This page is the most extensive and up-to-date Pepsi timeline. It is still under construction, and is not perfectly set in stone. If you think the timeline is missing something, please help us by submitting the date and event within the comments section.
- 1898: Pharmacist Caleb Bradham from New Bern, North Carolina changes the name of his carbonated soft drink from Brad's Drink to Pepsi-Cola. The name comes from the two main ingredients pepsin and kola nuts.
- Aug. 28, 1898: The name Pepsi-Cola is first used.
- 1902: Bradham files an application to the U.S. Patent Office for the Pepsi-Cola trademark name.
- 1903: "Doc" Bradham moves his operations from his drugstore to a rented warehouse where he sells 7,968 gallons of syrup in just one year.
- 1903: Bradham advertises his drink as: "Exhilarating, Invigorating, Aids Digestion."
- 1904: Bradham purchases the Bishop factory in New Bern for $5,000. He moves all bottling and syrup operations to there and sales increase to 19,848 gallons.
- 1905: Pepsi-Cola has a new logo, the first since it's inception back in 1898.
- 1906: Pepsi-Cola gets a new logo with the new slogan: "The Original Pure Food Drink."
- 1906: Pepsi-Cola trademark is registered in Canada.
- 1907: Expands to a total of forty franchises.
- 1907: Pepsi-Cola trademark is registered in Mexico.
- 1908: Becomes one of the first to go from horse-drawn carts to motor vehicles delivery.
- 1909: Barney Oldfield, automobile racing pioneer, becomes the first celebrity endorser. He appears in newspaper ads with the slogan: "A bully drink...refreshing, invigorating, a fine bracer before a race."
- 1909: The theme "Delicious and Healthy" will appear on and off for the next two decades.
- 1920: Releases a new slogan that appeals to consumers: "Drink Pepsi-Cola. It will satisfy you."
- 1920: Bradham, thinking sugar prices will go higher, buys large stocks of sugar.
- Late 1920: Sugar drops to two cents per pound.
- 1921: Pepsi-Cola suffers enormous financial losses due to the sugar market collapse. Bradham borrows money and sells assets and additional stock shares.
- Late 1921: Only two Pepsi-Cola plants remain open.
- 1923: Pepsi-Cola goes bankrupt. Craven Holding Corporation buys its assets for $30,000.
- 1931: Giant candy company Loft, Inc. buys Pepsi-Cola.
- 1932: Pepsi-Cola trademark is registered in Argentina.
- 1934: Begins selling twelve ounce bottles for five cents to counter its competitors who are selling six ounces for the same price.
- 1934: Caleb Bradham, the founder of Pepsi-Cola, dies.
- 1935: Moves operations to Long Island, New York.
- 1936: Ninety-four new U.S. franchises are granted.
- 1938: Pepsi-Cola trademark is registered in the Soviet Union.
- 1938: Across Canada there are eighty-five Pepsi-Cola bottlers operating under franchise agreements.
- 1939: The theme "Twice As Much for a Nickel" appears in the cartoon strip Pepsi and Peter. Because of this, consumers become more aware of Pepsi-Cola's value advantage.
- 1939: Pepsi-Cola elects Walter S. Mack Jr. as its President.
- 1940: Makes broadcast history with the first advertising jingle "Nickel, Nickel". It eventually is translated into fifty-five languages and even becomes a hit record.
- 1941: Changes its logo to red, white, and blue in support of America's war effort.
- 1941: Pepsi-Cola canteen in Times Square, New York, operates throughout World War II. It enables millions of families to record messages to army personnel overseas.
- 1943: New logo has a "bottle cap" look with the tag line "Bigger Drink, Better Taste."
- 1948: Introduces product in a can for the first time.
- 1949: The slogan "Why Take Less When Pepsi's Best?" appears.
- 1950: Alfred N. Steele becomes President and CEO of Pepsi-Cola. His wife, actress , plays a big part in promoting Pepsi-Cola.
- 1950: Pepsi-Cola has no choice but to raise prices to compete. It's new slogan is: "More Bounce to the Ounce".
- 1953: Because Americans are becoming more weight conscious, "The Light Refreshment" campaign begins.
- 1954: "The Light Refreshment" becomes "Refreshing Without Filling."
- 1958: For quite some time it has been known as "the kitchen cola" because of its insistence of being a bargain brand. With hopes of appealing to younger consumers, Pepsi-Cola goes for a facelift image by creating the slogan "Be Sociable, Have a Pepsi." It also changes its straight-sided bottles to the "swirl" type.
- 1961: Realizing the importance of the post-war generation, it changes it's theme to "Now It's Pepsi, For Those Who Think Young."
- 1963: "Come Alive! You're in the Pepsi Generation", becomes it's new theme.
- 1964: Introduces Diet Pepsi.
- 1964: Acquires the regional brand Mountain Dew.
- 1966: Diet Pepsi's gets its first independent campaign, "Girlwatchers." The "Girlwatchers" musical theme becomes a Top 40 hit.
- 1966: Mountain Dew airs for the first time with the catchy tag line, "Ya-hoo, Mountain Dew."
- 1969: "You've Got a Lot to Live. Pepsi's Got a Lot to Give" becomes their new theme aimed at the Pepsi Generation.
- 1975: Introduces The Pepsi Challenge which eventually convinces millions that Pepsi is superior.
- 1976: "Puppies," a 30-second snapshot becomes an instant commercial classic.
- 1984: Michael Jackson stars in the first two commercials of the new "Pepsi, The Choice of a New Generation" campaign.
- 1985: Lionel Ritchie appears in "New Generation" advertising followed by Tina Turner, Gloria Estefan, Joe Montana and Dan Marino.
- 1987: Pepsi returns to Times Square, New York after a twenty-seven year absence. An impressive 850-square-foot electronic display billboard is introduced that informs everybody that Pepsi is "America's Choice."
- 1988: Michael Jackson does a four-part "episodic" commercial named "Chase" that is aired during the Grammy Awards.
- 1990: Joe Montana returns in a commercial that challenges other celebrities to compare their pop to Pepsi.
- 1994: Adds expiration dates to all products.
- 1996: Lucasfilm and Pepsi shake hands on a long-term partnership for the Star Wars Trilogy films.
- 1998: Celebrates its centennial year with a birthday party attended by Ray Charles, Kool and the Gang, and the Rolling Stones. Also attending are President and Mrs. George Bush, Lady Thatcher and Walter Cronkite. Unveils its new look: a three-dimensional symbol for one Pepsi family.
- 1999: Introduces the animated character "Marfalump," who is Star Wars' biggest fan.
- Mar. 31, 1999: Pepsi Bottling Group, Inc. (PBG) becomes a publicly traded company.
- 2001: Britney Spears joins the Pepsi family and sings her own version of "Joy of Pepsi."
- 2002: Becomes the National Football League's Official Soft Drink Sponsor.
- Mar., 2002: Cindy Crawford introduces the new look for Diet Pepsi.
- July 2002: Introduces the new brand Pepsi Blue with the tag line, "It's a Blue Thing."
- 2004: Introduces new brand Pepsi EDGE, with the same taste but half the sugar, carbs and calories of normal colas.