|Manufacturer||Keurig Dr Pepper (US only) |
Cott Corporation (International)
|Country of origin||United States|
|Flavor||Cola, Cola Cherry, Cola Lemon,|
Light RC Cola
Diet Rite Cola
RC Cola Lemon
RC Draft Cola
RC Cola Edge
RC Cola Zero
Royal Crown Mixers
RC Cola Kick
Royal Crown Cola Classic (1905 edition)
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. 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 the company deserved a special reduced price for the syrup since it purchased such large volumes. 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. He started developing products in the basement of the store with a recipe for ginger ale.
Hatcher launched the Union Bottling Works in his family's grocery store. The first product in the Royal Crown line was Royal Crown Ginger Ale in 1905, 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. 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.
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 discontinued with the exceptions of Australia, New Zealand and France. It was later available only in New Zealand, parts of Australia, Thailand, and Tajikistan. The company also released Cherry RC, a cherry-flavored version of the RC soft drink, to compete with Cherry Coke and Wild Cherry Pepsi.
In October 2000, Royal Crown was acquired by Cadbury (then Cadbury Schweppes) through its acquisition of Snapple. Royal Crown operations were subsequently folded into Dr Pepper Snapple Group (DPSG), which was spun off from Cadbury in 2008. DPSG merged with Keurig Green Mountain in 2018 as Keurig Dr Pepper, the current owners of the RC Cola brand.
In 2001, all non-US 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.
|RC Cola||1905||The original RC Cola|
|Diet-Rite Cola/Diet RC Cola||1958||The first diet cola (initially released as a dietetic product), released to general public in 1962|
|RC Cola Lemon||1974||The lemon RC Cola|
|RC 100||1980||The first caffeine-free RC Cola|
|RC 100 Sugar Free||1980||Also caffeine-free|
|Cherry RC||1985||The cherry RC Cola|
|Kick||1995||A citrus soft drink|
|RC Draft Cola||1995||A "premium" cola made with cane sugar|
|RC Cola Edge||1999||A cola with extra caffeine|
|RC Cola Zero/RC Cola Free||2009||A no-calorie, no-sugar RC Cola. In other countries, it is also known as RC Cola Free. In some countries it is sweetened with Splenda.|
|RC Kick||2010||RC Cola with guarana|
|RC Dra-Cola||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||2012||A low-calorie version of the cola made as part of Dr Pepper/7Up "Ten" line|
|Diet RC Cola Lemon||2016||The diet cola with lemon|
|Diet Cherry RC||2016||The diet cola with cherry|
|Royal Crown Cola Classic / Slim||2018||rebranded|
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 Henson and assisted by Frank Oz) to promote the drinks. Nutty Bird would promote Royal Crown Cola by touting the benefits. 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 TV special, Movin' With Nancy, which featured various singers and David Winters choreography in December 1967. She sang, "It's a mad, mad, mad Cola... RC the one with the mad, mad taste!...RC!" The company was the official sponsor of New York Mets on and off at times from the team's inception in 1962 until the early 1990s. 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. RC sponsored two Porsche 917/10 Can-Am race cars during the 1972-73 season. In the mid 1970s, Royal Crown ran the "Me & My RC" advertisements. 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!" During the Cola Wars of the 1980s, RC used the 'Decide for yourself' campaign and would remind people 'There's more to your life than Coke and Pepsi."
In the Philippines, RC Cola released advertisements with artists popular in the country. In 2009, these had Maja Salvador and Kim Bum as celebrity endorsers. The Philippine marketing of the brand also painted the front of sari-sari stores with slogans like "RC ng (insert municipality/city) ko" (RC of my [town/city]). In 2019, the advertisements tapped Joshua Garcia to be the year's celebrity endorser and launched the "RC ng Bayan" campaign.
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