Coca-Cola, one of the world’s most iconic brands, is marking 80 years since it began making and bottling its famous drinks right here in Australia.
In a nod to its local heritage, the famous Coca-‐Cola logo on the iconic Kings Cross sign will be flipped upside down for the first time in the brand’s 132-year global history.
Coca-Cola will also showcase some of the stories of the everyday Australians who have been part of its story ‘down under’ over the past eight decades as part of the anniversary celebrations.
Where it all started
Coca-Cola was invented by Dr. John Pemberton in 1886 in Atlanta USA and first began arriving on our shores by ship in the early 1900s before production began locally. The first Australian-made bottle of Coca-Cola rolled off the bottling lines in 1938 in a small building on the corner of Crescent and Dowling Streets in Waterloo, Sydney.
Since that time, Coca-Cola has become part of the Australian community and remains an enduringly popular drink synonymous with good times, bringing people together and the classic Australian summer. Yet many Australians still assume that Coca-‐Cola’s drinks are shipped all the way from the US.
Coca-Cola Australia’s Christine Black said the 80-year anniversary was a good opportunity to “break this myth” and share some of the stories of everyday Australians who have been part of Coke’s local heritage.
“Coca-Cola has long been a part of the fabric of Australian culture and community,” she said.
“From the yo-yo craze of the 60s and 70s, the Surfabout competitions of the 80s, sponsorship of the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games, our backing of the NRL and AFL and more recently, our proud support for marriage equality with limited-edition ‘Love’ cans.”
Coca-Cola and Australia’s changing tastes
As Australians’ taste has changed over the years, the company has evolved with them. This evolution can be seen in the expansion of Coca-Cola’s range over the years from the launch of Fanta in 1955, Diet Coke in 1983 and Coke No Sugar in 2017. Australians have also often been the first in the world to taste the newest flavours including Coke Ginger, Coke Coffee No Sugar and Coke Orange No Sugar in recent times.
Many of the brands produced locally by Coca-Cola have remained popular with Australians for decades including Sprite, Fanta, and Lift. Others such as Mello Yello, launched in 1979 and TaB, launched in 1963, are part of the company’s proud history of innovating drinks to match the times.
Today Coca-Cola Australia has 165 drinks and 25 brands including Coca-Cola, Mount Franklin,
Pump, Keri juice and Fuze Tea.
Coca-Cola supporting local jobs
Coca-Cola Australia and Coca-Cola Amatil employ close to 4,000 employees directly and a further 10,000 in the production and supply chain. For every direct Australian job created, up to four jobs are indirectly generated across the Australian economy contributing approximately $3.5 billion to the local economy every year. In partnership with Amatil, Coca-‐Cola’s products are sold through
more than 100,000 retailers generating income and jobs around the country.
Coca-Cola in the community
From supporting local charities through the Coca-‐Cola Australia Foundation to our partnership with the Salvation Army at Christmas, Coca-Cola prides itself on giving back to the community. Ms Black said one recent example was its charity auction of the iconic Kings Cross Coke sign when the old letters were replaced during refurbishment in 2016.
“One of our staff members came up with the idea of auctioning the old sign on eBay to raise money for our local charity partner in the Cross, The Wayside Chapel. We never expected we would end up raising more than $100,000 – money that is now going toward helping people who need it the most,” Ms Black said.
A new locally produced TV commercial to mark 80 years of Coca-‐Cola in Australia will air this weekend in time for the AFL and NRL grand finals. The logo on left-hand side billboard of the sign will be upside down until the end of October.