Monday, September 29, 2008

The History of Coca Cola Prices

There really IS a written History of Coca Cola Prices! I thought Grandpa was just bluffing when he said he was able to buy a Hot Dog and a Coke for a Quarter...but he wasn't! (he WAS bluffing about killing a Kodiak Bear with his bear hands, mind you...) covers the pricing of Coca Cola and Pepsi HERE.
They also give you some other sources for reading up on the 'Cola Wars'.
While they mention many sources that we have quoted here, they do NOT list the very famous Coke vs. Pepsi lens! The nerve!

Based on advertisements in the Daily Record (a Morristown, NJ newspaper) over the years, Pepsi and Coca Cola prices look like this:

[1942] Pepsi .05/bottle
[1944] Coca Cola, .05/bottle
[1945] Pepsi, .23/six 12 ounce bottles
[1972] Pepsi, .69/six-pack 12 oz cans
[1974] Pepsi Cola, .88/6 12oz cans
[1982] Coke, .99/1 litre bottle
[1985] Pepsi, .89/2 litre bottle
[1992] Coke, 6.98/two 12-packs 12 oz cans
[1994] Coca Cola, 3.99/two "12" packs
[1995] Coca Cola, .59-.99/2 litre bottle
[2002] Coca Cola .99/2 litre bottle
[2005] Coca Cola, 1.09/2 litre bottle

Wild stuff, huh?

I'd like all of you Grandma's and Grandpa's to comment this blog with your earliest memory of the cost of a Coca Cola. Or a Pepsi.

Good Drinking!


Frederick Web Promotions said...

I saw a History Channel show on the marketing battle between Juggernaut Coke and fledgling Pepsi.
It was very interesting.

Coke (this is actually rather fascist!) gave free coke to US service men in WW2.

Pepsi floundered for years with a tiny market share.

Pepsi once 'groveled in the dust at Giant Coke's feet' in an attempt to get Coke to buy out Pepsi.

Years later an enterprising marketing exec suggested to Pepsi that you can't fight city hall.

All current market share is Coke, so go after the youngins, the teenagers that haven't been bombarded with all the marketing momentum.

Remember the Pepsi Generaton ads when we were young? in the 70's?

The rest is history

Minstrel Mike said...

Most of the prices listed were for 12oz cans or 2-Liter bottles (especially "recent" prices), but the "source" site Food TimeLine disregarded one of their OWN recommendations: "base your study on price per ounce rather than container."

I did something similar recently on my blog (Minstrel Mike's Blog): Minstrel Mike's Blog: Is Coca-Cola STILL Cheaper Than Gasoline?.

There, I did, in fact, calculate, not the per OUNCE, but per GALLON for various container sizes (to compare with gasoline), of course).

Minstrel Mike said...

I forgot to mention: the "historical" Coca-Cola (ALWAYS been a "Coke" guy, NEVER preferred Pepsi) price is from the early/mid-1970's ...

When I was maybe 10 or so (maybe a bit younger), uor local grocery store had the Coke vending machine which dispensed both 10 and 6½ ounce sized glass bottles, for the same price: 20¢ (I never understood why Mom would often "waste" money by getting the smaller size).

So, if Mom gave me a quarter for a quarter for a coke, I could usually keep the nickel in change; IF I could drink it before we got out of the store! (you had to pay them the nickel deposit back if you took the bottle with you).

AsiaVoss said...

Interesting stuff, Mike.
Thanks for sharing!

Fred, you made some good points, too, and I'm not sure how I missed them when you posted. I do apologize!

Best Holiday Wishes to All!
(I'd tell you if I am a Coke or Pepsi guy...but then I wouldn't be an impartial source of commentary, would I? ;) )

Anonymous said...

Very informative. Great job. does anyone know the price of coke cans in 1985?

Jakealoo said...

Thanks for the good info, I am trying to compile historical soda prices for a marketing project. Your info is greatly appreciated

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AsiaVoss said...

Welcome aboard, Sebast.
"Stick" around as long as you like..!

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beigeman1971 said...

How much was a 16 oz bottle of Pepsi in 1982?

Defmall said...

I dont know...but I'll look it up for you!