From 'Brad's Drink' to the Cola Wars: A History of PepsiCo

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With PepsiCo  (PEP) - Get PepsiCo, Inc. Report set to report earnings ahead of Tuesday's opening bell, here's a look at how the soft drink giant developed into the consumer conglomerate it is today: 

  • 1893 – Pepsi was first introduced as "Brad's Drink" in New Bern, NC by Caleb Bradham.

It was renamed Pepsi-Cola in 1898, "Pepsi" because it was advertised to relieve dyspepsia.

  • 1909 – Automobile race pioneer Barney Oldfield was the first celebrity to endorse Pepsi-Cola, describing it as "A bully drink...”

Upon bankruptcy, the Coca-Cola Company  (KO) - Get Coca-Cola Company Report was offered the opportunity to purchase the Pepsi-Cola company three times, and it declined each time.

From the 1930s through the late 1950s, "Pepsi-Cola Hits The Spot" was the most commonly used slogan in the days of old radio, classic motion pictures, and later television.

  • 1965 – Pepsi-cola and Frito-Lay combined into one company: PepsiCo. The company launched Doritos in 1966.
  • 1992 – Recognizing the rising interest in healthy drinks, Pepsi-Cola introduced Aquafina bottled water.
  • 1996 – PepsiCo launched the highly successful Pepsi Stuff marketing strategy.
  • 1997 – PepsiCo spun off KFC, Taco Bell and Pizza Hut in what would become Yum! Brands  (YUM) - Get Yum! Brands, Inc. (YUM) Report. Further acquisitions were Tropicana Products in 1998 and the Quaker Oats Company in 2001, which added Gatorade to the Pepsi portfolio.
  • 2020 – PepsiCo entered into agreement to acquire BFY Brands, the maker of PopCorner snacks.

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