6 Absurd-But-True Facts About Soft Drinks

Posted Apr 25, by Alison Stanton

Coke drinkers are more likely to have graduated college than Pepsi drinkers!

Coke v. Pepsi is an old rivalry that seems to have no end in sight. It's been a great marvel of marketing to see these brands ebb and flow through the years. Coke has always had a slight edge, and is the most popular around the world. In the US, Pepsi performs slightly better, and even overtook Coke for a while through a series of clever ad campaigns. 

However, a research company has found that there are some interesting differences between people who identify themselves as Coke or Pepsi folk: 

Coke drinkers are more likely to have graduated college and speak more than one language.

Coke people prefer things like sushi, and might have tasted caviar. Pepsi drinkers prefer American snacks.

Coke drinkers read the New York Times, while Pepsi drinkers read the USA Today.

Coke drinkers are more likely to own a passport. It's more likely that Pepsi drinkers haven't had a vacation in 6 months. 

Coke drinkers are more likely to show up early to an appointment. Pepsi drinkers? On time or late. 

What do you think? Of course these are in average, and not representative of every Coke or Pepsi drinker. 


Soft Drinks are the #1 source of calories for Americans.

Although consumption of sodas has dropped about 16% per capita since 1998, the average American still drank slightly less than 2 sodas per day. This has left brands like Coke and Pepsi scrambling to solve their drop in sales. Market observers think we're entering a slow decline of soda consumption. 

Still, sugary soft drink is the #1 source of calories in the average American diet. Think about it. It means that if you're the average person, you get more calories from drinking Coke or Kool-Aid than you do from pizza, hamburgers, French fries and everything else. 

The holy grail is, of course, finding an all-natural sweetener that has no calories. Many people are still apprehensive of the stuff used to give diet sodas their flavor. Until then, soda companies fight the downward trend by adding new brands, flavors and other products like bottled water.


Coke is so popular, Diet Coke outsells even Regular Pepsi!

In 2009, people bought the same amount of Diet Coke as regular Pepsi. The very next year, Diet Coke had an even greater share of the market than Pepsi! Mountain Dew is the fourth highest seller after Coca-Cola, Diet Coke, and Pepsi. You might think, that with people’s preference for regular soda over diet soda, regular Pepsi would have higher sales than Diet Coke.
Comparatively, people buy just under twice as much regular Coke as they buy Diet Coke. Pepsi simply does not have the same following, as evidenced statistically. Coca-Cola Co. sold 3928.6 million cases of soda while PepsiCo sold only 2744.7 million cases in 2010. Dr. Pepper Snapple is the company with the next highest sales, selling 1562.8 million cases. Whether it’s the adorable Coca-Cola polar bear or just the flavor, more people seem to prefer Coke. Which do you prefer: Coke or Pepsi?

In water, a can of Diet Coke floats while regular Coke sinks!

The artificial sweetener in Diet Coke is hundreds of times sweeter per unit volume than regular sugar. However, the sugar in regular Coke is denser, which makes it sink. Regular Coke contains almost 11 teaspoons of sugar per can! On average, Americans ingest 10.8 pounds of sugar per person each year from drinking Coca-Cola alone. 

Here are some other interesting facts about Coca-Cola products: 

  • The Coca-Cola brand is worth more than Budweiser, Pepsi, Starbucks and Redbull combined 
  • If every drop of Coke ever produced were put into 8 ounce bottles and laid end to end, they’d reach the moon and back over 2,000 times 
  • Coca-Cola spends more money on advertising than Microsoft and Apple combined 
  • The average Mexican drinks more Coke than the average American, British, Indian, and Chinese combined 

Coca-Cola is the #1 selling soft drink everywhere in the world, except for Scotland and the Middle East.

Coca-Cola is the #1 selling soft drink everywhere in the world, except for Scotland and the Middle East.

In Scotland, Coca-Cola is a close second to the locally-produced Irn-Bru. Irn-Bru had dominated the Scottish market for over 100 years, and is the #3 selling soft drink in the UK. Coca-Cola has been making inroads in recent years, and now the two beverages are about equal in Scottish sales.

In the Middle East, the soft drink of choice is not some local drink. It’s Pepsi. This is actually a more complicated story. Coca-Cola did not produce or sell its soda in Israel until 1966, so it was accused of participating in a boycott of the state of Israel. As a result, Jewish Americans, particularly in New York, boycotted Coke. Coca-Cola responded by opening up a bottling plant in Tel Aviv in 1966, but then it was boycotted by the Arab League for doing so. Pepsi then took over the Middle Eastern market, and didn’t sell in Israel.

The boycott of Coca-Cola ended in 1991, and Coca-Cola entered the market in the Middle East where Pepsi had a huge head start. Pepsi entered the Israeli market in 1992, but has had a hard time competing with Coke, in part due to its image as being anti-Israel. Coca-Cola has done much better in the Middle East and, by 2003, had already secured 25% of Middle Eastern soft drink sales (compared to Pepsi’s 75%).

For more information on the Coke boycott, Snopes has an interesting short article on the subject. For a more in-depth analysis of the Middle Eastern cola wars, click here.

Another fun fact: Coca-Cola was also the number 1 brand in the world until recent years when it was surpassed by Google and Wal-Mart. Click here to learn more about the Coca-Cola company\'s history and the ways in which it has dominated the soft drink market in different regions of the world.

Both drinks have identical ingredients besides the sweetener! However, there are very slight differences between the two sodas. One difference is that Diet Coke, believe it or not, has slightly more calories than Coke Zero. Diet Coke has one calorie per 100 milliliters while Coke Zero has only .5 calories!

The only other difference is that Coke Zero is targeted specifically at men! Similar to Dr. Pepper 10’s model, Coke Zero is advertised as a “manly” diet drink to make diet sodas appear “masculine”.

Another interesting fact about Diet Coke? In many European and South American countries, there refer to Diet Coke as ‘Coca-Cola Light’.

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