RC Cola (or Royal Crown Cola) is a soft drink developed in 1905 by Claude A. Hatcher, a pharmacist in Columbus, Georgia.
The first product in the Royal Crown line was Chero-Cola in 1904, followed by Royal Crown Ginger Ale, Royal Crown Strawberry and Royal Crown Root Beer. The company was renamed Chero-Cola, and in 1925 called Nehi Corporation after its colored and flavored drinks. In 1934, Chero-Cola was reformulated by Rufus Kamm, a chemist, and re-released as Royal Crown Cola.
In the 1950s, the combination of Royal Crown Cola and Moonpies became popular as the "working man's lunch" in the American South. In 1954, Royal Crown was the first to sell a soft drink in an aluminum can.
In 1958, the company introduced the first diet cola, Diet Rite, and in 1980, a caffeine-free cola, RC 100. In the mid-1990s, RC released Royal Crown Draft Cola, billed as a "premium" cola and using pure cane sugar as a sweetener, rather than the high fructose corn syrup more commonly used in the United States. Offered only in 12-ounce bottles, the cola's sales were disappointing due largely to the inability of the RC bottling network to get distribution for the product in single-drink channels and it was quickly discontinued with the exceptions of Australia, New Zealand and France. The company has also released Cherry RC — a cherry flavored version of the RC soft drink — to compete with Coca-Cola Cherry and Pepsi Wild Cherry.
In October 2000, Royal Crown was acquired by Cadbury Schweppes plc through its acquisition of Snapple. Royal Crown operations were folded into Dr Pepper/Seven Up, Inc., a former subsidiary of Cadbury Schweppes. In 2001, all international RC-branded business were sold to Cott Beverages of Mississauga, Ontario, Canada, and is operated as Royal Crown Cola International. Operations in the United States, Canada, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Chile and other U.S. territories are now handled by Dr Pepper Snapple Group.
Full article ▸