Gone are the days of thanda matlab coca-cola! The 125 years old soft-drink company is entering the booze market. Yes! You heard it right! The Coca-Cola wants us to get drunk. Since its birth in 1886 at a soda fountain in downtown Atlanta, Georgia, the company is launching an alcoholic drink for the first time. The drinks giant will experiment with a canned beverage called Chu-Hi in Japan. The canned beverage is made up of distilled Japanese drink shochu, sparkling water and flavouring.
The world known Coca-Cola drink was created by John S. Pemberton. The formula and the patents to the Coca-Cola were bought by Asa Candler in 1892 and by 1895, the drink was sold and drunk in every state and territory of United States of America. Fast forward to 2018, 1.7 billion Coca-Cola products are today consumed everyday-19,400 beverages per second!
The Coca-Cola started bottling in 1899, expanding the bottling process to Canada, Cuba and Panama in 1906. The tremendous success of Coca-Cola encouraged other competitors to imitate by offering bottles with variations of the trademarked name and logo- Koka Kola, Koka-Nola, etc. This led the company to ask bottle manufactures to submit designs of bottle which can be recognised by touch in the dark or by a broken piece on the ground. Thus was born the iconic Coca-Cola bottle which was registered as trademark by the U.S. Patent Office in 1960.
In India, the Company began bottling operations in 1950 which were discontinued during nationalization of the economy. The Company resumed operations in 1993 after liberalization and acquired major competitors which had filled the vacuum since its withdrawal. It acquired Thums Up, Gold Spot and Limca from Parle. It entered the tea market in India in 2002 by launching Georgia range of tea and coffee. The company has also initiated various CSR initiative in the Country in partnership with UN, NDTV, Being Human and other not for profit organizations.
In its long journey, the Coca-Cola company has adopted various means to reach out to its consumers. Be it its long term association with Olympics games starting in 1928 or sponsoring its first radio program “Vivian the Coca-Cola Girl” or its latest venture “The Coke Studio”. The Coca-Cola started advertising on television in 1950 and since then its TV-ads tend to make news. We all remember Aamir Khan in those funky Coca-Cola ads. The company has roped in movie stars and sports stars for advertising and its captions have made a place in day to day lives.
The word “Coke” came to be associated with the drink in 1942 and in 1945 it became a registered trademark of the company. The Fanta orange drink was the first new product by the Company since its inception. It was distributed in Naples, Italy in 1955. Since then, experimentation has become a regular affair in the company. It has experimented with digestion-aid drinks like Beverly, a Gen-X drink OK-soda, a carbonated coffee drink Blak, Coca-Cola plus ginger extract, Diet Coke, Coke Zero, Sprite, etc. Some of them worked, some didn’t but this had not deterred the company from experimenting. The recent venture in the alcoholic field in one such experiment.
The company President, Jorge Garduno has called it a modest experiment for a specific slice of our market. The experiment at present is confined to Japan owing to the unique culture and market. He adds that, “Globally, it’s not uncommon for non-alcoholic beverages to be sold in the same system as alcoholic beverages. It makes sense to give this a try in our market. But I don’t think people around the world should expect to see this kind of thing from Coca-Cola. While many markets are becoming more like Japan, I think the culture here is still very unique and special, so many products that are born here will stay here.”
Thus, the Coke still aims on Opening Happiness around the world and there is still time before we go the bartender and say, “One coke on the rocks, please!”