Coke vs. Pepsi

Screenshot 2014-11-08 at 3.45.29 PM

The controversy between Coke and Pepsi has become more prominently displayed since moving to Atlanta due to the Coke headquarters being so close. Upon arrival, I had to be a tourist and visit the factory when I first moved down and I found it really interesting how soda was so impacted by events throughout history. Using Google Ngram Viewer I made a graph comparing Pepsi, Coke and Dr. Pepper for another beverage comparison. Surprisingly, Dr. Pepper barely had any popularity even though it was first established in 1885 and was nationally produced and sold in 1904.

Coca-Cola shows a gradual rise from the early 1900’s and on, while Pepsi only takes off in the late 1930’s. Both beverages were created around the 1890’s, however Coke had a brilliant marketing scheme where salesmen would hand out coupons for a free coke. Pepsi’s gained popularity in 1936 with the introduction of a 12 oz. bottle. This was twice as much soda for the same price as a bottle of Coke, encouraging price-watching consumers to buy Pepsi over Coke.

On the graph, there is a huge drop on the graph for Coca-Cola in the mid-1960’s. This is because at this point in time in history, many women began to count their calories. This led to the creation of TaB which had only one calorie and was more appealing to calorie conscious consumers. From the 70’s and on there is a huge rise in popularity for both companies because the competition was growing fierce. From then on, the marketing battle began and both companies focused on who could claim more fame in the worldwide market.


3 thoughts on “Coke vs. Pepsi”

  1. The battle between coke and pepsi is very close. Dr Pepper is a lot out of the race. The reasons you gave for the various times of increment or decline in the popularity of the drink a very interesting. I didn’t know that the larger sized pepsi bottles really made a big impact in it popularity. But for now coke is still way ahead in the competition for reasons I don’t really understand.

    1. I think the reason that Coke and Pepsi overpower Dr. Pepper so much is their competition. The competition makes the two gain more advertising than any other brand. I think the real reason Coke seems to triumph is money. Coke is valued at $79 billion while Pepsi is at $17 billion, that’s definitely an advantage when it comes to staying ahead of the competition.

      1. You also have to keep in mind the fact that Coke and Pepsi are brands as well as companies. Dr. Pepper is just a brand (and is in fact owned by Coca Cola).

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