Difference Between Coke and Pepsi

The one rival brand that Coke or officially called Coca Cola has always had is Pepsi. It is these two beverage brands that have dominated the market nationally and internationally over the years.


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Is Coke better or Pepsi? – has been a question of debate and a never-ending battle between the two. 

 Coke vs Pepsi

The difference between Coke and Pepsi is that Coke tastes less sweet than the latter, i.e., Pepsi, while Pepsi tastes more citric than Coke.

Because of the presence of citric acid and sugar components, Pepsi has a citrus burst while Coke has a smoother texture. The main difference lies in the components of the two.

Coke vs Pepsi

Coke has a smoother texture. Coke is made up of carbonated water, high fructose corn syrup, caramel color, phosphoric acid, caffeine, and added natural flavors.

Dr. John Pemberton, an Atlanta-based chemist, developed the initial Coca-Cola syrup formula on which today’s production is based. It is believed that Mexico is the biggest consumer of Coca-cola in its international market.

Because of the presence of citric acid and sugar components, Pepsi has a citrus burst. A combination of carbonated water, high fructose corn syrup, caramel color, sugar, phosphoric acid, caffeine, citric acid, and added natural flavors make up Pepsi.

Caleb Bradham, a pharmacist in New Bern, North California, developed the very first Pepsi formula.

Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonCokePepsi
OriginCoca cola’s first syrup was developed by an Atlanta-based chemist, Dr. John Pemberton.Pepsi was first developed by pharmacist Caleb Bradham in New Bern, North California.
Owning companies Coca-Cola is the name of the beverage as well as the company. The beverage is also called coke.Pepsi is the name of the beverage, owned by PepsiCo.
OldCoke was developed in Atlanta in 1886.Pepsi came in almost a decade later, in 1993.
Key ComponentsIt is made up of carbonated water, high fructose corn syrup, caramel color, phosphoric acid, caffeine, and added natural flavors.Sugar and citric acid are present in addition to carbonated water, high fructose corn syrup, caramel color, phosphoric acid, caffeine, and natural flavors.
Best known forCoke is best known for its combinations with alcoholic drinks.Pepsi is best known for its citrus flavor and shine in a sip taste.

What is Coke?

Coke made its debut in 1886 when the Atlanta-based chemist Dr. John Pemberton developed a cola syrup. Upon receiving good reviews for the syrup, it was mixed with carbonated water and sold for 5 cents as a beverage drink.

Although Pemberton had discovered Coca-Cola, it was his bookkeeper, Frank M. Robinson, who is the genius behind the branding and the logo.

Robinson developed the name “Coca-Cola” and its classic logo that still graces the branding of the company. Back then, the ingredients were different.

‘Coca’ refers to coca leaves that were added to the drink for cocaine, and ‘Cola’ refers to the kola nuts used for caffeine. The combination was famous for creating a stimulation effect.

The stimulation effect in the drink is still kept alive through different ingredients. 

Unfortunately, Pemberton could not witness his syrupy carbonated drink taking over the world market as he died soon after its production.

After his death in 1889, Georgian Asa G. Candler purchased the rights and established it into a full-fledged beverage producing company that the world witnesses till today.

Since then, it has been operated as a franchising distribution system that produces the coca-cola syrup concentration. Mixed with carbonated water, it then goes around the world labeled as Coca-Cola refreshment drink, commonly known as Coke.  

What is Pepsi?

In 1893, almost a decade later, another cola-flavored drink was introduced in New Bern, North California, locally known as “Brad’s Drink.” It was named after its producer, pharmacist Caleb Bradham.

As the beverage drink’s consumption started to grow, he renamed it ‘Pepsi-cola’ to market the drink better. ‘Pepsi’ refers to dyspepsia or stomach indigestion, and ‘cola’ refers to the cola flavor.

Thus, with the trademark, it was marketed widely across the globe as a cola-flavored digestive drink that also boosts energy. Its initial formula also included sugar and citric flavor, and that is what made it different from Coke.

Till today, Pepsi is sugary and has a citric taste that makes its consumers prefer Pepsi over Coke.

After Bradham, the trademark was bought by various owners before Charles Guth finally purchased it to replace Coke in his store. Pepsi grew as a competition to the also growing Coke.

Since then, the rivalry between the two drinks has never stopped. Pepsi-Cola was again renamed as Pepsi-Co, and to date, it exists with that name.

Consumers of cola who choose Pepsi over Coke unapologetically choose it for its citrusy flavor and its aggressive fizz that strikes the tongue at the very first sip.

Main Differences Between Coke and Pepsi

  1. Any soda drinker knows that the main difference between Coke and Pepsi lies in its core components. Coke does not contain sugar and citric acid, which makes Pepsi different from Coke. 
  2. Due to the difference in components, the taste also differs. Coke has a ‘vanilla raisin’ smooth texture, whereas Pepsi is citrus and has an aggressive fizz. 
  3. The difference in taste is reflected in their difference in origin. Coke is an Atlanta-based carbonated drink, while Pepsi is purely North Californian. 
  4. Coke was developed in 1886, while Pepsi was developed almost a decade later in 1893.
  5. Coke belongs to Coca Cola company, while Pepsi belongs to PepsiCo.
Difference Between Coke and Pepsi


  1. https://academic.oup.com/jcr/article-abstract/44/5/991/3896334
  2. https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.2466/pr0.1983.52.1.185
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