Bet you didn’t know the drink company you love has some many not so family friendly secrets. Coca-Cola ships practically all over the world, they have something for everyone. No one would suspect that they were once up to the 10 shady things on this list.
10. This Is Why It’s Called Coca-Cola
Coca-Cola has its name for one reason and one reason only. They used cocaine in their formula for years. Now, this isn’t a huge secret and when asked about it, Coca-Cola tends to downplay just how important a fact like this is. The drink was supposedly made for medicinal benefits. Creator Dr. John Pemberton admitted to putting just enough cocaine in the drink for people to reap the benefits and “give you a fix”. So, essentially, Coca-Cola was drugging the nation for decades and no one thought to call the board of health. Back in the 1800s when Coca-Cola was created, using small amounts of cocaine was normal. It was seen more as something helpful than anything else. However, by 1903, the brand decided to remove cocaine from their drinks. Not because they were forced by the US government. More so, because the drink was so cheap that every race could drink it. White people began to assume that black people at the time would become cocaine fiends and sexually assault white women and children. This would not be the last time that Coca-Cola had a brush with racism. The brand was later called out for being Nazi sympathizers.
9. They Have Way Better Flavors (Not Available In The US)
This happens with just about everything. Outside of the US, there are way better flavors for drinks and food. So, obviously, Coca-Cola is no different. In Belgium, and parts of France, there is a blood orange flavor called Coca-Cola Light Sango. Skip on over to Japan and Mexico and you can have a citrus cola and in South Africa, there is Bibo Candy Pine Nut. There are obviously way too many combinations to name and probably some we will never hear of. If you live in Atlanta and you are feeling adventurous, the coke home base sometimes offer a few of the popular flavors from around the world. At Disney Springs in Epcot, they have an area called Club Cool that allows you to sample flavors of sodas from around the world. Some of these obscure Coca-Cola flavors have shown up there. The most America gets is Cherry Coke, Lemon/Lime Coke (once) and a Vanilla Coke. There are a few others that we are missing for sure but still nothing as spectacular, (maybe a better word is adventurous) as the ones featured around the world. Chances are they wouldn’t sell well here anyway, the palate is way too different.
8. They Are Willing To Buy Anyone Out For World Domination
Coca-Cola has dominated the beverage market in almost every country. They do so by marketing flavors that are interesting to that country and also by offering their original beverage. However, they haven’t dominated every country and this doesn’t sit well with them. When Coca-Cola first entered India, it bombed. So badly so, that they packed up and left. India then took it upon themselves to create their own brand of coke called Thums Up. It’s sugary, sweet and offers flavors that at the time Coca-Cola wasn’t privy to. The brand saw the success that Thums Up was having and decided that they weren’t going to be outdone. They entered the Indian market again but in a schemey roundabout way. They bought out Thums Up and rebranded a slight bit. What they kept though was the actual Thums Up brand. So, now, they are in the Indian market under the name of Thums Up but selling Coca-Cola products. If you think about it, it’s a great strategy and we can almost guarantee that there are people in India right now that don’t even know this has taken place. They think they are drinking the same old brand of Thums Up and technically, they are.
7. It Was Initially Called ‘Nerve Tonic’
The company initially wanted to market themselves as a medicinal company. You know the whole cocaine incident and the supposed medicinal value it had. Back in 1886 when the brand was a small idea in entrepreneur John Pemberton’s mind it was not meant to be a delicious drink. It was meant to me be a healing ‘nerve tonic’. Something that could cure migraines and impotence among other ailments. Pemberton like many others during this time had a horrible addiction to morphine. He created this tonic as a way to not only ease himself off of his morphine addiction but to ease the symptoms of withdrawal from morphine. Morphine withdrawal was one of the harshest withdrawals one could go through at the time. This was why cocaine was added to the concoction. It was meant to go head to head with morphine leaving a relaxing feel but not one that was psychedelic and debilitating. Morphine at the time was also one of those drugs prescribed to people who have PTSD after the civil war, psychosis or extreme pain from injuries usually sustained from the Civil War. Pemberton really thought he was curing his pain and battling his addiction with his ‘nerve tonic’. So much so that he marketed it, thus beginning the rise of Coca-Cola.
6. Sigmund Freud Claimed It Cured him
Sigmund Freud was a big believer in Pemberton’s product. Years after Pemberton claimed his product was essentially a miracle worker, Freud backed this idea up. He claimed that in addition to Coca-Cola being able to cure migraines and addictions to drugs it helped him personally. That it supposedly cured him of his depression and increased his sex drive. Knowing what we now know about cocaine, this kind of makes sense. It isn’t a permanent or even long-lasting solution but one nonetheless and better than everything else they had at the time. Because of all the positives, he saw with this ‘nerve tonic’ Freud became a regular user of it. And, he eventually wrote in detail about his experience with the tonic including all the possibilities of it in his 1884 scientific paper. We are sure this helped out Pemberton a lot and increased sales of his makeshift remedy. We have to wonder though, Coca-Cola today is so sweet and yummy what did it taste like back then? At one point due to the war sugar rations were low. So, how did this company stay afloat and continue to provide Pemberton’s ‘nerve tonic’ to the masses? Especially after Freud gave it such a glowing review.
5. The Oldest Sponsors Of The Olympics
Coca-Cola has been sponsoring the Olympics from day one. They have been the official sponsor of the Olympics since 1928. This should be something to celebrate. Seriously, since 1928 can any other company say they have that standing with other companies? It’s kind of spectacular if you think about it. But, even this has managed to upset a few people here and there. We all know that the Olympics is hosted in a new country every time and the year it was hosted in Sochi, was one of the most complained about years in the Olympic history. Really, in addition to the athlete’s accommodations, fans were upset and someone even protested that the Olympics should not be held in a country where LGBT rights are not realized. To make matters worse, people wanted Coca-Cola to remove their sponsorship for that year because what they have advertised for decades completely went against everything that the county supported. Of course, Coca-Cola did not appease the masses. In fact, they didn’t even respond to the outrage. They have never been ones to settle or appease people. Some may even say they have a track record of not doing just that. Take a deeper look into that Nazi sympathizer thing we mentioned above.
4. They Serve 3,500 Products Around The World
In fact, there may actually be more than 3,500 Coca-Cola products. The number is hazy and Coca-Cola is no help in narrowing it down. It’s like everything is a secret to this brand (the Coke formula and now this). Some people have been able to prove at least 3,500 products with affiliation to Coca-Cola are out there. Someone even did the math and said that if you were to drink one Coke product a day, it would take an astonishing 9 plus years to get through them all. We have to wonder, how many things can Coca-Cola have their hands in? We know they are somewhat of an umbrella corporation by taking other brands and marketing them. Also, we are also sure there has to be another company with just as much if not more products. But, Coke is one of those brands that makes us wonder exactly what all these products are. In addition, how they are playing into society’s norms. We can safely say a majority of the products are soft drink related and a few food items. The brand has their name on a lot of products and many people forget that overseas, it’s a whole new ball game. Different products, different varieties and they may even have more there than we will ever have in America.
3. North Korea Doesn’t Want It And Cuba Can’t Have It
Even though Coca-Cola seems to have a handle on the market. Many are surprised to know that they are technically not universal. The brand has had a hard time getting into the market in North Korea and Cuba. There are simple explanations for this. North Korea overturned an embargo on US goods entering their country while George W. Bush was president. Not to mention, they basically hate the US and everything they stand for. However, this could change soon enough seeing as President Trump is getting chummy with Kim Jong Un. As for Cuba, well, we all know the extremely fragile relationship between Cuba and the United States. So, of course, for the longest time, the United States didn’t want anything to do with the communist country. However, this could change seeing as Cuba and the United States are more talkative with one another recently. Also, Jay Z and Beyonce went on vacation there. This stunned many people but also gave them a different point of view. One that says “hmm, maybe Cuba isn’t that bad”. Either way, Coca-Cola isn’t as savvy as they thought they were. It looks like not everyone wants their products and those that don’t have it, aren’t really missing anything special.
2. H2NO Campaign
Coca-Cola is apparently one of the most drank beverages across the world. It sounds unrealistic because of all the sugar and the facts that have come out about the drink. Like, cleaning dirty pennies and unclogging drains no even a whole can of the brown stuff. Yet, we consume it and don’t even think twice about it. Although, it still has nothing on coffee and water. Hence the H2NO campaign. In the early nineties, the brand ran a campaign that basically wanted to encourage people to hate on water. It was supposed to teach waiters at the Olive Garden to push Coca-Cola products as opposed to offering water first. We have a few questions about this tactic though. Why the Olive Garden? It’s not a top of the line restaurant and it’s not even that great. Also, why in the world would the brand assume that someone who rarely (maybe never) drinks carbonated sodas would all of a sudden want a Coke product. Because it is being offered by an Olive Garden waiter? The whole logic is all kinds of messed up. But it does make for a good laugh. People did love those breadsticks in the 90s. Maybe the plan was to get them intoxicated off of garlic breadsticks and pile them with soda.
1. It Was Originally An Alcoholic Beverage
Originally, the Coca-Cola brand did not want to admit that their highly addictive, sugary drink had anything to do with alcohol. When in fact, it was invented because of prohibition. Pemberton’s original formula had to be reformulated because of the aggressive removal of alcohol at the time. You see, Pemberton initially made a Coca wine but once prohibition was in place it was illegal to sell the substance. This is where his idea to remake the drink with cocaine came into play. Cocaine is so much better, right? Pemberton’s original formula became famous for its 7x formula; alcohol, orange oil, lemon oil, nutmeg, coriander neroli, and cinnamon. Only, people began to question how much alcohol was in the drink. It turns out a whole 8 oz. However, Coke laughed it off and everyone kind of forgot about it until 2012. In 2012, scientists found traces of alcohol in Coke. This proposed a huge problem for a few countries that carried the product. In particular, Muslim speaking countries because alcohol is ban there. The brand insisted that it was naturally occurring and that they don’t include alcohol in their beverages. Not many people were believing this. Can you blame them with the shady past Coke has had?
Many people drink Coke and think it’s not as harmful as many others say or there are worse things out there or the best one yet, they ingest Diet Coke thinking that it is so different from regular Coke. All of these ‘facts’ are wrong. Coke has a history of being not only unhealthy but at some point, it was mind altering and even booted from a few countries. Americans will never give up on their drink of choice and because of this Coke continues to be one of the most ingested beverages out there.