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10 Things You Didn’t Know About Coca-Cola

A crate of vintage Coca-Cola bottles

There are more than 1.7 billion servings of Coca-Cola every single day, including 1.2 billion cans.

The drink is a phenomenon which is more than 130 years old and remains hugely popular in 2024.

It's one of those products that just never loses popularity - even when the company tried scrapping its original recipe and introducing "New Coke" in the 1980s.

This was such a disaster it might have killed off lesser companies, but Coke has grown from strength-to-strength.

Here are 10 things you didn't know about Coca-Cola.

It originally contained cocaine

The name Coca-Cola comes from two of its first ingredients: coca leaves and kola nits.

The coca leaves are a source of cocaine and the nuts are a sort of caffeine.

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It was initially a medicine

The drink was invented by Dr John Stith Pemberton in 1886.

It was originally a "coca wine" and then later sold as a patent medicine for ailments like indigestion and headaches.

It was first only sold in pharmacies.

It sold 9 servings on its first day

Coke estimates there are 1.7 billion servings of its products a day.

On its first day, it sold nine.

Nine people brought the product from Jacob's Pharmacy in Atlanta, Georgia.

The top secret formula

The secret recipe for Coca-Cola is called "Merchandise 7X."

It is one of the most closely guarded secrets in the business world, right up there with KFC's spice mix.

Rumor is it is stored in a vault and only a few employees know the exact recipe.

It was part of the war effort

During World War II, Coke set up plants near the front lines in Europe and in the Pacific so U.S soldiers could have a taste of home.

This was a smart move as it not only boosted morale, but also expanded the company's global presence.

Coca-Cola invented the six-pack

Coke is credited as creating the concept of the six-pack in the 1920s.

It was designed for people to take home to enjoy the drink in their own houses.

Its iconic bottle

The Coke bottle is a thing of beauty, and is an instantly recognizable product.

It's been around since 1916 and was designed so it was instantly recognized even in the dark or broken.

The shape is a major part of the brand's identity.

It was the first soft drink consumed in space

In 1985, the company developed a special can to test packaging and dispensing systems for use in space.

It was taken on the Space Shuttle Challenger in 1985.

Its brilliant commercials

OK, so this probably isn't something you don't know.

It's obvious Coca-Cola is brilliant at advertising.

Its 1971 "Hilltop" advert featuring the song "I'd Like to Buy The World A Coke" is legendary.

And is it really Christmas without seeing the iconic "Holidays Are Coming" commercial?

It had polar bear mascots

The Coca-Cola polar bears were introduced in a 1993 advertising campaign.

They quickly became a much-loved symbol of the brand.

The characters were designed to evoke a feeling of togetherness and joy.

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