As I waited at the sandwich counter at Jugtown Country Store, I noticed someone cashing out at the register with a bottle of Coke.
Waterville Valley has been a bastion for Pepsi lovers for the three decades I’ve worked and lived in this town. Kevin Morse, the recently retired owner of Jugtown (our one and only grocery store), held a long-time grudge against the local Coca-Cola distributor and refused to carry their products. The ski area restaurants also prefer Pepsi over Coke.
As a life-long Coca-Cola aficionado, I’ve learned to plan ahead by bringing cans of Coke into work each day. On the days I forget, I know I can purchase an icy cold can of Coke from the vending machine at the Golden Eagle Lodge for $1.25. My love for Coke is so well known that most of my friends and colleagues know that the way to my heart is through a bottle of Coke. Want me to do you a favor? Bring me a bottle of Coke.
Well, my dream has finally come true. Jugtown’s new owners are carrying Coca-Cola products. I feel like singing to the heavens!
I was practically dancing as I left Jugtown with my lunch today. While I was walking to my car, I saw a man getting out of a Coca-Cola van behind Jugtown.
“Hey Mr. Coke Man!” I yelled. “I’m SO EXCITED that Jugtown’s carrying Coke.”
He smile and said he was happy to be back in Waterville Valley after such a long hiatus.
I warned him, though, “Don’t be late with your deliveries. Don’t make the new owners mad. Don’t screw up and give them any excuse to bring back Pepsi.”
“Oh, no, don’t worry,” he said nervously as he hustled back into Jugtown.
Sheesh…I wonder if this is the first time Mr. Coke Man has been threatened by a fan?!
What’s the Difference Between Coke & Pepsi
From Mental Floss
The Dilemma: You’re at a restaurant. You’ve specifically asked for a Coke when you get handed a Pepsi, or vice versa. You tell the waiter what you requested, and he gives you the “What’s the difference?” shrug. Perhaps it’s time you laid it on him.
People You Can Impress: “Impressed” probably doesn’t accurately reflect the aforementioned waiter’s likely response.
The Quick Trick: If you drink them side by side, Pepsi is the sweeter of the two (which is why people tend to prefer Pepsi in the Pepsi Challenge).
Although the fantastic ad campaigns run by both companies would have you think otherwise, the soft drinks’ similarities are pretty striking. For starters, Pepsi and Coke were both the brainchildren of Southern pharmacists. Coca-Cola was invented by Atlantan Dr. John Pemberton in 1886. And yes, there was originally a concentration of cocaine in the soda, but it was reduced to a tiny amount (1/400th of a grain per ounce) by 1902 and removed altogether by 1930. Th e Coca-Cola Company changed hands a few times, and after Prohibition Coca-Cola was sold to the Woodruff family for $25 million.
Pepsi, on the other hand, was born a few years after Coke. In 1893, pharmacist Caleb Bradham began experimenting withvarious drink mixtures in New Bern, N.C. His 1898 concoction, then known by the creative name “Brad’s Drink,” became an overnight success, and “Doc” Bradham began selling his “Exhilarating, Invigorating, Digestion Aiding” syrup by the gallon (7,968 of them for soda fountains in his first year). In the 1940s, Pepsi, as the drink came to be known, adopted a red, white, and blue logo to support America’s war effort (or to profit from a hollow, contrived gesture of patriotism—if you’re a Coke drinker).
While both drinks contain vanilla, rare oils, carbonated water, kola nut extracts, and the widely beloved high-fructose corn syrup, Coca-Cola maintains a secret ingredient: the mysterious “7X.” The formula for the soft drink (including 7X) is kept in a bank vault in Atlanta, and employees who know the secret formula sign nondisclosure agreements before they get to peek at the recipe. In fact, the secret of 7X is so well kept that Coke was for a time forced to abandon the market in India after a law there required that all trade-secret information be disclosed to the government. The law was changed in 1991, and ever since, Coke and Pepsi have been vying for the lion’s share of the Indian market.