The roots of this particular success story runs way back to the late-1800s America. A young med-school dropout, Caleb Davis Bradham, opened a drug store and started work developing an elixir to sell to his patrons.
“Brad’s Drink” was made from a combination of water, sugar, caramel, lemon oil, nutmeg and a few other natural ingredients. It didn’t take long before word spread about this delicious new beverage, and Caleb was soon manufacturing it en masse under the name Pepsi Cola.
Despite long-standing rumour, the drink never contained pepsin, but instead got its name from the term dyspepsia as Caleb believed it to aid digestion. While hard times would befall the Bradham family during the First World War, the legend of Pepsi would live on long into the future.
After many years of splits, sales and mergers, Pepsi bolstered its standing in the global consciousness during the 1980s Cola Wars and has seen little but success since.
In recent years, parent company PepsiCo has amassed a variety of brands, each generating annual revenues of over USD 1bn. These include Mountain Dew, Gatorade, Tropicana, Doritos, Cheetos and 7UP. The company is also a regular fixture among the world’s largest and most respected brands.
Here in the UAE, the Pepsi success story has been driven largely by Dubai Refreshment (DRC). One of the leading food and beverage manufacturers and distributors in the Gulf region, DRC introduced Pepsi to the local market in the 1960s.
Shortly afterwards, it became the sole franchisee and distributor for all PepsiCo brands. The company is located at Dubai Investment Park in the new industrial hub midway between Dubai and Abu Dhabi.
This strong relationship has helped PepsiCo become part of the cultural fabric of the UAE, with many of its brands now household names throughout the country.