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That Time a Russian General Invented Clear Coca-Cola, and Pepsi had One of the World’s Largest Navies

That Time a Russian General Invented Clear Coca-Cola, and Pepsi had One of the World’s Largest Navies

By Gilles Messier

The negotiations took more than a decade, but finally in 1974 the first Soviet Pepsi bottling plant opened at Novorossiysk in 1974. Riding the contemporary “clear craze” that associated clear products with purity and health, in 1992 Pepsi introduced Crystal Pepsi, which like Bestsvetnaya koka-kola was simply regular Pepsi with the caramel colouring removed. Sergio Zyman, Coca-Cola’s chief marketing officer, hatched a scheme to kill Crystal Pepsi before it could gain a permanent foothold. Naturally, both being clear colas, most stores stocked Crystal Pepsi and Tab Clear very close to one another. In the end, Zyman called the launch of Tab Clear, “a suicidal mission from day one” and in an interview for the book, Killing Giants: 10 Strategies To Topple The Goliath In Your Industry gleefully noted,“Within three or five months, Tab Clear was dead.