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Coke vs Pepsi

Updated on February 7, 2011

Introducing the Competitors

In this corner, the heavyweight soda pop champion of the world... Coke! With a market capitalization of over 126 billion dollars, Coke rules the sugary soft drink shelves. Over 10 million shares of KO are publicly traded daily. Investors enjoy a comfortable 5% annual return on their investment. The Coke Corporation owns such familiar brand names as Minute Maid, Bacardi, and Nestea.

Introducing the challenger ... Pepsi! This plucky performer is no upstart in the fizzy flavored water business, no siree! Pepsi boasts a market capitalization of over 94 billion dollars as almost 8 million shares change hands each day. Pepsi products include Pepsi, Diet Pepsi, Gatorade, Topicana, and Quaker Oats.

Battling for Shelf Space

With great power comes great pressure to stay on top. Actually, the top shelf is not the most desirable location for Coke or Pepsi products. "First Position" is considered, in the cola wars, the display location closest to the cash registers. Competition rages. Lawsuits fly. Soft Drink vendors negotiate for exclusivity rights, the holy grail of retail marketing. An exclusive contract cedes all shelf space to one manufacturer. Companies pay huge 'signing bonuses' to retailers for the privelge of monopolizing their store. Is it ethical? Courts have decided both ways,

Convenience Stores Rule the Market

Over 144,000 convenience stores dot the retail landscape throughout  the United States. Eighty per cent sell beer, but 100 per cent sell soda, tea, and sports drinks. Per store annual sales of soft drinks totals over $72,000, according to the National Association of Convenience Stores.

Convenience stores also lead every other category or retailler in sales of sports drinks. Grocery stores, mass marketers, wholesale clubs, and drug stores all lag behind. Coke markets Powerade and Pepsi markets Gatorade, which it purchased from Quaker Oats.

Diet vs Regular

Diet soft drinks contain fewer calories than their sugary counterparts. The better tasting alternative is and always will be a matter of opinion. Many devotees assert they can tell the difference while blindfolded. Logically, if they were the same, only low-cal versions would populate store shelves. Controversy rages over the possible health concerns of artificial sweeteners. Huge quantities of some synthetic sugars seem to stimulate cancer in laboratory animals. Skeptical scientists point out the absurdly large quantities that must be ingested in order to replicate these results.

Possible Health Concerns?

The first rule of advertising being "sell what you got", we can learn quite a bit about soft drinks by studying their attempts at reaching customers. Consider some of the more famous catch-phrases rolled by Coke and Pepsi:

Coke Adds Life
Have a Coke and a Smile
Come Alive! You're In The Pepsi Generation.
Pepsi, The Choice Of A New Generation.
The Joy of Pepsi

Soft drink companies put their best foot forward. Evidently they strongly desire their products to be associated with feel-good concepts and peer pressure. They obviously aren't selling nutritional benefits.

Coke in Space

In 1985 specially modified Coke cans were launched as payload aboard the Space Shuttle Challenger. The cans sported special dispensers that were tested and evaluated by astronauts.

Coke engineers Arthur Rudick and William Credle applied for and received a patent (4,848,418) for a space-ready soft drink dispenser that operates without the benefit of gravity. We may safely assume that nothing now stands in the way of colonizing the moon.

Hot Tip: The patent has expired.

Coke in Space
Coke in Space

Pepsi Raw

In 2008 Pepsi introduced a new product in the United Kingdom. Called Pepsi Raw, it targets health-conscious soft drinkers. This new concoction trims about 30 calories from traditional Pepsi. Fake stuff is replaced with apple parts, coffee leaves, and real sugar.


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    • nicomp profile image

      nicomp really 6 years ago from Ohio, USA


    • profile image

      anto 6 years ago

      coca cola or coke is better then everything pepsi is a suped drink

    • profile image

      mike 6 years ago

      coke all the way

    • profile image

      YLEGNAH 6 years ago


      .datz ol i can say...

    • profile image

      Quietman 6 years ago

      Pepsi is better in my opinion, guess because it and I are both from NC. An ice cold Pepsi is better when you are thirsty, although either is fine with a meal.

    • nicomp profile image

      nicomp really 6 years ago from Ohio, USA

      @tanner: I noticed your caps lock key might be defective.

      BTW, how are things in the U.P.?

    • profile image

      tanner 6 years ago

      nicomp. ur a retard and nobody likes you. ur an idiot

    • profile image

      Davey B 6 years ago

      Coca Cola is Americana...

    • nicomp profile image

      nicomp really 6 years ago from Ohio, USA

      Tony Wrote:

      "I prefer Coke. But what comes to coke vs pepsi wars, then i think pepsi is losing it to Coke because coke is clearly doing ten times more advertising and branding that pepsi. People are brain washed by Coca Cola's ads"

      Thanks, Tony! Great comments.

    • profile image

      AVI 7 years ago


    • minesgm profile image

      minesgm 7 years ago from Texas

      some part of Austin area love coke too.. Dr. pepper is the kind!

    • stuff4you profile image

      stuff4you 7 years ago

      Organic pop needs to become more common. It does exist, I once had it at a French restaurant (USA).

    • nicomp profile image

      nicomp really 7 years ago from Ohio, USA

      @jonkarna: I could used some jQuery hubs. I am a jQuery neophyte but I'm trying to learn.

    • jonkarna profile image

      jonkarna 7 years ago

      I just went down to the soda machine and was really hoping for a Coke. Settled for a Pepsi. Then I wondered if someone has written about this topic yet... and here you are :D

    • profile image

      HotGirl101 7 years ago

      COKE IS BETTER! It was invented 12 years B4 PEPSI! so, you can kinda guess where pepsi got its idea...

    • Tom Whitworth profile image

      Tom Whitworth 8 years ago from Moundsville, WV


      I just heard this morning on FBN Coke is having a battle over price with Costco. Coke has been removed from Costco shelves over this dispute.

      As for myself I like them both it just depends on the mood I'm in, but I do think Pepsi is a little sweeter. In the old days I really preferred the 6 ounce Cokes that only cost a nickle. They seemed to have a little more bite.

    • nicomp profile image

      nicomp really 8 years ago from Ohio, USA

      @Madame X: I have heard that some 'versions' of Coke have a better quality of sweetener and some people claim the improvement in taste is noticeable.

    • sultana657 profile image

      sultana657 8 years ago from Dhaka


    • profile image

      Madame X 8 years ago

      nicomp - diet sodas contain aspartame, which is addictive (surprize!) and does all sorts of bad stuff to you. Donald Rumsfeld said he "called in every chit he had" to get aspartame approved by the FDA - such a nice guy . . .

      In Mexico, Coca Cola and Pepsi are shipped versions of those products without the aspartame (not sure why) or maybe they're just bottled there without it. Anyway, whenever I want a coke I go to a Mexican grocery (there are lots of them here in CA!) and get it there. All sugar, no aspartame!


    • nicomp profile image

      nicomp really 8 years ago from Ohio, USA

      @Harvey Stelman: I agree. I can tell the difference between them myself.

    • Harvey Stelman profile image

      Harvey Stelman 8 years ago from Illinois


      I have been addicted to Pepsi for over 53 years, it is the sweeter of the two.Coke mixes better with alcohol.

    • KCC Big Country profile image

      Karen Curtis 8 years ago from Central Texas

      It's a southern thang, y'all. :)

    • Hmrjmr1 profile image

      Hmrjmr1 8 years ago from Georgia, USA

      Yup same way

    • Georgiakevin profile image

      Georgiakevin 8 years ago from Central Georgia

      Same way in Georgia

    • nicomp profile image

      nicomp really 8 years ago from Ohio, USA

      @A Texan: "Me coke"??

      No articles in Texas? Did they run out of complete sentences?

    • profile image

      A Texan 8 years ago

      Every soft drink in Texas is called a coke!


      Waitress What would you like to drink?

      Me A coke!

      Waitress What kind of coke?

      Me Pepsi!