The recipe for the soft drink Pepsi was developed in the 1880s by Caleb Bradham. He created the Pepsi-Cola Company in 1902 and registered for the recipe patent in 1903. The company went bankrupt in 1931 and was bought by Charles Guth.
Charles Guth was the president of Loft, Incorporated, a leading candy manufacturer with a large chain of restaurants and candy shops. He used Loft’s chemists to reformulate the syrup and contracted to stock soda in the restaurants, which were known for their soda fountains.
In 1935 Loft’s shareholders sued Guth for his 91% stake in the company. Loft won the lawsuit and as a result the company formally absorbed Pepsi in 1941 and it was rebranded Pepsi Cola Company.
In the 1960s Pepsi’s line of products expanded with the creation of Diet Pepsi and Mountain Dew.
In 1965 the Pepsi Cola Company merged with Frito-Lay and became PepsiCo, Inc.
From the 1970s through the 1990s PepsiCo expanded by acquiring new brands outside of its core business of packaged food and beverages. It later sold these brands to refocus on the core business. Examples of these brands are Pizza Hut, KFC, California Pizza Kitchen, and Wilson Sporting Goods.
These large divestments were followed by acquisitions, notably of Tropicana Products in 1998. PepsiCo merged with Quaker Oats Company in 2001, which added the Gatorade sports drink line
In 2010 the company completed a $7 billion acquisition of its two largest bottlers in North America.
Today PepsiCo has 22 product lines that generate retail sales of $1 billion each. By net revenue, PepsiCo is the largest food and beverage business in the United States and second largest in the world. PepsiCo has 300,000 employees worldwide, is part of the S&P 500, and had $65 billion in revenue in 2012.