Who is Caleb Bradham?
Pharmacist Caleb Bradham began experimenting with combinations of spices, juices and syrups, trying to create a refreshing new drink to serve to his customers. He invented the beverage now known as Pepsi-Cola.
In 1893, “Brad’s Drink” was made from a mixture of sugar, water, caramel, lemon oil, nutmeg, and other natural additives. It became an overnight sensation. Despite its name, pepsin was never an ingredient of Pepsi-Cola.
On August 28, 1898, Bradham renamed his drink “Pepsi-Cola." He thought that his beverage was a “healthy” cola that aided in digestion (getting its roots from the word dyspepsia, meaning indigestion).
The Pepsi-Cola Company was formed in 1902 and on June 16, 1903 "Pepsi-Cola" became an official trademark. Pepsi-Cola was first offered in bottles in 1904.
In 1910 Pepsi-Cola had over 200 franchises in 24 states. Pepsi-Cola's first bottler convention was held in New Bern North Carolina.
Due to the high price and rationing of sugar during WW1, Pepsi-Cola fell on some hard times. Bradham's company could not produce enough of his product to keep up with the public's demand. This led to its downfall, and in 1923 Pepsi-Cola officially went bankrupt.
The company's assets were sold to the Craven Holding Corporation for $30,000.
Pepsi made a comeback and in 2012, it was ranked #41 on the Fortune 500 list.