Sample Business Studies Research Paper on Coca Cola versus Pepsi

Coca-Cola is multinational beverage company incorporated in the state of Delaware. Its pioneer product, coca cola soft drink, was invented by Pemberton John in 1886 (Petretti, 632). Pemberton sold the company to Asa Griggs Candler who incorporated the firm in 1889. Today, the company operates in over 200 countries across the world (Sahn 94). It is listed on New York Stock Exchange where its current stock price is $42.12 according to Yahoo Finance (1). The top managers of the firm include Muhtar Kent, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer (CEO), James Quincey, President and Chief Operating Officer, and Marcos de Quinto, Chief Marketing (“Coca-Cola Leaders” 1).

PepsiCo Inc is also a global beverage and food company that was incorporated in 1965 following the merger between Pepsi-Cola and Frito Company (“Our History” 1). Pepsi-Cola is the parent company founded by Caleb Bradham in 1902 (Capparell 80).  The company’s products are found in more than 200 countries (“Global Business Units” 1). Similar to Coca-Cola, PepsiCo also trades its shares on New York Stock Exchange. The company’s current share price as quoted by Yahoo Finance is $112.  Its present CEO is Indra Nooyi while the Vice Presidents in charge of corporate strategy and communications are Jim Andrew and John Banner respectively (“Our Leadership” 1).

Coca-Cola and PepsiCo are some of the companies that have the largest brand portfolio in the world. Coca-Cola claims that it has over 3900 beverage products (“Product Description” 1). These products range fruit juices, water and energy drinks. Its flagship product, Coca-Cola soft drink comes in different varieties that include classic, zero and light. Pepsi too has a wide range of products. The company says it has twenty-two iconic product brands (“Brands” 1). So in terms of variety, the two companies deliver different products to consumers. However, PepsiCo is more diversified because the company sells food and snacks besides beverages. It is important to note that Coca-Cola and PepsiCo hold the largest share of beverage market (Fox 1). Consequently, there is stiff competition between these two beverage companies. The prices of their products do not differ substantially because the products are substitutes.

Coca-Cola and Pepsi products are found virtually in every country in the world.  The companies have extensive distribution network supported by local partners who are the bottlers.  To this end, there are no significant differences in availability of the products of the two companies and distribution is not a competitive advantage. Both companies spend a substantial amount of financial resources on promotion. In 2013, Coca-Cola spent $3.3 billion on advertising while PepsiCo used about $2 billion (Natalie 1). Pepsi and Coca Cola use aggressive advertising to create demand for their products. However, Coca-Cola is known to use emotional appeals in its advertising messages. It currently uses the message “taste the feeling” to advertise Coca-Cola soft drink. Malik and Kashif found that Coca-Cola mainly advertises its pioneer product, coca cola soft drink while Pepsi advertises most of its products (2).

As multinationals companies, Coca-Cola and Pepsi employ millions of people directly or indirectly. The two firms have wide varieties of job opportunities for skilled and unskilled people. A person can work in these companies as a plant operator, accountant, marketer, engineer, and procurement officers among other jobs. I prefer to work for Coca-Cola because the company is considered as one of the best employers. According to research done by Great Place to Work Institute, Coca-Cola was ranked 25th best company to work for in the world (Hackett 1). Even though I would prefer to work for Coca-Cola, I drink sodas produced by both companies. I particularly prefer drinks with no added sugar such as Coca-Cola Zero and Pepsi Zero Sugar.

Works Cited

Petretti, Allan. Petretti’s Coca-Cola collectibles price guide. Iola, WI: Krause Publications, 2008.

Fox, Justin. “Still Sweet on Coke and Pepsi?”  Bloomberg View, Bloomberg L.P, January 21, 2015,

Natalie, Zmuda.  “Coca-Cola Maintains Marketing Spend Amid Sluggish Demand.” Adage. Age, Advertising, July 22, 2014,

Malik, Muhammad Kashif Omer. “Marketing Communication of Pepsi and Coca Cola in Pakistan.” 2008.  Malardalens University Master’s Dissertation.

Hackett, Robert. “The 25 Best Global Companies to Work For.” Fortune, Times Inc, October 23, 2014,

Sahn, David E. The fight against hunger and malnutrition: The role of food, agriculture, and targeted policies. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2015. Print.

Capparell, Stephanie. The real Pepsi challenge: The inspirational story of breaking the color barr. Place of publication not identified: Free Press, 2014. Print.

“Coca Cola Company (Co).” Yahoo Finance, Yahoo, March 26, 2017,

“PepsiCo, Inc. (PEP).” Yahoo Finance, Yahoo, March 26, 2017,

“Coca Cola Leaders.” Coca Cola Company, Coca Coca, March 26, 2017,

“Brands.” PepsiCo, PepsiCo, March 26, 2017,

“Our History.” PepsiCo, PepsiCo, March 26, 2017,

“Global Business Units.” PepsiCo, PepsiCo, March 26, 2017,

“Our Leadership.”Pepsico, PepsiCo, March 26, 2017,

“Product Description.” Coca Cola Company, Coca Cola, March 26, 2017,