Atlanta was where the very dear beverage of Coca-Cola was first concocted by the pharmacist John Pemberton. He made a thick deep brown syrupy version of the drink which he mixed with soda to sell a highly refreshing drink in May of 1886. Today, the drink has made its way all across the globe and is greatly loved by everyone looking for a refreshment and some who even claim it’s useful application as a toilet cleaner!! My childhood pediatrician for one recommended half a bottle of coke for the brother and me to treat stomach upsets! Coke did work as a wonderful medicine for all those troubles! But with a greater taste for mango drinks, (read slice and maaza) and haters of fizz, we never did take to coke but for its medicinal values. Even today, as we indulge in spicy, oily Chinese food, we do love the taste of the American drink on the side. Whether in floats, or neat, Coke was my proverbial arm-candy in all college frat-parties or distinguished office meetings over the years. While I’ve since switched to more a respectful sweet lime soda for arm-candy, though still not a fan of carbonated or sparkling water, I could not resist visiting the Coca-Cola world in downtown Atlanta. After all what is the story behind Pemberton’s invention and a company with an annual revenue of over 45 Billion dollars!
Jacobs pharmacy was first where the drink was served as a fountain soda, instantly becoming popular in the summer of ’86. The museum documents the journey of the cola from it’s invention by Pemberton, the sale of it’s recipe to the Candler, further it’s distribution to various countries across the globe, documenting the adverts the company brought out over time, the very many different marketing gimmicks it works on, it hosts the safe that carries the secret formula, happily displays scamsters over the years who claimed to know better and finally even encloses a drink hall gleefully giving away coke along with other competitive drinks from other markets. Their confidence on the superiority of coca-cola over the others is quite palpable! Rigged or not, it tends to be the preference of most people. Apart from it’s extensive market presence and its immense popularity, I am a huge patron of most of their advertisements, and after visiting the museum, their artwork for sure! The polar bear, a mascot for the beverage, has had the company scramble to support the cause of saving polar bears. With their budgets and a nobility in intention, they have made more than a brief impact on the cause. The endearing bear did make for a wonderful photo-opportunity! It did look a wee bit emancipated if anything!!
Though coca-cola is widely criticized for being a cause of obesity apart from a wide range of health issues, one cannot dismiss its virtue as a refreshment! The team’s marketing prowess also functioning as great contributing factor. While am a great patron of junk food, coke and like included, I did wonder if Coca-cola that once began with an intent to boost energy and aid digestion went massively wrong along the years. Portion-control may well be a factor, a little of the pharmaceutical concoction every once in a while would surely not hurt, but in great quantities is definitely a major trouble brewer. Our thoughts play a much greater role in defining the nutrition garnered rather than the scientific quality of food we consume. In the Coca-cola world one cant help but marvel at the great journey of the humble beverage and we absolutely cannot overlook it’s presence in our lives! Binding people, quenching thirst, sometimes purer than water, it is one of those man-made inventions that has reinvented itself over the decades! On other fronts the company definitely deserves commendation for innovating interesting and ingenious ways to stay trendy. The bottle for instance is a product of a design brief that had asked to envisage a bottle that is easy to hold, and easily distinguishable even if broken!