How Much Do You Really Know About the Fizzy Refreshment Coca-Cola?

By: John Miller

Coca-Cola is one of the world's most popular products. How long has it been around?

It was first concocted back in 1886, about two decades after the Civil War. It started as a small product that turned into one of the world's most iconic brands.

How many bottles of Coca-Cola does the company sell every day?

And you wonder why Coke is one of the most-used products on planet Earth? The company sells about 1.8 BILLION bottles of its product each and every day, in around 200 countries. Dentists everywhere rejoice in their job security.

Coca-Cola was invented by John Pemberton. What was his background?

Pemberton was a druggist who lived in Atlanta, Georgia. He created Coke as a medicine of sorts, but the product instead became a popular refreshment.

Coke wasn't really all that popular to begin with. How did marketers get people more excited about it?

A man named Griggs Candler offered free samples to get people hooked. With just one taste, they were much more willing to actually pay for it.

Why is it called "Coca-Cola," anyway?

The name "Coca-Cola" refers to the drink's ingredients. The kola nut was used for caffeine, and coca leaves were (at first) used as another stimulant.

Which country is even more obsessed with Coke than the United States?

Mexicans love Coke. By some estimates, they drink more than 740 Coke products per year. Americans? About 400.

The coca plant was once part of Coca-Cola's formula. It is known as a primary ingredient in which substance?

It's no wonder Coca-Cola was so refreshing and stimulating -- it included the coca plant, which of course is used to manufacture cocaine. Don't get excited, the company removed coca from the product way back in the early 1900s.

What's the current formula for Coca-Cola?

The formula for Coke is a closely-held trade secret. But the fact is, the company's brand name is one of the reasons it sells so much of its product, not some secret recipe.

In 1963, the company released a diet version of Coke, but it wasn't called Diet Coke. What was the name?

In the early '60s, the company knew it was due to unveil a diet version of Coke, but it didn't want to dilute its core brand name. So it used the name "Tab" instead.

John Pemberton invented the drink due to which personal problem?

Pemberton was hooked on morphine due to a Civil War injury. He hope that the formulation of Coca-Cola might alleviate some of his pain without leaving him in a stupor or suffering from withdrawal.

In 1985, what product did the company unveil?

In 1985, the company undertook one of its bravest -- and most controversial -- decisions ever, when it released New Coke. The backlash was immediate and severe.

The company released New Coke in 1985, and in 1992 changed the name of the product to _____.

New Coke wasn't a very good name, but "Coke II" seems like grasping at soda straws. We all know how this story is going to end.

True or false, is Diet Coke pretty much the same formula as Coke, but with fewer calories?

Diet Coke might as well be an entirely different product, because it's formula is not at all like Coke's. In some places, it's not called Diet Coke, it's called Coca-Cola Light.

New Coke was introduced in 1985, and many people threw a fit about it. How long did New Coke last?

The fiasco that was New Coke dragged on for -- believe it or not -- nearly 20 years. Introduced in 1985, it finally went away for good in 2002.

Why did the company introduce New Coke, anyway?

A soda upstart named Pepsi was slashing into Coke's market share. In desperation, the company did away with its flagship product and brought in New Coke ... and it didn't go well.

After introducing New Coke in 1985, how long did it take the company to reintroduce the "Classic" formula?

Coke put tremendous effort and marketing into New Coke, but the borderline violent backlash against the product meant that "old" Coke was back in stores in about three months. New Coke and Classic Coke were sold side by side for years.

What's special about Coca-Cola Zero?

Coke Zero has no calories. Unlike Diet Coke, the company specifically targeted Zero towards males, who often associate diet drinks with more feminine soda choices.

When did Coke come up with the idea of putting its product into cans?

During World War II, shipping bottles to troops serving overseas wasn't an option, so the company came up with the idea for aluminum cans. But that idea stalled largely due to aluminum rationing.

New Coke immediately caused a backlash. So what's one potential reason the company tried to keep selling it for years?

We'll probably never know for sure, but there was rampant speculation that New Coke was significantly cheaper to manufacture. So the company kept pushing the product, hoping to increase its profits.

Coke sells so many products that about ____ are consumed every second of the day.

Every second of the day, about 10,000 Coke products are consumed by people around the world. And according to the commercials, some polar bears partake, too.

The company says that there is an ideal temperature range for its flagship beverage. What is it?

If you've ever had a Coke that's too warm, you know it -- the sweetness can be a bit overwhelming. But at the "ideal" temperature of 34 to 38 degrees Fahrenheit, it's a fizzy and refreshing treat.

What is NOT one flavor of Coca-Cola Zero?

There is no blueberry version of Coke Zero. It's been created in lemon, vanilla and cherry varieties.

How much sugar does a 12-ounce can of regular Coca-Cola contain?

A single can of Coke contains about 38 grams of sugar (mostly as high fructose corn syrup). For many people, that's a pretty significant chunk of their sugar intake for a single day.

Coke has NEVER been created in which type of flavor?

There has never been a pine version of Coke. Cherry Coke, however, is one of the company's most successful offshoots of its famous product.

In 1990, Coke unveiled its MagiCans. What was in those cans?

MagiCans had cash in them -- sometimes up to $500. In order to prevent people from guessing that lighter cans contained money, the company also put a type of gross water in the can. Some people drank it, and of course, subsequently sued.

Coke's advertising had a major impact on the image of which holiday character?

In the 1920s, Coke changed up its Christmas season advertising to feature a jolly version of Santa Claus. Until that point, the depictions of Santa were less uniform (and often less jolly).

What flavor did Coca-Cola Blak contain?

Coca-Cola Blak was available in the mid-2000s, in a select number of countries. It had a strong coffee flavor that completed the cola.

The company now makes a lot of different beverages. About how many beverages originate with the Coca-Cola Company?

From soda, to energy drinks, to juices, Coca-Cola sells thousands of different beverages. It currently makes about 3,500 drinks.

How is the Coke served at McDonald's different from the Coke at many other places?

Coke and McDonald's have had a close relatonship for decades. Unlike most joints, McDonald's receives its Coke in stainless steel containers instead of plastic bags. Many people swear that there is a taste difference.

What is Coca-Cola Life?

Coca-Cola Life tastes a lot like regular Coke. But it uses sugar and stevia as its primary sweeteners, a fact that cuts down on calories.

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About This Quiz

Coca-Cola is a soft drink, but it's so much more than a beverage. It's an iconic product that's recognizable to pretty much everyone on Earth. How much do you know about Coke?

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