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Definition: Coca-Cola from Brewer's Dictionary of Phrase and Fable

The carbonated drink was the invention in 1886 of John S. Pemberton, a US pharmacist. It is uncertain how he concocted the blend of ingedients that first went into the product, but his book-keeper, Frank Robinson, devised a name that indicated the source of two of the extracts: coca leaves and the cola nut. Coca leaves yield cocaine, a form of which was originally present in Coca-Cola. Hence the curative claims initially made for it, so that people took it for dyspepsia, headaches and similar malaises. The drink came to be nicknamed Coke, and the manufacturers registered this as an alternative name in 1920 as their exclusive property. Thus, while cola can be used as a general name for any carbonated drink made from cola nuts, Coca-Cola and Coke cannot.

Summary Article: Coca-Cola
From The Hutchinson Unabridged Encyclopedia with Atlas and Weather Guide

Trade name of a sweetened, carbonated drink, originally made with coca leaves and flavoured with cola nuts, and containing caramel and caffeine. Invented in 1886, Coca-Cola was sold in every state of the USA by 1895 and in nearly 200 countries by 2000. In 2006 it was the 89th largest corporation in the world (according to Fortune magazine). The company owns four of the world's top five soft-drink brands (Coca-Cola, Diet Coke, Fanta, and Sprite), and owns or licenses more than 400 brands. In addition, it has ownership interests in bottling and canning operations. In 2006 Coca-Cola's net operating revenues were $24.1 billion and operating income was $6.3 billion.

Coca-Cola was first sold in the UK in 1900. Coca-Cola & Schweppes Beverages was established in 1987, 49% owned by the US company and 51% by Cadbury Schweppes. In 1999 Coca-Cola acquired the soft drinks brands of Cadbury Schweppes plc in various countries, including the UK where, by 2004, the company's share of the carbonated soft drinks market was 45.3%.

In November 2000 Coca-Cola agreed to pay US$192.5 million to settle a discrimination suit filed by black employees concerning their pay, promotions, and evaluations. Although it denied racial discrimination, the company agreed to pay US$113 million in cash to the workers, US$43.5 million to adjust current salaries, and US$36 million to monitor its employment practices.


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