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RC Cola Type Manufacturer Country of origin Introduced Color Flavor Variants Related products
Dr Pepper Snapple Group
Cott Beverages
United States
Cola, Cola Cherry, Cola Lemon
RC Cola
Light RC Cola
Diet Rite Cola
Cherry RC
RC Cola Lemon
RC 100
RC Draft Cola
RC Cola Edge
RC Cola Zero
Royal Crown Mixers
RC Cola Kick
RC Cola Lemon
RC Cola logo used by Cott Beverages in its international territories

RC Cola, also known as Royal Crown Cola, is a cola-flavored soft drink developed in 1905 by Claud A. Hatcher, a pharmacist in Columbus, Georgia, United States.[1]



In 1901, the Cole-Hampton-Hatcher Grocery Store was established in Columbus, Georgia. In 1903 the Hatcher family took sole ownership and the name was changed to the Hatcher Grocery Store. The grocery store was located at what was 22 West 10th Street. Today's address (after house number changes) is 15 West 10th Street. At that same time, the popularity of bottled soft drinks rose rapidly, and grocery store owners wished to maximize their profit.[2] As a grocery wholesaler, Claud A. Hatcher purchased a large volume of Coca-Cola syrup from the local company salesman, Columbus Roberts. Hatcher felt that Hatcher Grocery Co. deserved a special reduced price for the syrup since it purchased such large volumes. Mr. Roberts would not budge on the cost, and a bitter conflict between the two erupted. Hatcher told Roberts he would win the battle by never purchasing any more Coca-Cola, and Hatcher determined to develop his own soft drink formula. Thus, he went to the basement of the grocery store to find his cola. Instead, he developed a recipe for ginger ale.[3]

The first product in the Royal Crown line was Royal Crown Ginger Ale in 1905,[4] followed by Royal Crown Strawberry, and Royal Crown Root Beer. The company was renamed Chero-Cola in 1910, and in 1925 renamed 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, Royal Crown Cola and moon pies were a popular "working man's lunch" in the American South.[5] In 1954, Royal Crown was the first company to sell soft drinks in a can, and later the first company to sell a soft drink in an aluminum can.[6]

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 using pure cane sugar as a sweetener, rather than high fructose corn syrup. Offered only in 12-ounce bottles, 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. It is now available only in New Zealand, parts of Australia and Thailand and also Tajikistan.[7] The company 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 subsequently folded into Dr Pepper/Seven Up, a former subsidiary of Cadbury Schweppes. In 2001, all international RC-branded businesses were sold to Cott Beverages of Mississauga, Ontario, Canada, and are operated as Royal Crown Cola International, which handles RC Cola products outside the United States. In the US, distribution is handled by Dr Pepper Snapple Group.[8]

RC Cola was introduced to Latvia in June 2010,[9] and the United Kingdom in May 2011, and sold at Asda supermarkets and other retailers.[10] It is bottled in the country by Cott Beverages. Rc Cola is till 1999 available in Kosovo. RC Cola is also available in the Philippines through Asiawide Refreshments Corporation.

Brand portfolio[edit]

Name Launched Notes Picture
RC Cola 1905 The original RC Cola.
Diet Rite Cola 1958 The first diet cola
RC Cola Lemon 1974 The lemon RC Cola.
RC 100 1980 The first caffeine free diet cola.
Cherry RC 1985[11] The cherry RC Cola.
RC Draft Cola 1995 A "premium" cola made with cane sugar Rc cola draft.jpg
RC Cola Edge 1999 A Cola with extra caffeine. Rc edge.jpg
RC Cola Zero 2009 A no calorie no sugar RC Cola.
RC Kick 2010 RC Cola with guarana.
RC Dra-Cola[12] 2012 A sugar-free, red coloured Cola introduced to the British market as a special edition for Halloween 2012. Features a glow-in-the-dark label.
RC Ten[13] 2012 A low-calorie version of the cola made as part of Dr. Pepper/7Up "Ten" line

Advertising campaigns[edit]

The RC Cola brand has been marketed through many campaigns. In the 1930s, Alex Osborn, with BBDO, made an ad campaign, including the following slogan: "The season's best."

The 1940s saw a magazine advertising campaign with actress Lizabeth Scott as the face, next to the slogan "RC tastes best, says Lizabeth Scott".

In 1966, Royal Crown Cola collaborated with Jim Henson on an ad campaign for Royal Crown Cola which featured two birds called Sour Bird (performed by Jim Henson) and Nutty Bird (performed by Jim Henson and assisted by Frank Oz) to promote the drinks. Nutty Bird would promote Royal Crown Cola by touting the benefits.[14] The puppet for Nutty Bird was designed by Jim Henson and built by Don Sahlin. Sour Bird appeared on The Ed Sullivan Show with the Rock and Roll Monster.

Nancy Sinatra was featured in two Royal Crown Cola commercials in her one hour special, "Movin' With Nancy" featuring various singers, David Winters choreography[15] in December 1967. She sang, "It's a mad, mad, mad Cola... RC the one with the mad, mad taste!...RC!"[16] The company was the official sponsor of New York Mets off and on at times during the 1960s, 70s and 80s. A television commercial in the New York area featured Tom Seaver, New York Mets pitcher, and his wife, Nancy, dancing on top of a dugout at Shea Stadium and singing the tune from the Sinatra campaign. In the mid 1970s, Royal Crown ran the "Me & My RC" advertisements.[17] Others featured people in scenic outdoor locations. The jingle, sung by Louise Mandrell, went, "Me and my RC / Me and my RC /'Cause what's good enough / For other folks / Ain't good enough for me." RC was introduced to Israel in 1995 with the slogan "RC: Just like in America!"

Philippines released advertisements using rising stars.They also painted their "suki" stores with slogans like "RC ng (insert municipality/city)".

Andretti Autosport driver Marco Andretti had RC Cola as primary sponsor during the 2012 and 2013 IndyCar Series.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ RC Cola Retrieved September 15, 2012
  2. ^ Bill Winn, "R.C. Cola Gets Start in Basement," Columbus Ledger - Enquirer, Sunday, May 7, 1978, S-24
  3. ^ History of RC Cola
  4. ^ Royal Crown Company History
  5. ^ Jan Duke. "The Souths Fascination with RC Colas and Moonpies". About. Retrieved 2008-01-12. 
  6. ^ "New Georgia Encyclopedia: Royal Crown Cola Company". 2006-09-15. Retrieved 2012-10-21. 
  7. ^ "RC Cola Thailand". 
  8. ^
  9. ^
  10. ^ "Food & Drink Innovation Network » ROYAL CROWN COLA LAUNCHES IN THE UK". 2011-05-26. Retrieved 2012-10-21. 
  11. ^ "Coke, Dr Pepper Enter the Pit as Cherry Coke Rolls Out". Adweek. August 5, 1985. Royal Crown Cola recently entered the fray, introducing Cherry RC in the Southwest with plans to roll it out nationally, backed with co-op advertising dollars 
  12. ^ "RC Cola UK". 2012-09-07. Retrieved 2012-10-21. 
  13. ^ "Dr. Pepper Snapple Group Product Facts". 2013. Retrieved 2013-05-29. 
  14. ^ Jim Henson RC Commercial Retrieved September 15, 2012.
  15. ^
  16. ^ Nancy Sinatra RC Cola Ad Retrieved September 15, 2012.
  17. ^ Me and My RC Commercial Retrieved September 15, 2012.

External links[edit]

Wikimedia Commons has media related to RC Cola.


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