Pepsi, a beverage with a 125-year history, was originally promoted as a
 therapeutic remedy for stomach issues. (Image Credits:

Undoubtedly, Pepsi stands out as one of the world's most popular sodas. This 125-year-old beverage was created in 1898 by pharmacist Caleb D. Bradham in New Bern, North Carolina, USA. Originally known as "Brad’s Drink" after its inventor, Caleb later acquired the name "Pepsi Kola" from a local competitor, ultimately renaming it Pepsi-Cola, as documented by PepsiCo's website. The beverage underwent a further abbreviation to simply Pepsi in 1961. According to the Los Angeles Times, the name Pepsi is derived from "dyspepsia," the Greek term for indigestion or upset stomach. In its early days, Pepsi was marketed as a medicinal drink believed to alleviate indigestion.

In clarifying the rebranding of the beverage, Jenny Danzi, the senior director at Pepsi, explained to Food & Wine, "Bradham renamed 'Brad’s Drink,' his popular non-alcoholic digestive crafted with a mix of kola nuts, sugar, water, caramel, lemon oil, nutmeg, and other additives, to 'Pepsi-Cola.' He believed the drink was more than refreshment, aiding in digestion, getting its roots from the word dyspepsia, meaning indigestion."

One theory proposes that the name "Pepsi" might have been a nod to the digestive enzyme called pepsin. However, it's important to note that pepsin was never included as an ingredient in Pepsi-Cola.

In contemporary times, Pepsi is primarily marketed as a refreshing soft drink intended to complement meals and snacks. As of 2023, Pepsi is considered the second most valuable soft drink globally, trailing behind Coca-Cola in sales figures.

An intriguing historical fact is that Pepsi was introduced 12 years after Coca-Cola. Coca-Cola, also known as Coke, made its debut in the market in 1886 in Atlanta, courtesy of a pharmacist named Dr. John S. Pemberton. According to Southern Living, the name Coca-Cola is derived from the primary ingredients of the carbonated drink: the coca leaf and the kola nut. Frank Mason Robinson, an advertiser who served as a bookkeeper for Dr. John S. Pemberton, is credited with suggesting the name "Coca‑Cola" and designing the drink's logo, which is still in use today. As detailed in the book "For God, Country, and Coca-Cola," Coca-Cola was initially marketed as a medicinal energy drink believed to remedy indigestion and headaches.