Now Reading
Pepsi: More Than a Savvy Beverage?

Pepsi: More Than a Savvy Beverage?

Dhruv Gaikwad

We all love a bottle of Pepsi, but what if there is more to it than just being a beverage? Find out more!

Yes, you have read it right, Pepsi to be honest was more than a beverage once. This is one of those things that schools may not have taught us. 

More than Just A Rival

Bottles of Pepsi cola are seen in a display at PepsiCo's 2010 Investor Meeting event in New York, March 22, 2010.  REUTERS/Mike Segar

Pepsi, the biggest rival, or let me rephrase it, the biggest frenemy of the other preferred beverage of more than half of the population of the world, Coca-Cola, was, will be and always was a soft drink company, but they had upped their rank in 1989 when Pepsi… Stay with me guys:

Became the 6th largest military power in the world, for a brief period of time in the history of mankind, but it was so huge that it has surpassed the Soviet Union, better known as Russia in its naval fleet.

Capitalism and Communism

Soviet First Secretary Nikita Khrushchev and Vice-President Richard Nixon in "The Kitchen Debate"

To understand this, we should always have the knowledge that in the era, the world was divided into 2 parts, “Capitalist and Communalist”.  This was the era of the cold war, that is the nuclear arms race between many nations, mostly between the USA and the USSR (Russia) and some other pitter-patter of nations.

To settle this passive-aggressive kind of war, the Soviet First Secretary Nikita Khrushchev and the Vice President of the USA Richard Nixon agreed to hold a convention that would show why Capitalism and Communalism are better than each other.

So in June of 1959, the Soviets and Americans agreed to hold exhibits in each other’s countries as a cultural exchange to promote understanding. So a convention from the USA was held in the capital of the USSR, Moscow, to show why capitalism was better, and a convention from the USSR was held in New York to show why communalism was better… This was the basic idea of how to solve conflicts without war.

The Kitchen Debate

This could have all gone well, but, it wouldn’t have led to such a great big event to occur, which was titled “The Kitchen Debate”. I wouldn’t go into a lot of detail, because it will definitely get boring. The main overview of the debate was that Khrushchev was literally defaming all the things that the capitalist nation was producing, such as the lemon juicer, and whatnot. This led to a bit of an argument between Nixon and Khrushchev about settling to a particular judgement.

Since this argument happened in a half-cut kitchen model, this was known as the “The Kitchen Debate”. The men were going back and forth about how the technology in the USA is technology for the betterment of the people and not about military power. The point to be noted here is that there were many sponsors to the convention held in the USA such as Disney,(Here Coca-Cola had refused to sponsor this convention) and many others, but the main here was Pepsi.

Seeing these two men a bit agitated, the chairman of PepsiCo at that time Donald Kendall decided to step in, he offered Khrushchev “A Cold, Refreshing Tall Glass of Pepsi”, whose smell reminded Khrushchev of show wax (mind you this was the first time of him tasting Pepsi).

After Khrushchev took a big sip of Pepsi, he went into Nirvana. He said we had to have Pepsi in Russia (He was impressed at the fact that a capitalist nation could come up with such an amazing thing).

The obstacle in the path of Pepsi coming to Russia was that as Russia was a communalist no one wanted to trade with Russia, and Russia did not trade with anybody, surprising how their economy was still going on.

A Pepsi for Vodka

Stolichnaya Vodka in sale in the USA

So Pepsi and Khrushchev made a deal: Pepsi would provide shipments of soft drinks, and in return, the Soviet Union would provide vodka from their state-owned brand Stolichnaya, for resale in the United States. About 3 billion dollars worth (at that time)

 But for a bit less than a decade, the agreement between the Soviet Union and Pepsi stood without any issue, but in 1980, geopolitics soured the deal. The Soviet Union had invaded Afghanistan, and the American people responded by boycotting Soviet-sourced products, including the Stolichnaya vodka Pepsi was getting in trade for their soda. Within a few years, Stolichnaya sales had dropped enough for Pepsi to no longer consider the deal worthwhile.

A Deal Unheard Of

A Pepsi sign in the then Soviet Union in 1986

But the Soviet Union’s love for America’s second-tier cola was too strong to let the deal lapse, and Soviet officials began looking for other ways to reimburse Pepsi for shipments of soda. By 1989, they had a solution. In exchange for Pepsi’s soft drinks, the Soviets offered them a veritable Navy. Pepsi agreed to the deal, taking possession of a Soviet cruiser, a frigate, a destroyer, 17 submarines, and a handful of oil tankers — instantly making the drink distributor the owner of the sixth-largest navy on the planet.

But despite that significant bragging point, the newly established Pepsi navy was far from battle-ready. The fleet of submarines was in a terrible state of disrepair, with many listing to one side and nearly all of them showing signs of serious rust. The surface ships in Pepsi’s new navy weren’t in much better shape, with perhaps only one that was truly seaworthy and at least one other that required constant pumping to keep it afloat.

Nonetheless, the US government wasn’t particularly pleased about this barter system, where for a particularly soft drink a huge naval fleet was exchanged. Pepsi’s CEO, Donald Kendall, who had first introduced Khrushchev to the beverage, responded to America’s complaints that he had just managed to reduce the number of ships at the Soviet’s disposal by a considerable number.

“I’m dismantling the Soviet Union faster than you are.”

-Donald Kendall (PepsiCo CEO)

Of course, his comment may also have had something to do with the Soviet people’s love for his capitalist product. A number of things ultimately led to the downfall of the Soviet Union, which led to the dismantling of the USSR into various different states, counties, and cities. After the dismantling of the Soviet Union, Coca-Cola, Pizza hut etc, etc… took place in the hope that their sales would also sky-rocket. 

What Happened to All the Fleet?

Pepsi navy

One question remains, what happened to all the fleet?

Shortly after taking possession of the Pepsi navy, the soda brand sold all twenty warships to a Swedish scrap-recycling company in order to recoup the cost of their Pepsi shipment. (Imagine). Plus they also used it as objects for advertisement and also got sued for a lot of money. But that is a story for another day

That was what it is, but always remember that the 2nd tier beverage company was the 6th largest military in the world. For a brief period.

Read more Lifestyle articles at The Teen Pop Magazine.

References

  1. Pepsi Military:
    https://www.sandboxx.us/blog/pepsi-navy-when-the-soviets-traded-warships-for-soft-drinks/
  2. Pepsi: The World’s 6th Largest Military Force:
    https://bettermarketing.pub/pepsi-the-worlds-6th-largest-military-force-1388c488da8
  3. How Pepsi briefly became the 6th largest military in the world:
    https://www.businessinsider.com/how-pepsi-briefly-became-the-6th-largest-military-in-the-world-2018-7?IR=T
  4. When Pepsi Controlled The World’s 6th Largest Navy
    https://worldwarwings.com/when-pepsi-controlled-the-worlds-6th-largest-navy/
  5. American National Exhibition:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_National_Exhibition
  6. Kitchen Debate:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kitchen_Debate#Television_broadcast_and_American_reaction

But the Soviet Union’s love for America’s second-tier cola was too strong to let the deal lapse, and Soviet officials began looking for other ways to reimburse Pepi for shipments of soda. By 1989, they had a solution. In exchange for Pesi’s soft drinks, the Soviets offered them a veritable Navy. Pepsi agreed to the deal, taking possession of a Soviet cruiser, a frigate, a destroyer, 17 submarines, and a handful of oil tankers — instantly making the drink distributor the owner of the sixth-largest navy on the planet.

But the Soviet Union’s love for America’s second-tier cola was too strong to let the deal lapse, and Soviet officials began looking for other ways to reimburse Pepi for shipments of soda. By 1989, they had a solution. In exchange for Pesi’s soft drinks, the Soviets offered them a veritable Navy. Pepsi agreed to the deal, taking possession of a Soviet cruiser, a frigate, a destroyer, 17 submarines, and a handful of oil tankers — instantly making the drink distributor the owner of the sixth-largest navy on the planet.

But the Soviet Union’s love for America’s second-tier cola was too strong to let the deal lapse, and Soviet officials began looking for other ways to reimburse Pepi for shipments of soda. By 1989, they had a solution. In exchange for Pesi’s soft drinks, the Soviets offered them a veritable Navy. Pepsi agreed to the deal, taking possession of a Soviet cruiser, a frigate, a destroyer, 17 submarines, and a handful of oil tankers — instantly making the drink distributor the owner of the sixth-largest navy on the planet.

But the Soviet Union’s love for America’s second-tier cola was too strong to let the deal lapse, and Soviet officials began looking for other ways to reimburse Pepi for shipments of soda. By 1989, they had a solution. In exchange for Pesi’s soft drinks, the Soviets offered them a veritable Navy. Pepsi agreed to the deal, taking possession of a Soviet cruiser, a frigate, a destroyer, 17 submarines, and a handful of oil tankers — instantly making the drink distributor the owner of the sixth-largest navy on the planet.

See Also

But the Soviet Union’s love for America’s second-tier cola was too strong to let the deal lapse, and Soviet officials began looking for other ways to reimburse Pepi for shipments of soda. By 1989, they had a solution. In exchange for Pesi’s soft drinks, the Soviets offered them a veritable Navy. Pepsi agreed to the deal, taking possession of a Soviet cruiser, a frigate, a destroyer, 17 submarines, and a handful of oil tankers — instantly making the drink distributor the owner of the sixth-largest navy on the planet.

But the Soviet Union’s love for America’s second-tier cola was too strong to let the deal lapse, and Soviet officials began looking for other ways to reimburse Pepi for shipments of soda. By 1989, they had a solution. In exchange for Pesi’s soft drinks, the Soviets offered them a veritable Navy. Pepsi agreed to the deal, taking possession of a Soviet cruiser, a frigate, a destroyer, 17 submarines, and a handful of oil tankers — instantly making the drink distributor the owner of the sixth-largest navy on the planet.

But the Soviet Union’s love for America’s second-tier cola was too strong to let the deal lapse, and Soviet officials began looking for other ways to reimburse Pepi for shipments of soda. By 1989, they had a solution. In exchange for Pesi’s soft drinks, the Soviets offered them a veritable Navy. Pepsi agreed to the deal, taking possession of a Soviet cruiser, a frigate, a destroyer, 17 submarines, and a handful of oil tankers — instantly making the drink distributor the owner of the sixth-largest navy on the planet.

But the Soviet Union’s love for America’s second-tier cola was too strong to let the deal lapse, and Soviet officials began looking for other ways to reimburse Pepi for shipments of soda. By 1989, they had a solution. In exchange for Pesi’s soft drinks, the Soviets offered them a veritable Navy. Pepsi agreed to the deal, taking possession of a Soviet cruiser, a frigate, a destroyer, 17 submarines, and a handful of oil tankers — instantly making the drink distributor the owner of the sixth-largest navy on the planet.

But the Soviet Union’s love for America’s second-tier cola was too strong to let the deal lapse, and Soviet officials began looking for other ways to reimburse Pepi for shipments of soda. By 1989, they had a solution. In exchange for Pesi’s soft drinks, the Soviets offered them a veritable Navy. Pepsi agreed to the deal, taking possession of a Soviet cruiser, a frigate, a destroyer, 17 submarines, and a handful of oil tankers — instantly making the drink distributor the owner of the sixth-largest navy on the planet.

But the Soviet Union’s love for America’s second-tier cola was too strong to let the deal lapse, and Soviet officials began looking for other ways to reimburse Pepi for shipments of soda. By 1989, they had a solution. In exchange for Pesi’s soft drinks, the Soviets offered them a veritable Navy. Pepsi agreed to the deal, taking possession of a Soviet cruiser, a frigate, a destroyer, 17 submarines, and a handful of oil tankers — instantly making the drink distributor the owner of the sixth-largest navy on the planet.

But the Soviet Union’s love for America’s second-tier cola was too strong to let the deal lapse, and Soviet officials began looking for other ways to reimburse Pepi for shipments of soda. By 1989, they had a solution. In exchange for Pesi’s soft drinks, the Soviets offered them a veritable Navy. Pepsi agreed to the deal, taking possession of a Soviet cruiser, a frigate, a destroyer, 17 submarines, and a handful of oil tankers — instantly making the drink distributor the owner of the sixth-largest navy on the planet.

But the Soviet Union’s love for America’s second-tier cola was too strong to let the deal lapse, and Soviet officials began looking for other ways to reimburse Pepi for shipments of soda. By 1989, they had a solution. In exchange for Pesi’s soft drinks, the Soviets offered them a veritable Navy. Pepsi agreed to the deal, taking possession of a Soviet cruiser, a frigate, a destroyer, 17 submarines, and a handful of oil tankers — instantly making the drink distributor the owner of the sixth-largest navy on the planet.

But the Soviet Union’s love for America’s second-tier cola was too strong to let the deal lapse, and Soviet officials began looking for other ways to reimburse Pepi for shipments of soda. By 1989, they had a solution. In exchange for Pesi’s soft drinks, the Soviets offered them a veritable Navy. Pepsi agreed to the deal, taking possession of a Soviet cruiser, a frigate, a destroyer, 17 submarines, and a handful of oil tankers — instantly making the drink distributor the owner of the sixth-largest navy on the planet.

But the Soviet Union’s love for America’s second-tier cola was too strong to let the deal lapse, and Soviet officials began looking for other ways to reimburse Pepi for shipments of soda. By 1989, they had a solution. In exchange for Pesi’s soft drinks, the Soviets offered them a veritable Navy. Pepsi agreed to the deal, taking possession of a Soviet cruiser, a frigate, a destroyer, 17 submarines, and a handful of oil tankers — instantly making the drink distributor the owner of the sixth-largest navy on the planet.

But the Soviet Union’s love for America’s second-tier cola was too strong to let the deal lapse, and Soviet officials began looking for other ways to reimburse Pepi for shipments of soda. By 1989, they had a solution. In exchange for Pesi’s soft drinks, the Soviets offered them a veritable Navy. Pepsi agreed to the deal, taking possession of a Soviet cruiser, a frigate, a destroyer, 17 submarines, and a handful of oil tankers — instantly making the drink distributor the owner of the sixth-largest navy on the planet.

But the Soviet Union’s love for America’s second-tier cola was too strong to let the deal lapse, and Soviet officials began looking for other ways to reimburse Pepi for shipments of soda. By 1989, they had a solution. In exchange for Pesi’s soft drinks, the Soviets offered them a veritable Navy. Pepsi agreed to the deal, taking possession of a Soviet cruiser, a frigate, a destroyer, 17 submarines, and a handful of oil tankers — instantly making the drink distributor the owner of the sixth-largest navy on the planet.


What's Your Reaction?
Excited
1
Happy
0
In Love
1
Not Sure
0
Silly
0
View Comments (0)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

© 2021 The Teen Pop Magazine. All rights reserved.

Scroll To Top