California Transparency in Supply Chains Act. Our Brands Allied Brands. RC Cola Since its launch in , RC Cola has been a soft drink that embodies individuality and entrepreneurial spirit. Nutrition Facts Locate This Product. Quick Sips. Hatcher decided to supply his family's grocery store with drinks that he produced and bottled. Hatcher called his first line of beverages "Royal Crown," and the first cola product "Chero-Cola.
Sixteen years later, he renamed the company Nehi Corporation, after the successful line of fruity beverages he had developed. After Hatcher's death in , Vice President H. Mott took control of the company.
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Part of Mott's plan was the reformulation of the classic Chero-Cola into a more refreshing beverage. Chemist Rufas Kamm was given the responsibility of coming up with the new flavor, which took six months to perfect. The new cola was released to the public with the name of Hatcher's original line of beverages: Royal Crown.
Coca-Cola has always had a stranglehold on the soft drink industry. Chicago restaurants ranging from shabby hot dog stands to finer establishments with metal forks carried Coke. RC was the bronze medalist in the Cola Wars. How did the brand that fought for the scraps of the market share end up in the prime real estate of Chicago pizzerias? The underdog cola was born in the same state as Coke.
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In the early s the popularity of bottled soft drinks began to explode. Hatcher, owned a grocery store in Columbus, Georgia. The bottler refused to budge on the price. This infuriated Hatcher. He pledged to never do business with Coca-Cola again and began developing his own line of soft drinks. The Royal Crown brand was officially born in when Hatcher began marketing a ginger ale he had formulated.
His next creation, a cherry-flavored cola called Chero-Cola, was the forerunner to the RC Cola we know today. In , the company reformulated Chero-Cola to taste better. The new beverage, dubbed Royal Crown Cola, was a success. By , RC was available in 47 of the 48 states. The Royal Crown brand continued to evolve. During the s and s, the company became one of the leading innovators of the soft drink industry.
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It introduced the first diet soft drink, Diet Rite and pioneered the use of the ounce bottle. Not only was The Royal Crown brand the first of the cola companies to distribute canned beverages nationwide, it was also the first to switch to aluminum cans. In , corporate behemoth Cadbury purchased the RC Cola brand.
The local RC bottler based at 47th and California came up with the plan. The bottling company saw an opportunity in the increasing number of pizzerias opening throughout the Chicago in the s and s. Providing pizza patrons with free one-liter bottles of RC Cola would be a massive home trial program, planting the seeds of the RC brand in the minds of consumers.
A halo effect would strengthen the brand. Consumers would associate their positive feelings about pizza with RC Cola. For the plan to work, Royal Crown would have to stand out from other vendors. Grocery stores would open in the morning, and other restaurants were open by lunchtime.
Royal Crown eliminated this hassle and made pizzerias high priority customers.
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Drivers scheduled deliveries at the times that were best for each pizzeria. They also ensured that RC was always in stock, so that the pizzerias knew they could count on the brand. This higher level of service built a strong relationship between the drivers and the pizzerias. In time, some pizzerias even trusted their RC delivery driver with keys to the restaurant. This trust allowed the driver to make delivery as part of his normal route. The formula for success was beautifully simple.
RC employees would endear themselves to pizza makers. In turn, pizza makers would be happy to push RC products alongside their own. The warm and fuzzy feelings would move down the supply chain to consumers. Of course, warmth and fuzziness are only part of an effective marketing mix.
Price is critical. Troutman declined to discuss price. He owned the northwest suburban pizzeria for 21 years before selling the business.
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Jack explained that the increase in the order minimum was due to rising costs. Countless pizzerias in the Chicago area saw the value of offering a free liter of RC, and everyone involved benefited.
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Pizzerias sold more pizzas and, just like in the example that Sam cited, add-ons like fries. Nothing else really tastes the same. He was once an art student.
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