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15 Facts about Coca-Cola That You’ve Hardly Ever Known

7. During the early the 1900s, Coca-Cola marketed for whites whereas Pepsi marketed for blacks.

Coca-cola and pepsi vintage ads
Image credit: Wikipedia, Tom Driggers/Flickr

Coca-Cola, during the 20s and 30s, completely ignored the African-American community by marketing it only for whites. The promotional material was only displayed in areas populated by whites or segregated areas, but not in all African-American areas. Pepsi, on the other hand, used black sales representatives and black models in ads with their promotional material on display in areas populated by African-Americans. As the decades passed and the scenery changed along with a lot of growth and expansion, both the companies widened their marketing and campaigning departments. (source)

6. Some farmers in the eastern state of Chhattisgarh, India, use Coca-Cola and Pepsi to deal with pests. The sugar in the drinks attracts ants which in turn feed on insect larvae.

Farmer in India
Image credit: Pixabay, Wikimedia

According to some farmers, using soft-drinks along with pesticides has improved crop production and served as a remedy for pests for these rice farmers. According to the agricultural specialist Devendra Sharma, the practice is not new. In old days, jaggery made from sugar cane was used to achieve the same result. Another added bonus to using soft-drinks in crops is that they provide a direct supply of carbohydrates which help the plants improve their immunity and yield on the whole. Furthermore, the costs of using soft-drinks have decreased their expenditure on crops by ten times. (source)

5. Fanta was invented during the second world war when C0ca-Cola couldn’t import syrup into Nazi Germany because of a trade embargo. Instead, they made Fanta only using the available ingredients at that time.

Image credit: Bundesarchiv/Wikimedia, SKopp/Wikimedia

The name Fanta was a result of a brainstorming session in which the team was told to “use their imagination”. The German word for imagination is “Fantasie” from which the word Fanta was derived. They produced the drink using the only ingredients available in Germany (including whey and apple pomace too) at that time due to the embargo on some of the ingredients required to make the actual Coca-Cola. After the war was over, Coca-Cola regained control over the plant discontinuing the new drink and doing a complete relaunch later in 1955 especially in Europe, South America, Asia, and Africa. (source)

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4. People have been finding new uses for Coca-Cola, including using it to repel insects, kill snails or slugs, loosen rusty bolts, clean car battery terminals and even to clean toilets.

For a lot of DIYers, Coca-Cola isn’t just a great tasting drink. The carbonated soft-drink, due to the fuzzy soda bubbles and acids, are claimed to loosen up the grime and limescale buildup in toilets. The instructions for usage seem to be simple, all you have to do is pour some Coca-Cola into the toilet bowl and scrub a little. It is also claimed to clean baking dishes with much ease. Apart from cleaning, Coca-Cola is used in cooking as well. There are recipes that call for marinating and cooking meat in Coca-Cola. (source)

3. Coca-Cola was originally created by John Pemberton as a substitute for his morphine addiction. It was an alcoholic drink at first and the alcohol was later removed during the prohibition period.

Coca-cola drug
Image credit: Rick Gardiner/Wikimedia

John Pemberton was wounded during the American Civil War. To find relief from the pain, he got addicted to morphine but felt a need to stop it. Finding inspiration from a French coca wine, he developed a prototype in Pemberton’s Eagle Drug and Chemical House. The drink was first sold in Atlanta as a patent medicine for five cents per glass. It was a time when people in the United States thought soda water was good for health and Pemberton sold his drink claiming it cured many neurological diseases and even impotence. (source)

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2. It is estimated that Americans consume around 1.7 million tons of sugar, or 10.8 pounds per person, in a year from drinking Coca-Cola.

Sugar in coke
Image credit: Pixabay

According to an estimation, Americans drink at least 399 servings of Coca-Cola in a year. Combining that with the amount of sugar per serving, around 39 grams, the American population consumes a whopping amount of sugar that will give many diet-conscious people a start. Among these soft-drinks, 50% belong to the Coke brand and 60% are classic Coca-Cola. (source)

1. Coca leaves are still a part of Coca-Cola’s formula but the cocaine is extracted for medical use and the remaining matter is used for flavoring the drink.

Coca Leaf and Coca-Cola
Image Source: Wikipedia Commons, Wikipedia Commons

It was in 1903 that Coca-Cola decided to remove cocaine as an ingredient in making the soft-drink. Instead, the stimulating ingredient used in the drink had become caffeine. However, the coca plant is still said to be part of the drink formula. A company in New Jersey imports coca leaves from Peru to extract pure cocaine for medical use, and also it produces a cocaine-free leaf extract which is believed to be used as a flavoring ingredient. However, since the recipe is a secret and hidden from all prying and curious eyes, we will never know for sure. (1, 2)

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