, 34 people answered hat they were avid soda drinkers but have since cut down. Surprisingly though for the second part of question three, those that were soda drinkers had been drinking soda for more than 5 years! For question four the majority of the “older” people, by “older” I categorized that as above the age of 25, they answered that they drink Coca-Cola because of the taste. The kids (24 years and under) say they drink Coke just because it’s a brand name. CONCLUSION In conclusion, there was not enough information to support my hypothesis. Over all, I didn’t get the results I was hoping for.

I feel if I get more people to take the taste test and I re-word the questions I can get better results. I might also change the taste test, from plastic cups to glass cups. Although this taste test didn’t change people’s minds about what they prefer to drink over the other, it helped me understand that taste isn’t all that applies to what you like now a day, you have to incorporate advertisement! For the kid’s part of the questioner, they answered that they liked the Coca-Cola Polar Bears on TV. It was funny to see how people reacted when I told them that they were wrong on the taste test, especially for the older generation.

They would tell me that maybe I was the one that had forgotten which one the Coca-cola was on. When I explained to them that I wasn’t wrong then they would go on explaining to me how the taste has changed and how “back in the day they would serve it in a glass,” and what a difference putting it in a glass was. In this case, I would have to agree with the older generation. There’s nothing like drinking a nice cold Coca-cola in a glass during the retched summer heat! Ahhhhh! LITERATURE REVIEW Blakesleen, S. (2004). Coke vs. Pepsi Study Offers Food for Thought. Times Union, A (2) 2-3, Retrieved July 15, 2009 from http://proquest. mi. com. proxy. itttech. edu/pqdweb? index=0&did=716708771&SrchMode=1&sid=1&Fmt=3&VInst=PROD&VType=PQD&RQT=309&VName=PQD&TS=1248066430&clientId=25238 Blakesleen (2004) wrote about researchers who monitored brain scans of 67 people who were given blind taste test of Coca-Cola and Pepsi.

Each soft drink lit up the brain’s reward system, and the participants were evenly split about which drink they preferred. But when the same people were told what they were drinking, activity in a different set of brain regions linked to brand loyalty overrode their original preferences. Capparell, S. February, 2008). The Real Pepsi Challenge: How One Pioneering Company Broke Color Barriers in 1940s American Business. 1-54. Glencoe, IL: Free Press. Capparell (2008) recounts the struggles of 12 of the first black executives hired by any leading U. S. business in this worthwhile but plodding account. They got their break when Pepsi-Cola CEO Walter S. Mack, who was facing an uphill battle against Coke, decided that tapping the "Negro market" would help Pepsi win. He hired Edward F. Boyd, a sometime actor, to create a team of salesmen to push Pepsi-Cola with black customers.

The team quickly became community role models, feted in magazines like Jet and Ebony, while Coke enthusiastically backed Georgia's racist governor Herman Talmadge. As a result, Pepsi earned a reputation as the "liberal" soft drink, capturing the lion's share of the cola market among African-Americans. But after Mack fell to a corporate shakeup in 1951, the effort was disbanded. One member of Boyd's team, despite years of success at Pepsi and an M. B. A. from the University of Chicago, later had to take a job mopping floors to support his family.

Readers may wish the writing were more adept, yet this account makes clear the incredible barriers to black achievement that existed just half a century ago. Pendergrast, M. (March, 2000). For God, Country, and Coca-Cola: The Definitive History of the Great American Soft Drink and the Company That Makes It. 5-55. Burlington, MA: Basic Books. Coca-Cola is one of the most celebrated products of this century. The trials and successes of Coke and its manufacturer, ranging from its invention to the wars with Pepsi, unfold in a historical narrative that keeps the reader focused and interested.

Pendergrast, a business journalist, displays an impressive array of research from several collections and interviews with former company employees. The premise that Coca-Cola has religious undertones is somewhat far-fetched, but the author does an able job of proving that Coke is an American phenomenon. The last chapter, however, would have benefited from editing to make the transition from third to first person flow more smoothly. References Blakesleen, S. (2004). Coke vs. Pepsi Study Offers Food for Thought.

Times Union, A (2) 2-3, Retrieved July 15, 2009 from http://proquest. umi. com. proxy. itttech. edu/pqdweb? index=0=716708771=1=1=3=PROD=PQD=309=PQD=1248066430=25238 Capparell, S. (February, 2008). The Real Pepsi Challenge: How One Pioneering Company Broke Color Barriers in 1940s American Business. 1-54. Glencoe, IL: Free Press. Pendergrast, M. (March, 2000). For God, Country, and Coca-Cola: The Definitive History of the Great American Soft Drink and the Company That Makes It. 5-55. Burlington, MA: Basic Books.