RC Cola History

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 consumers. 
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 Exchange.
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.



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