Despite what you may have heard, it has nothing to do with Santa.
Some things in life just are a certain color: The sky is blue, grass is green, and the Coca-Cola logo is red.
But have you ever wondered why your favorite soft drink is associated with the fiery color? Good news: We’ve got answers for you.
Some people think that it started with one of the company’s first advertisements, which featured Santa Claus wearing a red-and-white suit and holding a Coke. But those people are wrong.
According to Reader’s Digest, the real reason behind the color pairing is less wholesome: Since its inception in 1886, Coke was sold in American drug stores—so was alcohol. Alcohol was taxed at the time, but soft drinks weren’t.
The Coca-Cola Company began painting its barrels red in an effort to make it very clear to customs and tax officials that their barrels did not contain booze, and should not be taxed.
The company itself offers a simpler explanation: Coca-Cola inventor Dr. John Pemberton’s bookkeeper and partner, Frank Robinson, designed the iconic logo. Robinson liked the way red and white looked together and would write “Coca-Cola Delicious and Refreshing” with red lettering over a white background on the company’s early signs.
“From there, red was adopted as the overarching color of Coca-Cola,” said Coca-Cola archivist Ted Ryan.
There ya have it. If you’re dying for even more Coke facts, here’s why McDonald’s Coke tastes better than its competitors.
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