libations that have helped shape our world
In 1886 pharmacist John Stith Pemberton sold
about nine Coca-Colas a day.
Today his soft drink is one of world's most
valuable brandsósold in more countries than
the United Nations has members.
It may be the second most widely understood
phrase in the world after 'OK.
The drink has become a symbol of the United
Statesólove it or hate it. East Germans quickly reached for Cokes
when the Berlin Wall fell, while Thai
Muslims poured it out into the streets to
show disdain for the U.S. in the days
leading up to the 2003 invasion of Iraq.
Coca-Cola encapsulates what happened in the
20th century: the rise of consumer
capitalism and the emergence of America as a
superpower. It's globalization in a bottle.
While Coke may not always produce a smile, a
survey by the Economist magazine suggests that the soft drink's
presence is a great indicator of happy
citizens. When countries were polled for
happiness, as defined by a United Nations
index, high scores correlated with sales of
It's not because [Coke] makes people happy,
but because [its] sales happen in the
dynamic free-market economies that tend to
produce happy people.