Do you know that the first soft drink or carbonated beverage was marketed in the 17th century? It was made with water and lemon juice sweetened with honey until English chemist Joseph Priestly developed carbonated water in the 18th century. From then on, the production of soft drinks became a big industry.
Beverage Digest, a publication dedicated to report about the global non-alcoholic beverage industry, reported the top 10 soft drinks company in the world. In the report, The Coca Cola Company is the number one soft drinks company followed by PepsiCo, Nestle, Suntory, Dr Pepper/Snapple, Danone, Kirin, Red Bull, Master Kong and Asahi.
Since the late 1800's, soft drink giants The Coca Cola Company and PepsiCo have always been head to head for the top spot. It was only in 2005 when Pepsi surpassed The Coca Cola Company in market value. In the 1990's, PepsiCo delivered other products such as snack foods and non-carbonated beverages aside from the Pepsi Brand.
What are the top 10 bestselling soft drinks in the world? Below is the official list based on the 2013 data of the Beverage Digest.
10 Diet Dr Pepper (Dr. Pepper/Snapple)
Diet Dr Pepper is just one of the brand’s soft drink variants. Dubbed as “the world’s oldest major soft drink brand in America”, Dr Pepper was created by Charles Alderton in 1880's in Waco, Texas. Diet Dr Pepper came out into the market in 1962 and was named as “Sugar Free Dr. Pepper”. In 2006, Dr Pepper was also ranked as the 10th bestselling soft drink.
9 Fanta (Coca Cola)
Fanta is a fruit-flavored carbonated soft drink created by the Coca Cola Company. It was developed in Germany in 1941 when the Coca Cola syrup was difficult to import to the country due to a trade embargo. Fanta has over 100 different flavors around the world some of which are available only by region. In the United States, its main flavors are orange, pineapple, grape and strawberry.
8 Diet Mountain Dew (PepsiCo)
Diet Mountain Dew is owned and manufactured by PepsiCo. The original Mountain Dew recipe was created by two Tennessee beverage bottlers, Barney and Ally Hartman in 1940. In 1988, the caffeinated citrus-flavored soft drink formerly known as “Sugar-free Mountain Dew” was introduced in 1988. Other variants of Diet Mountain Dew are “Code Red”, “Voltage”, and “Ultra Violet”.
7 Diet Pepsi (PepsiCo)
Diet Pepsi is the no-sugar variant of Pepsi-Cola produced by PepsiCo. It was introduced to the market in 1964 and became the first diet cola to be distributed throughout the United States. In Europe, Diet Pepsi is labelled “Pepsi Light” or “Pepsi Diet”. It has other flavor variants including vanilla, lemon, wild cherry, lime and caffeine-free Diet Pepsi.
6 Sprite (Coca Cola)
Manufactured and produced by the Coca Cola Company, Sprite is a colorless lemon-lime flavored soft drink. The Coca Cola Company introduced the soft drink to the market to compete against PepsiCo’s 7 Up. Sprite has many variations including Zero, Super Lemon, Remix, Ice and Super Chilled among others. Sprite’s packaging is a green transparent bottle with a green and blue label.
5 Dr. Pepper (Dr. Pepper/Snapple)
Dr Pepper was introduced in 1885 and became commercially available in the United States in 1904. It was first marketed as a brain tonic and energy drink just like how the other sodas were marketed at that time. Aside from the soft drink itself, Dr Pepper has other products dedicated to its flavor but is manufactured by other companies. Examples of these are Dr Pepper jelly beans made by The Jelly Bean Company, “Lip Smackers” Dr Pepper lip balm flavor by cosmetic brand Bonne Bell, Dr Pepper slurpee and “Dr Pepper Cherry Dessert Topping” by Vita Foods Products among others. Dr Pepper has over 23 flavors.
4 4. Mountain Dew (PepsiCo)
Moutain Dew or Mtn Dew is a citrus-flavored carbonated soft drink made by PepsiCo. After it was invented by Barney and Ally Hartman in 1940, they also presented the soft drink product to Coca Cola but were turned down until the brand was officially acquired by PepsiCo in 1964. Mountain Dew has over 30 different flavors to offer. American fast food restaurant, Taco Bell, sealed a deal in 2004 to exclusively distribute the right to carry Mountain Dew Baja Blast. Further, the soft drink brand has been sponsoring individual “X-games” athletes since the 1990's including skateboarders Eli Reed and Paul Rodriguez Jr and snowboarder Danny Davis.
3 3. Pepsi (PepsiCo)
Pepsi was originally named Brad’s Drink when it was first introduced to the public in 1893. It was developed by Caleb Bradham, a pharmacist, at his drugstore in New Bern, North Carolina. It was later renamed to Pepsi-Cola in August 1898 and was shortened to Pepsi in 1961. The Coca Cola Company offered to purchase PepsiCo but was declined by the company. From then on, they have become rivals in the beverage industry. Pepsi has more than fifty major flavors sometimes released in limited editions in other countries.
2 2. Diet Coke (Coca Cola)
Diet Coke or Coca Cola light was first introduced by The Coca Cola Company in 1982. It became the first brand by the company under the Coca Cola trademark. Diet Coke has over twelve variants including Diet Cherry Coke, Diet Coke with Lemon, Diet Vanilla Coke, Diet Raspberry Coke and many more.
1 Coca Cola Classic (Coca Cola)
Owned and manufactured by The Coca Cola Company, Coca Cola was invented by American pharmacist John Pemberton in the late 19th century at a drugstore in Columbus, Georgia. It was initially introduced in the market as a patent medicine. Coca Cola is simply referred to as “Coke”, which became a registered trademark by The Coca Cola Company in the United States in 1944. It became a national icon in the U.S.A. when Coca Cola celebrated its 50th anniversary. Aside from the classic Coca Cola flavor, it has numerous flavor variants available worldwide including Coca Cola Cherry, Coca Cola with Lemon, Coca Cola Vanilla, Coca Cola Raspberry, Coca Cola Orange and Vanilla Coke.