Ten Weird and Interesting Facts About Coca-Cola

Coca Cola; A drink engrained so deeply into our daily lives yet shrouded in mystery. When it started in the late 19th century, it used cocaine as an ingredient, but it wasn’t illegal then because cocaine only became illegal in 1914. As years went by, the demand for this fizzy drink increased worldwide and coke became a part of almost every nation’s diet. Coke is now everywhere including space and churches, making it the most recognizable soft drink to almost everyone in the whole world. So, whether you enjoy coke or prefer to use it for cleaning as some do, the baseline remains that coke is a great drink that influences our daily lives in one way or another. Here are some things you probably didn’t know about this giant brand, though.

It Was Invented As An Alternative To Morphine

John Pemberton, the man that invented coke, was a former confederate soldier who had become addicted to morphine. He was experimenting on alternative painkillers for his addictive poison when he landed on coke in the process. Its first adverts in 1886 claimed that it had medicinal properties that could cure hysteria among other illnesses. However, Pemberton realized that his invention could sell better as a soft drink rather than a medicine. He declared it a soft non-alcoholic drink to avoid the huge taxes on alcohol back in the day and thus introduced the nation to what is now the world’s most consumed carbonated drink.

Diet and Zero Aren’t As Different As People Think

When choosing a coke, Cherry Coke Zero lovers think they are drinking something healthier than Diet Coke drinkers but that is not really the case. Coke needed more variety for health sensitive consumers and since Diet Coke wasn’t striking the deal with everyone, they came up with Zero. The only advantage is that Coke Zero has been flavoured to taste a little more like the original Coke.

It Was The First Soda In Space Despite Being Dangerous

NASA wasn’t completely agreeable with the idea but astronauts on The Challenger became the first to pop a coke in space in 1985. According to NASA, drinking a coke in zero gravity is more like drinking a foamy slurp because the gas doesn’t escape to the top of the bottle the same way it does on the ground. However, the modified coke can and the astronauts drinking coke in space created another record for the famous brand as it became the first carbonated drink to be consumed in space.

Pepsi Had The Chance To Buy The Formula Illegally

Pepsi is considered Coca Cola’s biggest rival all over the world with some US states preferring their Mountain Dew over a coke. However, Pepsi is just too small to put up that fight and their attempts to match the taste of Coca Cola have failed for decades. The secret Coca Cola formula is stored away in a secure vault at the World of Coca Cola Museum in Atlanta and only revealed to a few employees whose identity remains hidden. However, in 2007, the AP reported that Joya William, a former Company Secretary at Coca Cola and two other employees tried to sell the secret formula to Pepsi. Funny enough, Pepsi reported the three to the FBI and got them arrested and sent to jail.

Ten Weird and Interesting Facts About Coca-Cola

Fanta Wasn’t Exactly Invented By Nazis

The history of Fanta has been a stain on the reputation of Coca Cola for years as many people accuse the company of making profits off a product invented by the Nazis. Max Keith, the German man behind the creation of Fanta was the leader of all Coca Cola overseeing Germany and all of Europe. After Germany declared war on America in 1939 and started seizing all foreign linked businesses, Coca Cola plants in Germany and other conquered countries couldn’t get the coke syrup anymore.

To save the plants, Keith encouraged chemists to come up with an alternative, and that is how they invented Fanta after mixing leftovers from other food factories. When the war was over, Keith, who was loyal to Coca Cola all along handed over both Fanta and the profits of its sales in Germany and other countries to Coca Cola. Coca Cola then rebranded it to Fanta Orange in 1955 at their Italian plant.

It Owns Over 3500 Beverages Worldwide

It would be fun to try out all Coca Cola brands if you could but that would be difficult because it would take you at least nine years to taste all of them if you are drinking one per day. In total, Coca Cola has over 500 brands with over 3500 beverages to its name. From juices to fizzy drinks and sodas, the Coca Cola portfolio is so wide that almost everyone in the world will get their choice.

It Is Blamed For The Obesity Crisis In Mexico

Funny enough, the US is not the world’s largest consumer of Coca Cola, that badge goes to Mexico. Coca Cola controls 70% of the drinks market in the country and even in small towns where water is a problem, you will find Coca Cola. With the highest levels of consumption in the world, Mexico has also been ranked as the most obese nation in the world and the blame has been laid on Coca Cola. Despite the fizzy drinks companies defending their reputation in the country after a 2006 nutritional health report, Mexico went ahead to impose a soda tax to increase the price of fizzy drinks.

They Still Use The Coca Plant Leaf To Make It

Coca Cola is one of the few companies in the US that are allowed to legally import and process the coca plant leaf. Coca Cola, therefore, has a special agreement with the DEA which means that agents get to watch the entire process of production to ensure that narcotics don’t end up in the world’s most famous soft drink. The cocaine produced in Coca Cola plants is thus supplied to health facilities for medical use. Coca Cola only seeks a non-cocaine ingredient from the leaves which is a key ingredient in their formula. They used to add a little bit of cocaine in the drinks before it became illegal in 1914 though.

Coca Cola Popularized The Six Pack

When a six-pack is mentioned today, many people think of beer but Coca Cola had a lot to do with that mode of packaging. In a bid to boost sales in 1923, Coca Cola started packaging their bottles in six-packs to encourage customers to stock up. Beer companies have since picked up the trend and owned it.

Ten Weird and Interesting Facts About Coca-Cola

It Is Very Acidic

Coke given to children tends to cause the enamel on their teeth to be eroded and the same happens in adults because Coke is a very acidic drink. Most scientists put its PH between 2.5 and 3 which is way higher than any drink you will ever take. That is why coke is able to clean the rust on old metals and also clear the terminals in rusty car batteries. With that high acidity comes the question of health, but the best advice is that you drink it in moderation.