COKE VS. PEPSI: The Amazing Story Behind The Infamous Cola Wars

soda wars coca cola pepsi

The rivalry between Coca-Cola and Pepsi is legendary. Although the feud really heated up with the Pepsi Challenge in 1975 —which prompted Coca-Cola’s horrific New Coke debacle — the brands have been fighting each other for more than a century. 

And not just about product development. Things occasionally get personal, which sometimes resonates in their marketing. Earlier this year, Pepsi went after Coke’s famed mascots, the polar bears and Santa. 

The feud has even moved into outer space and raged over social media

So how’d it become this way?

The folks at CnnTees put together an amazing infographic entitled “The Soda Wars” that includes everything you’d ever want to know about the history of Coca-Cola and Pepsi. Take a look:

The saga began in 1886, when John S. Pemberton developed the original recipe for Coke. Here's what was in it:

Pepsi-Cola was created in 13 years later by pharmacist Caleb Bradham

Coca-Cola was already selling a million gallons per year by the time Pepsi came to be

Coke developed its iconic contour bottle, got big name endorsements and expanded to Europe. Meanwhile, Pepsi went bankrupt because of WWI

Pepsi went bankrupt again eight years later, but this time it rebounded

During WWII, Pepsi amped up its advertising and started selling its drink in cans

In the 50s, Coke ads started hitting TV, while Pepsi rebranded to try to keep up

Coke decided to go public in 1962, on the heels of its launch of Sprite, which would become one of its most successful brands

Pepsi merged with Frito Lay in the mid-60s to create PepsiCo, setting the stage for the war today. Diet drinks popped up too, creating a whole new soda segment

Here are their stock values over the years. Pepsi's successful foray into the snack food biz with Frito Lay have helped it significantly, especially in the past decade. Meanwhile, Coke has stayed strictly in beverages

Here are some of Coke's biggest brands -- 15 of them have reached $1 billion or more in retail sales

Though Pepsi's beverage brands may not be as strong, its snack food business is enormous

Coke has a big lead in cola market share over Pepsi, but Pepsi's multiple business lines haul in more cash

Each brand has had a brigade of celebrities on their side. Here are some famous faces that endorsed Coke:

And Pepsi:

Both brands have made tons of changes to their logos throughout their histories. Neither look anything like they did originally

They've both embraced the digital world as social media gets bigger and bigger -- but Coke seems to be faring better thus far

Coke and Pepsi aren't the only brands that have gone at it for decades...

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