Coca-Cola is a cola (a type of carbonated soft drink) sold in stores, restaurants and vending machines in more than 200 countries. It is produced by The Coca-Cola Company and is often referred to simply as Coke. Originally intended as a patent medicine when it was invented in the late 19th century by John Pemberton, Coca-Cola was bought out by businessman Asa Griggs Candler, whose marketing tactics led Coke to its dominance of the world soft drink market throughout the 20th century.
The company actually produces concentrate, which is then sold to various licensed Coca-Cola bottlers throughout the world. The bottlers, who hold territorially exclusive contracts with the company, produce finished product in cans and bottles from the concentrate in combination with filtered water and sweeteners. The bottlers then sell, distribute and merchandise Coca-Cola in cans and bottles to retail stores and vending machines. Such bottlers include Coca-Cola Enterprises, which is the largest single Coca-Cola bottler in North America and western Europe. The Coca-Cola Company also sells concentrate for fountain sales to major restaurants and food service distributors.
The Coca-Cola Company has, on occasion, introduced other cola drinks under the Coke brand name. The most common of these is Diet Coke, which has become a major diet cola. However, others exist, including Diet Coke Caffeine-Free, Cherry Coke, Coca-Cola Zero, Vanilla Coke and special editions with lemon and with lime and even with coffee.
World of Coca-Cola museum in 2000]]