1905 - After a disagreement with a local soda bottler, a young pharmacist, Claud
A. Hatcher, begins creating his own soft drinks in the basement of his family’s
grocery business. Originally called "Union Bottling Works,” the first line
of beverages is named Royal Crown Ginger Ale.
1910 – Union Bottling Works relocates to grander facilities and soon after,
introduces the cherry-flavored cola, dubbed Chero-Cola, soon ranked as the
company’s greatest selling product.
1912 – The popularity of Chero-Cola leads to union Bottling Works changing its
name to Chero-Cola Company, an enterprise reorganized to manufacture a line of
syrups and flavor concentrates to sell to franchised bottlers.
1924 – A new, fruit-flavored beverage named Melo is introduced. After a
salesman refers to a competitor’s soft drink bottle as being “knee-high,” Melo’s
name changes to Nehi, a brand name that becomes familiar to generations of
1925 – Chero-Cola stands as a thriving business, with 315 plants located
primarily in 14 southern states. Of these, 310 are bottling Chero-Cola and 263
plants are franchised for the company’s fruit flavor products selling under the
Nehi brand name.
1928 – Additional plants are added, bringing the total to 463. The nehi line
becomes so successful, the company changes its name for the second time, from
Chero-Cola Co. to the Nehi Corporation and is listed on the New York Curb
1933 – President of the Nehi Corporation and the company’s guiding light from
its formation, Claud Hatcher dies suddenly on December 31st, leaving behind a
legacy that would continue to endure well into the next century.
1934 – Mr. Hatcher is succeeded as president by H.R. Mott who tasks chief
chemist Rufas Kamm with the development of a new cola drink. The new product is
to be called Royal Crown Cola, named after Hatcher’s original ginger ale.
1940 – Nehi stock is listed on the New York Stock Exchange, with the company’s
products available in 47 of the 48 states.
1941 – “Best By Taste Test” publicity campaign begins, using blind taste tests
more than three decades before other soft drink manufacturers. National
newspaper advertising is in wide use, with simultaneous ads in some 600 daily
newspapers throughout America.
1046 – Celebrities like Bing Crosby, Joan Crawford, Shirley Temple, Lucille
Ball, and Ronald Regan enhance advertising. “Believe It or Not” radio
program stars Robert Ripley and reaches 11.2 million families. Color
advertisements are in the “Saturday Evening Post” and “Good Housekeeping.”
1959 – RC Cola earns its distinction as the company’s mainstay product when
Nehi, Inc. becomes Royal Crown Cola Company.
1962 – The soft drink industry’s first sugar-free diet beverage, a product the
Los Angeles Times selects as the “Leading New Product of the 1960s,” Diet Rite
Cola hits retail shelves nationwide and creates thousands of new jobs within the
soft drink industry.
1978 – Acquiring fast-food franchiser Arby’s two years earlier, Royal Crown Cola
Company becomes Royal Crown Companies Inc.
1984 – The soft drink division becomes part of DWG Corporation, which introduces
Cherry RC, Diet RC Cola and an eight-flavor line of Diet Rite.
1993 – Triarc Companies, Inc. acquires Royal Crown Cola Company.
2000 – Royal Crown Cola Company is acquired by Cadbury Schweppes.
2001 – Royal Crown Cola international is acquired by Cott Corporation.
2005 – Royal Crown Cola commemorates its 100th Anniversary.
2010 – Royal Crown Cola International provides RC Cola’s legendary taste along
with its other products to over 60 countries around the world.