I don't know about anyone else, but I still think RC Cola tastes better than Coke and Pepsi combined. What about you? The Tragic and True History of RC Cola May 17, 2016 Coke, Pepsi, and RC Cola Who drinks RC Cola? Do you drink it? If not, do you know someone who does? These are questions that both diehard Coca-Cola and Pepsi fans alike want to know. Since RC Cola's inception, it seems like the company has sat on the sidelines, happy to just exist, while titan sized brands like Coke and Pepsi duke it out for supremacy. However, the company could've gave Coke and Pepsi a run for their money in a very plausible alternate reality, and they actually did for a short period of time. RC Cola was developed in 1905 Columbus, Georgia native, Claud A. Hatcher was a pharmacist and grocery store owner who sold a lot of Coca-Cola at his store. He sold so much of it in fact that he contacted the Coke company asking for a discount or some other kind of acknowledgement for his contribution to the company. The local Coke representative declined Hatcher's request. In frustration, Hatcher told the representative that he would no longer sale the brand and he would create his own brand. Hatcher created Royal Crown Ginger Ale after months of working After working for months in his basement, tinkering with different flavors, he created Royal Crown Ginger Ale. He made it as an effervescent alternative to Coca-Cola's bestseller, which was laced with cocaine at the time. Hatcher's drink became quite popular in a short amount of time. This gave him and his father the courage to stop being grocery store owners and become a full-time soda bottlers. His next development was Chero-Cola Since he knew that he couldn't just coast off of the success of one drink, Hatcher made a new drink. This was a cherry-flavored cola that would finally turn the company into a legitimate soda maker. It was a very popular beverage and Coke took notice. In the early 1900s, Coke was the most profitable soda company and eager to sue potential competitors. Coke sued Hatcher for trademark infringement over the word "cola." Hatcher fought the lawsuit for several years while also building Chero-Cola's distribution to more than 700 bottlers. He argued that his soda was not an imitator and his sales reflected this claim. In 1923, a judge ruled in favor of Coca-Cola Hatcher was forced to drop "cola" from the company name. A drink called "Chero" was so much less appealing and definitely didn't sound the same and this led to a clear decline in sales. Hatcher decided to change the company name to Nehi (pronounced "knee-high"), which was his most popular fruit drink at the time. In 1929, Nehi's sales took a major hit This was because of the Great Depression and companies everywhere were experiencing a massive decline in sales. Even worse, Hatcher died in 1933 and the company was left to its sales director, H.R. Mott. He was determined to grow the company. He got rid of poor performing drinks focused on the top sellers He reintroduced Chero-Cola without the cherry flavoring and with a new name. In 1934, Nehi released Royal Crown, and over the following years its sales drastically increased. In 1944, the courts ruled that Coke did not own the word "cola." This allowed Royal Crown to become Royal Crown Cola, or RC Cola. The company then focused on a nationwide campaign to increase sales. They invested in print and television ads featuring Shirley Temple, Lucille Ball, Joan Crawford, and Bing Crosby. "You Bet RC Tastes Best!" The company held public taste tests across the country putting them against both Coke and Pepsi and declared itself the winner. It was the first time a company had ever done a promotion like this before. Even if the results had been rigged, what mattered was the people who saw the ads believed them. RC continued to be innovative In 1954, it became the first company to distribute soda in aluminum cans. After seeing the success of soda in aluminum cans, the company began selling soda in 16-ounce bottles for extra thirsty people. It officially became the Royal Crown Cola Company in 1959. In 1962, a new low calorie soda called Diet Rite hit the shelves Coke and Pepsi had completely underestimated the demand for a low calorie soda. The soda rocketed to number four on the soda sales chart within just a year and a half of its release. Coke and Pepsi both scrambled to release a similar drink, but neither were nearly as successful as Diet Rite. However, their success didn't last long The mid '60s saw more and more studies suggesting that the chemical in diet drinks (cyclamate) was hazardous to humans. Sales dropped dramatically because everyone thought diet soda was going to give them cancer. Suddenly the market they had invested all of their resources in had vanished. Throughout the '70s and '80s, the company continued to lose market share Although RC continued to be the most innovative cola company in the industry, Coke and Pepsi had taken over the market and left RC Cola in their dust. These days, however, Coke and Pepsi are struggling to stay relevant in a nation of people who are interested in health. One thing is for sure, had things gone just a little bit differently, it could have been RC Cola sponsoring the Olympics instead of Coca Cola. .