Coca-Cola (often abbreviated to "Coke") is a carbonated cola drink, and is the world's most popular soft drink. The Coca-Cola Company's headquarters are located in Atlanta, Georgia, where the drink was first concocted around 1886. Coke's inventor John Pemberton was not a shrewd marketer of his drink, but the ownership of Coke eventually passed to Asa Candler, whose company remains the producer of Coke today. Candler's successful marketing, continued by his successors such as Robert Woodruff, established Coke as a major soft drink first in the United States and later around the world. Originally designed to be sold at soda fountains, Coca-Cola was later sold in bottles, whose distinctive shape have become a part of the drink's branding. Major advertising campaigns have established Coca-Cola slogans such as "The pause that refreshes" as part of popular culture. The formula for Coke, whose status as a trade secret has been embellished by company lore, once contained trace amounts of cocaine (about 1/400th of a grain, or 0.16 milligrams, per ounce of syrup, in 1902), although this was removed around 1906 as health regulations were tightened. Nevertheless, Coca-Cola has been criticized for its possible negative health effects, with many urban myths surrounding it. In addition, the commercial success of the drink has been periodically challenged, in particular by its main rival Pepsi-Cola. This tension reached its peak during the 1980s, at the height of the Cola Wars, which eventually resulted in the heavily-publicised introduction of "New Coke", intended to replace the original Coca-Cola. The widely unpopular decision was eventually rescinded in the face of public opposition. The Coca-Cola Company has on occasion introduced soft drinks under the Coca-Cola brand name. The most famous of these is Diet Coke, which has become a major diet cola, but others exist, such as Cherry Coke. There are also some drinks marketed by the company but which remain unaffiliated with Coca-Cola the drink, such as Sprite. Early years Columbus, Georgia druggist John Stith Pemberton invented a cocawine called Pemberton's French Wine Coca in 1884, although it was originally meant to be a headache medicine. He was inspired by the formidable success of French Angelo Mariani's cocawine, Vin Mariani. The following year, when Atlanta and Fulton County passed Prohibition legislation, Pemberton began to develop a non-alcoholic version of the French Wine Coca. He named it Coca-Cola, because it included the stimulant coca leaves from South America and was flavored using kola nuts, a source of caffeine. Pemberton called for 5 ounces (140 grams) of coca leaf per gallon of syrup. The first sales were made at Jacob's Pharmacy in Atlanta, Georgia, on May 7, 1886, and for the first eight months only an average of nine drinks were sold each day. Pemberton ran the first advertisement for the beverage on May 29 that year in the Atlanta Journal. World War II to the 1970s When the United States entered World War II, sugar rationing in the United States meant Coca-Cola was unable to produce drinks at full capacity. However, a deal was struck between the U.S. government and Coca-Cola whereby the company was exempted from sugar rationing, while Coca-Cola supplied free drinks to the United States Army. The U.S. Army permitted Coca-Cola employees to enter the front lines as "Technical Officers" where they operated Coke's system of providing refreshments for soldiers, who welcomed the beverage as a reminder of home. After the war, the soldiers brought home their newfound taste for Coca-Cola, popularising the drink. A survey of soldiers after the war indicated that veterans preferred Coca-Cola to Pepsi by an 8 to 1 ratio. Coca-Cola has been criticised for its decision to continue trading in Nazi Germany. Eventually, the difficulty of shipping Coca-Cola concentrate to Germany and its occupied states, due to the Allied blockades, led to the creation of a new drink (Fanta) by a Coca-Cola employee. Fanta is still sold worldwide to this day. Another wartime innovation was the trademarking of "Coke" by the Coca-Cola Company, validating it as a way of referring to Coca-Cola. Although widely prevalent in vernacular usage, the company had initially fought against this practice with the reasoning that "nicknames encourage substitution". Advertising campaigns encouraged people to "ask for 'Coca-Cola' by its full name," but people persisted in asking simply for "Coke". In 1941, the company resignedly began advertising Coca-Cola jointly as Coca-Cola and Coke. In 1945, the "Coke" name was trademarked. After World War II, Coke began expanding worldwide. Initially having been restricted only to North America and Western Europe, Coke was soon being distributed in numerous other countries, especially those, such as the Philippines, which had been occupied by the Americans during World War II. The process was aided by the company assuming control of a number of Coca-Cola manufacturing plants which had been established during the war by the army, with help from the company, in order to spur distribution of the drink to soldiers. In 1985, Coca-Cola, amid much publicity, changed the formula of Coca-Cola (although the "formula" had been "changed" a few years before by the substitution of ½ of the original 100% cane sugar sweetener with cheaper corn syrup which never provoked any public outcry). Some authorities believe that New Coke, as the reformulated drink came to be known, was invented specifically to respond to its commercial competitor, Pepsi. Numerous blind taste tests suggested that more consumers preferred the taste of Pepsi (which is believed to have more lemon oil, less orange oil, and uses vanillin rather than vanilla) to Coke (see Pepsi Challenge). In taste tests, drinkers were more likely to respond positively to sweeter drinks, and Pepsi had the advantage over Coke because it is much sweeter. However, since the blind tests were only sip tests, examining initial reactions, they did not show whether or not preferences changed according to the volume of cola that the subjects drank. Subsequent tests conducted after the new coke debacle showed that Coca-Cola was more likely than Pepsi to be consumed in volume, precisely because it is less sweet. Coca-Cola tinkered with the formula and created the new Coke. Follow-up taste tests revealed that most consumers preferred the taste of New Coke to both Coke and Pepsi. The reformulation was led by the then-CEO of the company, Roberto Goizueta, and the president Don Keough. It is unclear what part long-time company president Robert W. Woodruff played in the reformulation. Goizueta claims that Woodruff endorsed it a few months before his death in 1985; others have pointed out that, as the two men were alone when the matter was discussed, Goizueta might have misinterpreted the wishes of the dying Woodruff, who could speak only in monosyllables. It has also been alleged that Woodruff might not have been able to understand what Goizueta was telling him. The New Coke therefore came as a grievous blow to the management of The Coca-Cola Company. It is possible that customers would not have noticed the change if it had been made secretly or gradually, and thus brand loyalty could have been maintained. Coca-Cola management was unprepared, however, for the nostalgic sentiments the drink aroused in the American public. Because Coca-Cola is considered an American institution by the public, numerous people accused the company of depriving future generations of the original Coke, since it was the drink which had been enjoyed by the public since the 1880s, and as it was the drink that was the unofficial drink of World War II and in essence had become as American as Mickey Mouse. Some even compared changing the Coke formula to rewriting the American Constitution. The new Coca-Cola formula subsequently caused a public backlash. Consumers began buying up and hoarding supplies of Old Coke, before it disappeared forever. Gay Mullins, from Seattle, Washington, founded the Old Cola Drinkers of America organization, which attempted to sue the company, and lobbied for the formula of Old Coke to be released into the public domain. This and other protests caused the company to return to the old formula under the name Coca-Cola Classic on July 10, 1985. However Coca-Cola Classic is not the true old formula, as it introduced high fructose corn syrup as a substitute to sugar. Later the Coca Cola company revelaed that sugar had been being slowly phased out since the 1970s and had been completely replaced by corn syrup at least 6 months before the new formula was introduced. The company was later accused of performing this volte-face as an elaborate ruse to introduce a new product while reviving interest in the original. Donald Keough, company president at the time, responded to the accusation by declaring: "Some critics will say Coca-Cola made a marketing mistake. Some cynics will say that we planned the whole thing. The truth is we are not that dumb, and we are not that smart." Meanwhile, the market share for New Coke had dwindled to only 3% by 1986. In 1992 the company renamed the product "Coke II" (not to be confused with "Coke C2", a reduced-sugar cola launched by Coca-Cola in 2004). However, sales falloff caused a severe cutback in distribution. By 1998, it was sold in only a few places in the Midwestern United States. Internationally, sales of Coke vary from country to country, although it is the dominant soft drink in virtually every country it is sold. Due to its symbolic association with the United States, Coca-Cola has been a target of anti-Americanism in the Middle East. One such instance in 2000 saw an erroneous claim that the Coca-Cola label contained anti-Islamic phrases in Arabic when viewed in a certain way. The Coca-Cola Company claimed sales dropped 10 to 15% in Egypt after the rumour began spreading in 2000, even though the Grand Mufti of Egypt declared that the trademarked script logo "does not injure Islam or Muslims". United States foreign policy also served as a focal point for boycotts of Coca-Cola due to its perceived associations with America. Alternatives to Coca-Cola, such as Mecca Cola, began proliferating in Europe and the Middle East, ostensibly as a way to combat "America's imperialism and Zionism by providing a substitute for American goods and increasing the blockade of countries boycotting American goods". The Coca-Cola Company stated that sales had felt "some impact" as a result of the boycotts and launch of alternative colas, but declined to elaborate. Nevertheless as of 2006, Coca-Cola is the best-selling soft drink in most countries. However, Pepsi is often second to Coke in terms of sales, and outsells Coca-Cola in some localities. Few other soft drinks have posed a challenge to Coke's domination of the global market, although some local brands such as Mecca Cola have made gains against Coke in recent years. In Peru, Inca Kola outsells Coca-Cola, although Corporación Inca Kola del Perú S.A., the company that formerly produced Inca Kola, was purchased by the Coca-Cola Company in 1999. In Sweden, despite Coca-Cola's strong holiday-oriented marketing efforts, Julmust outsells Coca-Cola during the Christmas season, while in Scotland, the locally produced Irn-Bru was more popular until 2005 when Coca-Cola and Diet Coke began to outpace its sales. In India, Coca-Cola remains a distant third behind the leader, Pepsi-Cola, and the number two local drink, Thums Up, which was the leader in India until its purchase by The Coca Cola Company in 1993.  Coca-Cola formula Main article: Coca-Cola formula As a publicity marketing strategy started by Ernest Woodruff, the company presents the formula of Coca-Cola as one of the most closely held trade secrets in modern business that only a few employees know or have access to. In particular, the secret ingredient "7X" has long been touted an integral component of Coca Cola's formula though it has never been established what, if anything, the "X" refers to. It has been stated that Coca-Cola had employees mix the drink by numbers assigned to specific ingredients rather than by name, to avoid the possibility of employees reverse-engineering the recipe. However, experienced perfumers and food scientists — today aided by modern analytical methods — can easily identify the composition of food products, a fact that is further supported by the many cola flavorings and competing soft drinks like Pepsi. In his book For God, Country and Coca-Cola, author Mark Pendergrast claims to have discovered a recipe for the drink in the company's archives. It includes: Citrate caffein, ext. vanilla, F.E. Coco (fluid extract of coca), citric acid, lime juice, sugar, water, and caramel sufficient, and "X": oils of orange, lemon, nutmeg, cinnamon, coriander, and neroli.  Franchised production model The actual production and distribution of Coca-Cola follows a franchising model. The Coca-Cola Company only produces a syrup concentrate, which it sells to various bottlers throughout the world who hold Coca-Cola franchises for one or more geographical areas. The bottlers produce the final drink by mixing the syrup with filtered water and sugar (or artificial sweeteners) and fill it into cans and bottles, which the bottlers then sell and distribute to retail stores, vending machines, restaurants and food service distributors. The bottlers are normally also responsible for all advertisement and other sales initiatives within their areas. The Coca-Cola Company owns minority shares in some of its largest franchisees, like Coca-Cola Enterprises, Coca-Cola Amatil, Coca-Cola Hellenic Bottling Company (CCHBC) and Coca-Cola FEMSA, but fully independent bottlers produce almost half of the volume sold in the world. As the bottler adds sugar and sweeteners, the sweetness of the drink is said to differ in various parts of the world, in order to cater for local taste. The Coca-Cola Company has been criticised for the allegedly adverse health effects of its flagship product. However, a common criticism of Coke based on its allegedly toxic acidity levels has been found to be baseless by most researchers; lawsuits based on these criticisms have been dismissed by several American courts for this reason. Most nutritionists advise that Coca-Cola and other soft drinks can be harmful if consumed excessively, particularly to young children whose soft drink consumption competes with, rather than complements, a balanced diet. Studies have shown that regular soft drink users have a lower intake of calcium (which can contribute to osteoporosis), magnesium, ascorbic acid, riboflavin, and vitamin A. The drink has also aroused criticism for its use of caffeine, an addictive substance. Although numerous court cases have been filed against The Coca-Cola Company since the 1920s, alleging that the acidity of the drink is dangerous, no evidence corroborating this claim has been found. In some of these cases, evidence has been presented that claimed Coca-Cola is no more harmful than comparable soft drinks or acidic fruit juices like apple juice. Under normal conditions, scientific evidence indicates Coca-Cola's acidity causes no immediate harm. Like most other colas, Coca-Cola contains phosphoric acid. One study has shown that this hastens bone loss, contributing to illnesses such as osteoporosis. There is also some concern regarding the usage of high fructose corn syrup in the production of Coca-Cola. Since the late-1980s in the U.S., Coke has been made with high fructose corn syrup, instead of sugar glucose or fructose, to reduce costs. This has come under criticism because of concerns that the corn used to produce corn syrup may come from genetically altered plants.  Some nutritionists also caution against consumption of high fructose corn syrup because of possible links to obesity and diabetes.  In India, there exists a major controversy concerning pesticides and other harmful chemicals in bottled products including Coca-Cola. In 2003, the Centre for Science and Environment (CSE), a non-governmental organisation in New Delhi, said aerated waters produced by soft drinks manufacturers in India, including multinational giants Pepsico and Coca-Cola, contained toxins including lindane, DDT, malathion and chlorpyrifos — pesticides that can contribute to cancer and a breakdown of the immune system. Tested products included Coke, Pepsi, and several other soft drinks, many produced by The Coca-Cola Company. CSE found that the Indian produced Pepsi's soft drink products had 36 times the level of pesticide residues permitted under European Union regulations; Coca Cola's 30 times. CSE said it had tested the same products sold in the US and found no such residues. After the pesticide allegations were made in 2003, Coca-Cola sales declined by 15%. In 2004, an Indian parliamentary committee backed up CSE's findings, and a government-appointed committee was tasked with developing the world's first pesticide standards for soft drinks. The Coca-Cola Company has responded that its plants filter water to remove potential contaminants and that its products are tested for pesticides and must meet minimum health standards before they are distributed. In the Indian state of Kerala, sale and production of Coca-Cola, along with other soft drinks, has been banned. Five other Indian states have announced partial bans on the drinks in schools, colleges and hospitals. Coca-Cola Korea Bottling Company has recalled a total of 1.1 million plastic bottles of its soft drinks in Gwangju, Hwasoon and Damyang in Jeolla Province On July 14, 2006 after found a 25 year old man who fell ill after drinking the contaminated coke, which was reportedly poisoned with herbicide. A 41-year-old woman identified as Park was arrested in Gwangju some time ago, on charges of blackmailing Coca-Cola Korea for 2 billion won ($2.13 million) and threatening to poison Coca-Cola brands.