Confederate Colonel John Pemberton, wounded in the American Civil War and addicted to morphine, also had a medical degree and began a quest to find a substitute for the problematic drug. In 1885 at Pemberton's Eagle Drug and Chemical House, his drugstore in Columbus, Georgia, he registered Pemberton's French Wine Coca nerve tonic. Pemberton's tonic may have been inspired by the formidable success of Vin Mariani, a French-Corsican coca wine, but his recipe additionally included the African kola nut, the beverage's source of caffeine. A Spanish drink called "Kola Coca" was presented at a contest in Philadelphia in 1885, a year before the official birth of Coca-Cola. The rights for this Spanish drink were bought by Coca-Cola in 1953.
The Coca-Cola logo was created by John Pemberton's bookkeeper, Frank Mason Robinson, in 1885. Robinson came up with the name and chose the logo's distinctive cursive script. The writing style used, known as Spencerian Script, was developed in the mid-19th century and was the dominant form of formal handwriting in the United States during that period.
In 1886, when Atlanta and Fulton County passed prohibition legislation, Pemberton responded by developing Coca-Cola, a nonalcoholic version of Pemberton's French Wine Coca. It was marketed as "Coca-Cola: The temperance drink", which appealed to many people as the temperance movement enjoyed wide support during this time. The first sales were at Jacob's Pharmacy in Atlanta, Georgia, on May 8, 1886, where it initially sold for five cents a glass. Drugstore soda fountains were popular in the United States at the time due to the belief that carbonated water was good for the health, and Pemberton's new drink was marketed and sold as a patent medicine, Pemberton claiming it a cure for many diseases, including morphine addiction, indigestion, nerve disorders, headaches, and impotence. Pemberton ran the first advertisement for the beverage on May 29 of the same year in the Atlanta Journal.
On February 11, 2011, Ira Glass said on his PRI radio show, This American Life, that TAL staffers had found a recipe in "Everett Beal's Recipe Book", reproduced in the February 28, 1979, issue of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, that they believed was either Pemberton's original formula for Coca-Cola, or a version that he made either before or after the product hit the market in 1886. The formula basically matched the one found in Pemberton's diary. Coca-Cola archivist Phil Mooney acknowledged that the recipe "could be a precursor" to the formula used in the original 1886 product, but emphasized that Pemberton's original formula is not the same as the one used in the current product.
Coca-Cola, or Coke, is a carbonated soft drink manufactured by the Coca-Cola Company. Originally marketed as a temperance drink and intended as a patent medicine, it was invented in the late 19th century by John Stith Pemberton in Atlanta, Georgia. In 1888, Pemberton sold Coca-Cola's ownership rights to Asa Griggs Candler, a businessman, whose marketing tactics led Coca-Cola to its dominance of the global soft-drink market throughout the 20th and 21st century. The drink's name refers to two of its original ingredients: coca leaves and kola nuts (a source of caffeine). The current formula of Coca-Cola remains a closely guarded trade secret; however, a variety of reported recipes and experimental recreations have been published. The secrecy around the formula has been used by Coca-Cola in its marketing as only a handful of anonymous employees know the formula. The drink has inspired imitators and created a whole classification of soft drink: colas.
In 1914, Margaret Dozier, as co-owner of the original Coca-Cola Company in 1888, came forward to claim that her signature on the 1888 Coca-Cola Company bill of sale had been forged. Subsequent analysis of other similar transfer documents had also indicated John Pemberton's signature had most likely been forged as well, which some accounts claim was precipitated by his son Charley.
By 1888, three versions of Coca-Cola – sold by three separate businesses – were on the market. A co-partnership had been formed on January 14, 1888, between Pemberton and four Atlanta businessmen: J.C. Mayfield, A.O. Murphey, C.O. Mullahy, and E.H. Bloodworth. Not codified by any signed document, a verbal statement given by Asa Candler years later asserted under testimony that he had acquired a stake in Pemberton's company as early as 1887. John Pemberton declared that the name "Coca-Cola" belonged to his son, Charley, but the other two manufacturers could continue to use the formula.
Charley Pemberton's record of control over the "Coca-Cola" name was the underlying factor that allowed for him to participate as a major shareholder in the March 1888 Coca-Cola Company incorporation filing made in his father's place. Charley's exclusive control over the "Coca-Cola" name became a continual thorn in Asa Candler's side. Candler's oldest son, Charles Howard Candler, authored a book in 1950 published by Emory University. In this definitive biography about his father, Candler specifically states: " on April 14, 1888, the young druggist Asa Griggs Candler purchased a one-third interest in the formula of an almost completely unknown proprietary elixir known as Coca-Cola." The deal was actually between John Pemberton's son Charley and Walker, Candler & Co. – with John Pemberton acting as cosigner for his son. For $50 down and $500 in 30 days, Walker, Candler & Co. obtained all of the one-third interest in the Coca-Cola Company that Charley held, all while Charley still held on to the name. After the April 14 deal, on April 17, 1888, one-half of the Walker/Dozier interest shares were acquired by Candler for an additional $750.
After Candler had gained a better foothold on Coca-Cola in April 1888, he nevertheless was forced to sell the beverage he produced with the recipe he had under the names "Yum Yum" and "Koke". This was while Charley Pemberton was selling the elixir, although a cruder mixture, under the name "Coca-Cola", all with his father's blessing. After both names failed to catch on for Candler, by the middle of 1888, the Atlanta pharmacist was quite anxious to establish a firmer legal claim to Coca-Cola, and hoped he could force his two competitors, Walker and Dozier, completely out of the business, as well.
John Pemberton died suddenly on August 16, 1888. Asa Candler then decided to move swiftly forward to attain full control of the entire Coca-Cola operation.
With this action on August 30, 1888, Candler's sole control became technically all true. Candler had negotiated with Margaret Dozier and her brother Woolfolk Walker a full payment amounting to $1,000, which all agreed Candler could pay off with a series of notes over a specified time span. By May 1, 1889, Candler was now claiming full ownership of the Coca-Cola beverage, with a total investment outlay by Candler for the drink enterprise over the years amounting to $2,300.
Pemberton called for five ounces of coca leaf per gallon of syrup (approximately 37 g/L), a significant dose; in 1891, Candler claimed his formula (altered extensively from Pemberton's original) contained only a tenth of this amount. Coca-Cola once contained an estimated nine milligrams of cocaine per glass. (For comparison, a typical dose or "line" of cocaine is 50–75 mg. ) In 1903, it was removed.
In 1892, Candler set out to incorporate a second company, the Coca-Cola Company (the current corporation). When Candler had the earliest records of the "Coca-Cola Company" destroyed in 1910, the action was claimed to have been made during a move to new corporation offices around this time.
The first outdoor wall advertisement that promoted the Coca-Cola drink was painted in 1894 in Cartersville, Georgia. Cola syrup was sold as an over-the-counter dietary supplement for upset stomach. By the time of its 50th anniversary, the soft drink had reached the status of a national icon in the US. In 1935, it was certified kosher by Atlanta rabbi Tobias Geffen. With the help of Harold Hirsch, Geffen was the first person outside the company to see the top-secret ingredients list after Coke faced scrutiny from the American Jewish population regarding the drink's kosher status. Consequently, the company made minor changes in the sourcing of some ingredients so it could continue to be consumed by America's Jewish population, including during Passover.
The first bottling of Coca-Cola occurred in Vicksburg, Mississippi, at the Biedenharn Candy Company on March 12, 1894. The proprietor of the bottling works was Joseph A. Biedenharn. The original bottles were Hutchinson bottles, very different from the much later hobble-skirt design of 1915 now so familiar.
Charley Pemberton, an alcoholic and opium addict, unnerved Asa Candler more than anyone else. Candler is said to have quickly maneuvered to purchase the exclusive rights to the name "Coca-Cola" from Pemberton's son Charley immediately after he learned of Dr. Pemberton's death. One of several stories states that Candler approached Charley's mother at John Pemberton's funeral and offered her $300 in cash for the title to the name. Charley Pemberton was found on June 23, 1894, unconscious, with a stick of opium by his side. Ten days later, Charley died at Atlanta's Grady Hospital at the age of 40.
Coca-Cola's advertising has significantly affected American culture, and it is frequently credited with inventing the modern image of Santa Claus as an old man in a red-and-white suit. Although the company did start using the red-and-white Santa image in the 1930s, with its winter advertising campaigns illustrated by Haddon Sundblom, the motif was already common. Coca-Cola was not even the first soft drink company to use the modern image of Santa Claus in its advertising: White Rock Beverages used Santa in advertisements for its ginger ale in 1923, after first using him to sell mineral water in 1915. Before Santa Claus, Coca-Cola relied on images of smartly dressed young women to sell its beverages. Coca-Cola's first such advertisement appeared in 1895, featuring the young Bostonian actress Hilda Clark as its spokeswoman.
A few years later two entrepreneurs from Chattanooga, Tennessee, namely Benjamin F. Thomas and Joseph B. Whitehead, proposed the idea of bottling and were so persuasive that Candler signed a contract giving them control of the procedure for only one dollar. Candler later realized that he had made a grave mistake. Candler never collected his dollar, but in 1899, Chattanooga became the site of the first Coca-Cola bottling company. Candler remained very content just selling his company's syrup. The loosely termed contract proved to be problematic for the Coca-Cola Company for decades to come. Legal matters were not helped by the decision of the bottlers to subcontract to other companies, effectively becoming parent bottlers. This contract specified that bottles would be sold at 5¢ each and had no fixed duration, leading to the fixed price of Coca-Cola from 1886 to 1959.
Criticism of Coca-Cola has arisen from various groups around the world, concerning a variety of issues, including health effects, environmental issues, and business practices. The drink's coca flavoring, and the nickname "Coke", remain a common theme of criticism due to the relationship with the illegal drug cocaine. In 1911, the US government seized 40 barrels and 20 kegs of Coca-Cola syrup in Chattanooga, Tennessee, alleging the caffeine in its drink was "injurious to health", leading to amended food safety legislation.
In 1911, the U.S. government sued in United States v. Forty Barrels and Twenty Kegs of Coca-Cola, hoping to force the Coca-Cola Company to remove caffeine from its formula. The court found that the syrup, when diluted as directed, would result in a beverage containing 1.21 grains (or 78.4 mg) of caffeine per 8 US fluid ounces (240 ml) serving. The case was decided in favor of the Coca-Cola Company at the district court, but subsequently in 1912, the U.S. Pure Food and Drug Act was amended, adding caffeine to the list of "habit-forming" and "deleterious" substances which must be listed on a product's label. In 1913 the case was appealed to the Sixth Circuit in Cincinnati, where the ruling was affirmed, but then appealed again in 1916 to the Supreme Court, where the government effectively won as a new trial was ordered. The company then voluntarily reduced the amount of caffeine in its product, and offered to pay the government's legal costs to settle and avoid further litigation.
The longest running commercial Coca-Cola soda fountain anywhere was Atlanta's Fleeman's Pharmacy, which first opened its doors in 1914. Jack Fleeman took over the pharmacy from his father and ran it until 1995; closing it after 81 years. On July 12, 1944, the one-billionth gallon of Coca-Cola syrup was manufactured by the Coca-Cola Company. Cans of Coke first appeared in 1955.
The Coca-Cola bottle, called the "contour bottle" within the company, was created by bottle designer Earl R. Dean and Coca-Cola's general counsel, Harold Hirsch. In 1915, the Coca-Cola Company was represented by their general counsel to launch a competition among its bottle suppliers as well as any competition entrants to create a new bottle for their beverage that would distinguish it from other beverage bottles, "a bottle which a person could recognize even if they felt it in the dark, and so shaped that, even if broken, a person could tell at a glance what it was."
Faced with the upcoming scheduled maintenance of the mold-making machinery, over the next 24 hours Dean sketched out a concept drawing which was approved by Root the next morning. Chapman Root approved the prototype bottle and a design patent was issued on the bottle in November 1915. The prototype never made it to production since its middle diameter was larger than its base, making it unstable on conveyor belts. Dean resolved this issue by decreasing the bottle's middle diameter. During the 1916 bottler's convention, Dean's contour bottle was chosen over other entries and was on the market the same year. By 1920, the contour bottle became the standard for the Coca-Cola Company. A revised version was also patented in 1923. Because the Patent Office releases the Patent Gazette on Tuesday, the bottle was patented on December 25, 1923, and was nicknamed the "Christmas bottle." Today, the contour Coca-Cola bottle is one of the most recognized packages on the planet..."even in the dark!".
The exact formula of Coca-Cola's natural flavorings (but not its other ingredients, which are listed on the side of the bottle or can) is a trade secret. The original copy of the formula was held in Truist Financial's main vault in Atlanta for 86 years. Its predecessor, the Trust Company, was the underwriter for the Coca-Cola Company's initial public offering in 1919. On December 8, 2011, the original secret formula was moved from the vault at SunTrust Banks to a new vault containing the formula which will be on display for visitors to its World of Coca-Cola museum in downtown Atlanta.
On September 12, 1919, Coca-Cola Co. was purchased by a group of investors led by Ernest Woodruff's Trust Company for $25 million and reincorporated under Delaware General Corporation Law. The company publicly offered 500,000 shares of the company for $40 a share.
Coca-Cola was introduced to China in 1927, and was very popular until 1949. After the Chinese Civil War ended in 1949, the beverage was no longer imported into China, as it was perceived to be a symbol of decadent Western culture and the capitalist lifestyle. Importation and sales of the beverage resumed in 1979, after diplomatic relations between the United States and China were restored.
In 1944, Associate Justice Roger J. Traynor of the Supreme Court of California took advantage of a case involving a waitress injured by an exploding Coca-Cola bottle to articulate the doctrine of strict liability for defective products. Traynor's concurring opinion in Escola v. Coca-Cola Bottling Co. is widely recognized as a landmark case in U.S. law today.
Coca-Cola came under scrutiny in Egypt in 1951 because of a conspiracy theory that the Coca-Cola logo, when reflected in a mirror, spells out "No Mohammed no Mecca" in Arabic.
Raymond Loewy updated the design in 1955 to accommodate larger formats.
On July 5, 2005, it was revealed that Coca-Cola would resume operations in Iraq for the first time since the Arab League boycotted the company in 1968.
1941 saw the first use of the nickname "Coke" as an official trademark for the product, with a series of advertisements informing consumers that "Coke means Coca-Cola". In 1971, a song from a Coca-Cola commercial called "I'd Like to Teach the World to Sing", produced by Billy Davis, became a hit single. During the 1950s the term "cola wars" emerged, describing the on-going battle between Coca-Cola and Pepsi for supremacy in the soft drink industry. Coca-Cola and Pepsi were competing with new products, global expansion, US marketing initiatives and sport sponsorships.
Sugar prices spiked in the 1970s because Soviet Union demand/hoarding and possible futures contracts market manipulation. The Soviet Union was the largest producer of sugar at the time. In 1974 Coca-Cola switched over to High-fructose corn syrup because of the elevated prices.
Since 1978, Coca-Cola has sponsored the FIFA World Cup, and other competitions organized by FIFA. One FIFA tournament trophy, the FIFA World Youth Championship from Tunisia in 1977 to Malaysia in 1997, was called "FIFA – Coca-Cola Cup". In addition, Coca-Cola sponsors NASCAR's annual Coca-Cola 600 and Coke Zero Sugar 400 at Charlotte Motor Speedway in Concord, North Carolina and Daytona International Speedway in Daytona, Florida; since 2020, Coca-Cola has served as a premier partner of the NASCAR Cup Series, which includes holding the naming rights to the series' regular season championship trophy. Coca-Cola is also the sponsor of the iRacing Pro Series.
The Coca-Cola Company purchased Columbia Pictures in 1982, and began inserting Coke-product images into many of its films. After a few early successes during Coca-Cola's ownership, Columbia began to underperform, and the studio was sold to Sony in 1989.
On April 23, 1985, Coca-Cola, amid much publicity, attempted to change the formula of the drink with "New Coke". Follow-up taste tests revealed most consumers preferred the taste of New Coke to both Coke and Pepsi but Coca-Cola management was unprepared for the public's nostalgia for the old drink, leading to a backlash. The company gave in to protests and returned to the old formula under the name Coca-Cola Classic, on July 10, 1985. "New Coke" remained available and was renamed Coke II in 1992; it was discontinued in 2002.
The Coca-Cola Company has on occasion introduced other cola drinks under the Coke name. The most common of these is Diet Coke, along with others including Caffeine-Free Coca-Cola, Diet Coke Caffeine-Free, Coca-Cola Zero Sugar, Coca-Cola Cherry, Coca-Cola Vanilla, and special versions with lemon, lime, and coffee. Coca-Cola was called Coca-Cola Classic from July 1985 to 2009, to distinguish it from "New Coke". Based on Interbrand's "best global brand" study of 2020, Coca-Cola was the world's sixth most valuable brand. In 2013, Coke products were sold in over 200 countries worldwide, with consumers drinking more than 1.8 billion company beverage servings each day. Coca-Cola ranked No. 87 in the 2018 Fortune 500 list of the largest United States corporations by total revenue.
In 1986, the Coca-Cola Company merged with two of their bottling operators (owned by JTL Corporation and BCI Holding Corporation) to form Coca-Cola Enterprises Inc. (CCE).
In December 1991, Coca-Cola Enterprises merged with the Johnston Coca-Cola Bottling Group, Inc.
In India, Coca-Cola ranked third behind the leader, Pepsi-Cola, and local drink Thums Up. The Coca-Cola Company purchased Thums Up in 1993. As of 2004 , Coca-Cola held a 60.9% market-share in India. Tropicola, a domestic drink, is served in Cuba instead of Coca-Cola, due to a United States embargo. French brand Mecca Cola and British brand Qibla Cola are competitors to Coca-Cola in the Middle East.
A Coca-Cola fountain dispenser (officially a Fluids Generic Bioprocessing Apparatus or FGBA) was developed for use on the Space Shuttle as a test bed to determine if carbonated beverages can be produced from separately stored carbon dioxide, water, and flavored syrups and determine if the resulting fluids can be made available for consumption without bubble nucleation and resulting foam formation. FGBA-1 flew on STS-63 in 1995 and dispensed pre-mixed beverages, followed by FGBA-2 on STS-77 the next year. The latter mixed CO₂, water, and syrup to make beverages. It supplied 1.65 liters each of Coca-Cola and Diet Coke.
Around the world, many local brands compete with Coke. In South and Central America Kola Real, also known as Big Cola, is a growing competitor to Coca-Cola. On the French island of Corsica, Corsica Cola, made by brewers of the local Pietra beer, is a growing competitor to Coca-Cola. In the French region of Brittany, Breizh Cola is available. In Peru, Inca Kola outsells Coca-Cola, which led the Coca-Cola Company to purchase the brand in 1999. In Sweden, Julmust outsells Coca-Cola during the Christmas season. In Scotland, the locally produced Irn-Bru was more popular than Coca-Cola until 2005, when Coca-Cola and Diet Coke began to outpace its sales. In the former East Germany, Vita Cola, invented during Communist rule, is gaining popularity.
In 1999, the Coca-Cola Company introduced the Coke Card, a loyalty program that offered deals on items like clothes, entertainment and food when the cardholder purchased a Coca-Cola Classic. The scheme was cancelled after three years, with a Coca-Cola spokesperson declining to state why.
Coca-Cola has a long history of sports marketing relationships, which over the years have included Major League Baseball, the National Football League, the National Basketball Association, and the National Hockey League, as well as with many teams within those leagues. Coca-Cola has had a longtime relationship with the NFL's Pittsburgh Steelers, due in part to the now-famous 1979 television commercial featuring "Mean Joe" Greene, leading to the two opening the Coca-Cola Great Hall at Heinz Field in 2001 and a more recent Coca-Cola Zero commercial featuring Troy Polamalu.
In 2001, singer Melanie Thornton recorded the campaign's advertising jingle as a single, "Wonderful Dream (Holidays are Coming)", which entered the pop-music charts in Germany at no. 9. In 2005, Coca-Cola expanded the advertising campaign to radio, employing several variations of the jingle.
The advertisement fell into disuse in 2001, as the Coca-Cola Company restructured its advertising campaigns so that advertising around the world was produced locally in each country, rather than centrally in the company's headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia. In 2007, the company brought back the campaign after, according to the company, many consumers telephoned its information center saying that they considered it to mark the beginning of Christmas. The advertisement was created by U.S. advertising agency Doner, and has been part of the company's global advertising campaign for many years.
In July 2001, the Coca-Cola Company was sued over its alleged use of political far-right wing death squads (the United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia) to kidnap, torture, and kill Colombian bottler workers that were linked with trade union activity. Coca-Cola was sued in a US federal court in Miami by the Colombian food and drink union Sinaltrainal. The suit alleged that Coca-Cola was indirectly responsible for having "contracted with or otherwise directed paramilitary security forces that utilized extreme violence and murdered, tortured, unlawfully detained or otherwise silenced trade union leaders". This sparked campaigns to boycott Coca-Cola in the UK, US, Germany, Italy, and Australia. Javier Correa, the president of Sinaltrainal, said the campaign aimed to put pressure on Coca-Cola "to mitigate the pain and suffering" that union members had suffered.
In England, Coca-Cola was the main sponsor of The Football League between 2004 and 2010, a name given to the three professional divisions below the Premier League in soccer (football). In 2005, Coca-Cola launched a competition for the 72 clubs of The Football League – it was called "Win a Player". This allowed fans to place one vote per day for their favorite club, with one entry being chosen at random earning £250,000 for the club; this was repeated in 2006. The "Win A Player" competition was very controversial, as at the end of the 2 competitions, Leeds United A.F.C. had the most votes by more than double, yet they did not win any money to spend on a new player for the club. In 2007, the competition changed to "Buy a Player". This competition allowed fans to buy a bottle of Coca-Cola or Coca-Cola Zero and submit the code on the wrapper on the Coca-Cola website. This code could then earn anything from 50p to £100,000 for a club of their choice. This competition was favored over the old "Win a Player" competition, as it allowed all clubs to win some money. Between 1992 and 1998, Coca-Cola was the title sponsor of the Football League Cup (Coca-Cola Cup), the secondary cup tournament of England. Starting in 2019–20 season, Drinks giant Coca-Cola has agreed its biggest UK sponsorship deal by becoming Premier League football's seventh and final commercial partner for the UK and Ireland, China, Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore, Egyptian and the West African markets.
The company then introduced another loyalty campaign in 2006, My Coke Rewards. This allows consumers to earn points by entering codes from specially marked packages of Coca-Cola products into a website. These points can be redeemed for various prizes or sweepstakes entries.
Keith Law, a producer and writer of commercials for Belfast CityBeat, was not convinced by Coca-Cola's reintroduction of the advertisement in 2007, saying that "I do not think there's anything Christmassy about HGVs and the commercial is too generic."
In April 2007, in Canada, the name "Coca-Cola Classic" was changed back to "Coca-Cola". The word "Classic" was removed because "New Coke" was no longer in production, eliminating the need to differentiate between the two. The formula remained unchanged. In January 2009, Coca-Cola stopped printing the word "Classic" on the labels of 16-US-fluid-ounce (470 ml) bottles sold in parts of the southeastern United States. The change was part of a larger strategy to rejuvenate the product's image. The word "Classic" was removed from all Coca-Cola products by 2011.
In 2009, in Italy, Coca-Cola Light had a Tribute to Fashion to celebrate 100 years of the recognizable contour bottle. Well known Italian designers Alberta Ferretti, Blumarine, Etro, Fendi, Marni, Missoni, Moschino, and Versace each designed limited edition bottles.
In November 2009, due to a dispute over wholesale prices of Coca-Cola products, Costco stopped restocking its shelves with Coke and Diet Coke for two months; a separate pouring rights deal in 2013 saw Coke products removed from Costco food courts in favor of Pepsi. Some Costco locations (such as the ones in Tucson, Arizona) additionally sell imported Coca-Cola from Mexico with cane sugar instead of corn syrup from separate distributors. Coca-Cola introduced the 7.5-ounce mini-can in 2009, and on September 22, 2011, the company announced price reductions, asking retailers to sell eight-packs for $2.99. That same day, Coca-Cola announced the 12.5-ounce bottle, to sell for 89 cents. A 16-ounce bottle has sold well at 99 cents since being re-introduced, but the price was going up to $1.19.
Coca-Cola was the first commercial sponsor of the Olympic Games, at the 1928 games in Amsterdam, and has been an Olympics sponsor ever since. This corporate sponsorship included the 1996 Summer Olympics hosted in Atlanta, which allowed Coca-Cola to spotlight its hometown. Most recently, Coca-Cola has released localized commercials for the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver; one Canadian commercial referred to Canada's hockey heritage and was modified after Canada won the gold medal game on February 28, 2010, by changing the ending line of the commercial to say "Now they know whose game they're playing".
Introduced March 1, 2010, in Canada, to celebrate the 2010 Winter Olympics, Coca-Cola sold gold colored cans in packs of 12 355 mL (12 imp fl oz; 12 US fl oz) each, in select stores.
In 2011, Coca-Cola launched a campaign for the Indian holiday Diwali. The campaign included commercials, a song, and an integration with Shah Rukh Khan's film Ra.One.
In Australia in 2011, Coca-Cola began the "share a Coke" campaign, where the Coca-Cola logo was replaced on the bottles and replaced with first names. Coca-Cola used the 150 most popular names in Australia to print on the bottles. The campaign was paired with a website page, Facebook page, and an online "share a virtual Coke". The same campaign was introduced to Coca-Cola, Diet Coke & Coke Zero bottles and cans in the UK in 2013.
In 2012, Coca-Cola resumed business in Myanmar after 60 years of absence due to U.S.-imposed investment sanctions against the country. Coca-Cola's bottling plant is located in Yangon and is part of the company's five-year plan and $200 million investment in Myanmar. Coca-Cola with its partners is to invest US$5 billion in its operations in India by 2020.
Since it announced its intention to begin distribution in Myanmar in June 2012, Coca-Cola has been officially available in every country in the world except Cuba and North Korea. However, it is reported to be available in both countries as a grey import.
A typical can of Coca-Cola (12 fl ounces/355 ml) contains 39 grams of sugar, 50 mg of sodium, 0 grams fat, 0 grams potassium, and 140 calories. On May 5, 2014, Coca-Cola said it was working to remove a controversial ingredient, brominated vegetable oil, from its drinks.
In 2019, Coca-Cola shared the first beverage bottle made with ocean plastic.
The Coca-Cola Company, its subsidiaries and products have been subject to sustained criticism by consumer groups, environmentalists, and watchdogs, particularly since the early 2000s. In 2019, BreakFreeFromPlastic named Coca-Cola the single biggest plastic polluter in the world. After 72,541 volunteers collected 476,423 pieces of plastic waste from around where they lived, a total of 11,732 pieces were found to be labeled with a Coca-Cola brand (including the Dasani, Sprite, and Fanta brands) in 37 countries across four continents. At the 2020 World Economic Forum in Davos, Coca-Cola's Head of Sustainability, Bea Perez, said customers like them because they reseal and are lightweight, and "business won't be in business if we don't accommodate consumers." In February 2022, Cocal-Cola announced that it will aim to make 25 percent of its packaging reusable by 2030.
In 2021, Coca-Cola petitioned to cancel registrations for the marks Thums Up and Limca issued to Meenaxi Enterprise, Inc. based on misrepresentation of source. The Trademark Trial and Appeal Board concluded that "Meenaxi engaged in blatant misuse in a manner calculated to trade on the goodwill and reputation of Coca-Cola in an attempt to confuse consumers in the United States that its Thums Up and Limca marks were licensed or produced by the source of the same types of cola and lemon-lime soda sold under these marks for decades in India."
In February 2021, Coca-Cola received criticism after a video of a training session, which told employees to "try to be less white", was leaked by an employee. The session also said in order to be "less white" employees had to be less "arrogant" and "defensive".
In February 2021, as a plan to combat plastic waste, Coca-Cola said that it would start selling its sodas in bottles made from 100% recycled plastic material in the United States, and by 2030 planned to recycle one bottle or can for each one it sold. Coca-Cola started by selling 2000 paper bottles to see if they held up due to the risk of safety and of changing the taste of the drink.