History

 

1886

Coca-Cola debuts at Jacobs’ Pharmacy Soda Fountain in Atlanta, GA.

1900 – 1910
In 1902, J. B. Harrison, Great-Grandfather of current Chairman and CEO, Frank Harrison, III, began selling Coca-Cola in bottles in Greensboro, North Carolina. The Greensboro business was North Carolina’s first Coca-Cola bottling company.

That same year, Luther Snyder began selling Coca-Cola in Charlotte, North Carolina. At the time, bottling companies sprang up quickly in the Carolinas as bottling Coca Cola for customers to drink at home was emerging as a new business.

1911 – 1920

The Charlotte Coca-Cola Bottling Company, Mr. Snyder’s company, was quickly growing  and expanded into larger quarters during the decade. Bottling plants open in both Monroe and Lincolnton, North Carolina.

The Coca-Cola bottlers approved the unique contour bottle design of their packages in 1916.  During WWI, sales of Coca-Cola went into a decline as a result of sugar rationing.  However, sales rebounded after the war, and in 1920, the US Supreme Court ruled that the name “Coke” means “Coca-Cola,” thereby making “Coke” a trademark of The Coca-Cola Company.

1921 – 1930

In 1923, the invention of neon lighting allowed for “can’t miss it” outdoor signs used frequently and with much success to sell Coca-Cola.  That same year, the six-pack cardboard carton was introduced and was described as “a home package with a handle of invitation.”

In 1928, for the first time, the volume of Coca-Cola sold in bottles exceeded that sold through soda fountains.  In 1930, the company that is now Coca-Cola Bottling Co. moved to a new home on West Moorehead Street in Charlotte and was operating seven sales routes.

1931- 1940

In 1931, Haddon Sunblom created The Coca-Cola Company’s first Santa Claus, a jolly red-suited ambassador of goodwill for a holiday campaign.  This vision of Santa has become iconic in American culture.

In 1935, the first standardized coin-operated vending machine came into use.

1941- 1950

World War II dominated the era, and sugar rationing again had an impact on sales.  Most importantly, the war had a profound impact on our employees, customers, and consumers.

In 1941, Jimmy Johnson of Statesville, North Carolina is held as a prisoner of war.  He later would become president and CEO of Coca-Cola Bottling Co. Consolidated.

1951-1960

The 1950’s are a time of fierce competition in the soft drink industry.  Development of new packages becomes the hallmark of the decade.  Canned soft drinks were introduced to the American public.

In 1955, The Coca-Cola Company also introduced 10, 12, and 26 ounce king-sized and family-sized bottles.

1961-1970

In 1962, the idea of full-line vending was put into the hands of our Company leadership who quickly saw its potential and Carolina Coin Caterers Corporation was born.

The decade will mostly be remembered for its advertising campaigns.  “Things Go Better with Coke” was introduced as a slogan in 1963, and in 1969 Coke becomes “The Real Thing.”

1971 – 1980

In 1971, television viewers watched young people gather on a hilltop and sing, “I’d like to buy the world a Coke.”  This becomes one of The Coca-Cola Company’s most popular advertisements.
In 1972, major changes occurred at our Company.  The company changed its name to Coca-Cola Bottling Co. of the Mid Carolinas and stock was offered to the public for the first time.  Snyder Production Center opened in Charlotte and to this day is one of the largest soft drink manufacturing facilities in the United States.  Our company made a series of acquisitions during the decade making it a period of solid growth.

In 1977 J. Frank Harrison Jr., grand-son of the company founder became chairman of the board.  This is the same year that PET plastic bottles were first used as a package for Coca-Cola products.

1981- 1990

The 1980’s marked a decade full of new flavors for The Coca-Cola Company.  In 1982, Diet Coke is introduced followed in the next year with caffeine-free versions of Coke, Diet Coke and Tab.  Coca-Cola Consolidated was the first company to introduce Cherry Coke to thirsty consumers.

However, one flavor is not a hit.  In 1985, “New” Coke is introduced.  It is the first change of the “secret formula” since Coca-Cola was created.  However, once the public had spoken, Coca-Cola returns to its original refreshing classic Coca-Cola formula.

1991 – 2000

Coca-Cola Consolidated experienced tremendous growth over the past couple of decades.  In 1991, the company acquires the bottler, Sunbelt Coca-Cola and becomes the second largest Coca-Cola bottler in the United States.  A distinction it still holds today.

In 1997, Board Chairman, J. Frank Harrison, III, great-grandson of the company’s founder, also becomes CEO.  Once again, the company rounds out the decade with an innovation for The Coca-Cola system, being the first Coca-Cola bottler to introduce Dasani water.

2001 – Today

In 2001, the company introduced a new package known as the “Fridge Pack” maintaining Coca-Cola Bottling Co. Consolidated’s reputation as a system leader in innovation.  In 2002, Coca-Cola Consolidated celebrated its 100th Anniversary of bringing refreshing Coca-Cola products to thirsty consumers across the Southeastern United States.

While tremendously proud of our heritage, Coca-Cola Bottling Co. Consolidated continues to innovate and deliver on our mission to make, sell, and deliver soft drinks better than anyone else.