The age-old choice between Coca-Cola or Pepsi has long been a divisive topic. This rivalry seems only natural. Both colas seem to lớn occupy the same role accompanying a burger or consumed as a midday pick-me-up. Coke và Pepsi have a deep caramel flavor, along with hints of vanilla, cinnamon, và citrus. Insider shares the original recipe for both sodas by their inventors: Coca-Cola contained sugar, caffeine, lime juice, vanilla, citric acid, and caramel for color, while Pepsi had the same ingredients minus the citric acid. Some believe there are only subtle differences between the two soft drinks, while others swear that one tastes significantly better than the other. Either way, the rivalry between these sodas has been around as early as we can remember.

Bạn đang xem: Which came first, coke or pepsi? a historical timeline

Interestingly enough, it wasn"t directly due lớn similarities in flavor that these sodas waged war on one another, although this surely contributed to lớn the feud. When Coca-Cola was founded in 1886 & Pepsi in 1898 (Per the North Carolina Department of Natural and Cultural Resources), they weren"t direct competitors. In fact, Insider notes that the animosity between them emerged in 1975; almost an entire century after both soft drinks were invented.

Coca-Cola always seemed lớn be winning the race between the cola drinks. Since its invention, Coca-Cola earned huge endorsements, launched successful ad campaigns, & essentially wrote itself into the American cultural lexicon. Pepsi, on the other hand, was trailing behind and even went bankrupt at one point in the 1930s (via Insider). Eventually, Pepsi decided khổng lồ rebrand in an attempt to catch up to its rival. Northeast News reports that, in 1975, Pepsi launched a targeted attack on Coca-Cola in its Pepsi Challenge advertisement campaign.

The chiến dịch would show consumers preferred the supposedly sweeter Pepsi over Coca-Cola in a blind taste test. The Pepsi Challenge was such a culture shock lớn Coca-Cola fans that it became a national challenge held in shopping malls (via Northeast News). Pepsi successfully increased its publicity by having those who preferred Pepsi wear a badge to show their allegiance lớn the brand. As for the taste of the soda, even Malcolm Gladwell confirms in Blink: The power of Thinking without Thinking that Pepsi"s flavor is sweeter and more citrus-forward than Coca-Cola, which has more concentrated vanilla flavoring.

focal point/Shutterstock
Of course, the success of Pepsi"s campaign only led Coca-Cola lớn retaliate. The company launched Diet Coke in 1982, which became the most popular diet soda drink on the planet, according lớn CBS News. Three years later, Coca-Cola released "New Coke," a sweeter take on the original formula, so as to lớn have a drink more comparable to lớn the flavor of Pepsi. Unfortunately, this new drink did not bode well with Coca-Cola loyalists who demanded the original recipe. But to lớn the company"s benefit, this botched "New Coke" actually stirred up more excitement for the original Coca-Cola, which became more popular than ever upon its return.

Once Diet Coke kicked Pepsi out of its second place in popular sodas in 2010, consumers assumed that Pepsi lost the war, as shown in The Wall Street Journal. But while Pepsi may have lost its edge in the cola war, CNN Money shows that this loss was actually the best thing lớn happen lớn the company. Indeed, Pepsi
Co began to lớn thrive with its food brands, such as Frito-Lay, which now dominates the snack market. Comfortable in its third place in the soda competition, Pepsi
Co boasts of owning brands that monopolize our grocery shelves today, per Yahoo!.

Whether you’re a casual soda drinker or a soft drink fiend, odds are you have a strong opinion when it comes khổng lồ the longstanding rivalry of Coca-Cola versus Pepsi.

The Coca-Cola Company và Pepsi
Co are two of the largest & most recognizable food và beverage brands in history, each with hundreds of products sold in markets worldwide. From television and print ads, khổng lồ celebrity endorsements and iconic product placement in feature films, the companies’ influence knows no bounds. But despite their current international dominance, both of these megabrands had humble beginnings, originating in 19th-century pharmacies in the American South.

Xem thêm: Bật Mí Cách Trả Thù Người Khác, 22 Cách Trả Thù Người Mình Ghét Hay Nhất 03/2023

For all the Coca-Cola devotees và Pepsi fanatics out there, read on khổng lồ learn more about how these two all-American sodas really compare.


Dr. John Pemberton, an Atlanta-based chemist, developed Coca-Cola’s original syrup in 1886. After Pemberton’s sweetly flavored creation was deemed “excellent” by a local pharmacy, it was mixed with carbonated water & sold for 5 cents a pop. Despite Pemberton’s role as the brainchild, the brand’s meteoric rise has been largely attributed to Frank M. Robinson, Pemberton’s bookkeeper, who is credited as the genius behind Coca-Cola’s name và iconic biểu tượng logo that still graces the company’s branding today.


Unfortunately, Pemberton would not get to experience the true worth of his invention. Following Pemberton’s death in 1888, fellow Georgian Asa G. Candler purchased the rights to lớn the company for $2,300, and launched Coca-Cola into a full-fledged empire.

Two states over and nearly a decade later in 1893, Pepsi was invented by pharmacist Caleb Bradham in New Bern, N.C. Originally called “Brad’s Drink,” the unique tonic was sold at Bradham’s pharmacy where it became a popular beverage among the locals. In 1903 Bradham trademarked his sản phẩm “Pepsi-Cola” and started selling it across the state. The brand’s reach continued lớn expand rapidly and, by 1910, there were 240 Pepsi-Cola bottling franchises in 24 states.


Ask any soda drinker the biggest difference between Coke & Pepsi, and nine times out of 10, the answer will be that Pepsi is sweeter. That’s not surprising considering Pepsi has 2 more grams of sugar than Coke in a 12-ounce can (41 grams versus 39 grams).

But when breaking down each product’s flavors và distinct characteristics, the answers vary. According khổng lồ Business Insider, tác giả Malcolm Gladwell famously summed up the differences in his book “Blink,” noting Pepsi’s “citrusy flavor burst, unlike the more raisiny-vanilla taste of Coke,” a difference likely resulting from Pepsi’s inclusion of citric acid. For others, Pepsi’s intensity is what distinguishes it from Coke, while some point lớn Coke’s higher sodium & more aggressive fizz.


It’s not unusual for products lớn taste different depending on the country in which they are produced. When it comes to lớn Coke, that difference lies in the type of sweetener used — the product of an ongoing sugar trade war. “Mexican Coke,” which has become more popular in the U.S. As of late và demands a higher price tag, uses cane sugar instead of high-fructose corn syrup. As Smithsonian Magazine explains, for some aficionados, Mexican Coke’s addition of cane sugar makes it preferable, resulting in “a truer, less ‘chemical-y’ taste; a realer real thing.”



When it comes to an alcoholic drink that calls for a specific soda brand, Coke is the clear victor with not one, but two infamous combinations: Rum và Coke and Jack và Coke. Strangely, Pepsi doesn’t have an equivalent. According to lớn Vine
Pair, the origins of mixing Coca-Cola with rum can be traced back to lớn 1902 when the brand was shipped lớn Cuba for use in its celebratory drink, the Cuba Libre. Later, in the U.S., a song titled “Rum & Coca-Cola” may have helped solidify its role as the perfect complement to lớn rum.

What the Pros Think

For Michael Bray, the co-owner of cocktail & nightlife venues Ding-a-ling and Kind Regards in NYC, Coke’s accessibility and “iconic Americana” make it “available lớn any perspective or persuasion.” Plus, he adds that Coke “tastes rich và delicious.” But when it comes khổng lồ Pepsi’s legacy, Bray can’t help give the brand credit. “We love the years of camp celebrity alignment that Pepsi has pursued, but the truth is, Coke hasn’t had to court anything other than a consistent product.” In the end, Bray is unabashedly Team Coke: “You can’t put a price on superior suds, and for 49 cents less, Pepsi is kinda lượt thích a hotdog without the mustard.”