The Coca-Cola Company (Coca-Cola) is a leading manufacturer, distributor and marketer of Non-alcoholic beverage concentrates and syrups, in the world. The company owns or licenses more than 400 brands, including diet and light beverages, waters, juice and juice drinks, teas, coffees, and energy and sports drinks. The company operates in more than 200 countries. Approximately 74% of its products are sold outside of the US. The company is headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia and employs 71,000 people as of September 2008.The company recorded revenues of $24,088 million during the fiscal year ended December 2008, an increase of 4.3% over 2007. The increase in revenue was primarily due to increase in sales of Unit cases of company’s products from approximately 20.6 billion unit cases of the company’s Products in 2007 to approximately 21.4 billion unit cases in 2008, the increase in the Price and Product/geographic mix also boosted the revenue growth. The company-wide gallon sales and unit case volume both grew 4% in 2008 when compared to 2007. The operating profit of the company was $6,308 million during fiscal year 2008, an increase of 3.7% over 2007. The net profit was $5,080 million in fiscal year 2008, an increase of 4.3% over 2007.
Coca-Cola was first introduced by John Smyth Pemberton, a pharmacist, in the year 1886 in Atlanta, Georgia when he invented caramel-colored syrup in a three-legged brass kettle in his backyard. He first “distributed” the product by carrying it in a jug down the street to Jacob’s Pharmacy and customers bought the drink for five cents at the soda fountain. Carbonated water was teamed with the new syrup, whether by accident or otherwise, producing a drink that was proclaimed “delicious and refreshing”, a theme that continues to echo today wherever Coca-Cola is enjoyed.
Dr. Pemberton’s partner and book-keeper, Frank M. Robinson, suggested the name and penned “Coca-Cola” in the unique flowing script that is famous worldwide even today. He suggested that “the two Cs would look well in advertising.” The first newspaper ad for Coca-Cola soon appeared in The Atlanta Journal, inviting thirsty citizens to try “the new and popular soda fountain drink.” Hand-painted oil cloth signs reading “Coca-Cola” appeared on store awnings, with the suggestions “Drink” added to inform passersby that the new beverage was for soda fountain refreshment.
By the year 1886, sales of Coca-Cola averaged nine drinks per day. The first year, Dr. Pemberton sold 25 gallons of syrup, shipped in bright red wooden kegs. Red has been a distinctive color associated with the soft drink ever since. For his efforts, Dr. Pemberton grossed $50 and spent $73.96 on advertising. Dr. Pemberton never realized the potential of the beverage he created. He gradually sold portions of his business to various partners and, just prior to his death in 1888, sold his remaining interest in Coca-Cola to Asa G. Candler, an entrepreneur from Atlanta.
By the year 1891, Mr. Candler proceeded to buy additional rights and acquire complete ownership and control of the Coca-Cola business. Within four years, his merchandising flair had helped expand consumption of Coca-Cola to every state and territory after which he liquidated his pharmaceutical business and focused his full attention on the soft drink. With his brother, John S. Candler, John Pemberton’s former partner Frank Robinson and two other associates, Mr. Candler formed a Georgia corporation named the Coca-Cola Company. The trademark “Coca-Cola,” used in the marketplace since 1886, was registered in the United States Patent Office on January 31, 1893.
The business continued to grow, and in 1894, the first syrup manufacturing plant outside Atlanta was opened in Dallas, Texas. Others were opened in Chicago, Illinois, and Los Angeles, California, the following year. In 1895, three years after The Coca-Cola Company’s incorporation, Mr. Candler announced in his annual...