The Big Brand Debate Coca Cola vs. Pepsi

Maggie Schmitt, Features/Graphics Editor

From bags of chips, to cookies, to soda, everyone has junk food they love. What surprises many people though is that the majority of the junk food seen on the grocery store shelves is owned by one of two brands. 

The Coca-Cola Company, starting out as nothing more than a doctor with a flavorful syrup, has been around since 1892. The fizzy beverage we now see everywhere was revolutionary for its time due to its unique flavor profile and bubble nature. Being sold in a pharmacy, it took years until the company became a major drink retailer.

Up until the 1950s, Coca-Cola had not been a major drink retailer. Only around 1960 did Coca-Cola truly begin to gain popularity and become a household name.The Pepsi Company was founded around this same time in 1965.

With both companies being around for so long, it is no surprise that they have each chosen to expand their market. Currently, Coca-Cola owns over 200 brands worldwide. This allows them to reach a large audience of people with varying tastes and preferences. Along with popular sodas and juices such as MinuteMaid, Powerade, and Fanta, they also own an abundance of tea and coffee brands such as Honest Tea, Peacetea, and Costa Coffee.

While Coca-Cola has primarily stayed within the drink market, PepsiCo has expanded into the world of snacks. While only owning 23 different brands compared to Coke´s 200 brands, each of these brands individually earn PepsiCo over one billion dollars annually. Some of the most popular PepsiCo drinks currently found on the market include Mountain Dew, Lipton Iced Tea, Gatorade, and of course, Pepsi. The company also boasts many food brands. They manufacture popular chip brands such as Doritos and Tostitos, as well as household staples such as Quaker Oats, Life Cereal, and Rice-A-Roni.

Due to their similar flavor profiles and raging popularity, it is no surprise that there has been a strong debate over whether Pepsi or Coke is the better drink. 

¨Pepsi is better,¨ sophomore Riley Brown said. ¨It doesn’t leave a weird residue on your teeth (like Coke does).¨

While many people prefer Pepsi and Coke, others like the similar soda: Dr. Pepper. ¨Dr. Pepper is the best soda,¨ sophomore Heshan Abshaban said. Against common knowledge, Dr. Pepper is not owned by the Coca-Cola company, but instead by the brand Keurig Dr Pepper. Created in 1889, Dr Pepper has been around for a long time. Boasting 23 individual fruit flavors, it is similar to Pepsi and Coke, but still it retains its own uniqueness.

With so many products available, there is no doubt the Coca-Cola Company, PepsiCo and Keurig Dr Pepper play a large role in snack consumerism.