This category includes establishments primarily engaged in manufacturing soft drinks and carbonated waters. Establishments primarily engaged in manufacturing fruit and vegetable juices are classified in various canned, frozen, and preserved food classifications.
Soft drinks have become intrinsically tied to the “American way of life,” and the leading soft drink, Coca-Cola, is a virtual icon of American culture. Close to 500 soft drinks manufacturers and bottling companies operate in the United States. Americans consume more soft drinks than any other beverage—more than twice the second beverage, coffee. In recent years, soft drinks accounted for more than 29 percent of American beverage consumption. The U.S. market included nearly 450 different soft drinks.
Soft drinks is a $61 billion a year industry. Coca-Cola and Pepsi-Cola controlled more than 70 percent of the U.S. soft drink market, producing the majority of the industry’s best-selling brands. Approximately 500 bottlers operate across the United States. Modern bottling plants produce more than 2,000 soft drinks per minute on each line of operation.
The soft drink industry began in the mid-1880s with the creation of a syrup that was mixed with carbonated water and served at drug store lunch counters. During the early years, soft drinks were sold only in stores that could provide fountain service. Increasing distribution was tied to building additional syrup manufacturing plants.
With the advent of bottling machinery, soft drinks began to be distributed beyond the town drug store. The first merchant to bottle Coca-Cola was Joseph A. Biedenharn of Vicksburg, Mississippi, who installed a bottling machine in his candy store in 1894. The development of large-scale bottling assisted the proliferation of Coca-Cola, and by 1895 the drink was sold in nearly every part of the United States. An infrastructure of independent bottlers working under contract with Coca-Cola, producing the drink to exact specifications, and distributing it within a specific region, soon became the model distribution method for Coke and was emulated by others.
Natural Gas Technologies