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Question re: regional cola preferances.

Is U.S. cola preferance a regional thing? And, if so, is there a region that contains people who predominately choose Pepsi?
I've lived in East Texas and Southeast Texas all my adult life. I can't remember the last time I saw someone purchase a Pepsi. (I'm one of those weird people who actively notices random social things, and this is one of hundreds of events that I have paid attention to.)
Now we have several restaurants in my area that carry Pepsi products only- not sure why, but I'm guessing it is a marketing thing of some sort. Countless times I've heard people order Coke. The waitress will then say, "Is Pepsi okay?" I have never heard a customer respond in the affirmative. Most times the order is changed to Tea or Dr. Pepper.
I know there must be people that drink it, but they are not in my neck of the woods.
So help me out here- is there an area where people predominately drink Pepsi?
Thanks,
Spencer

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  1. Yes, it is very regional.

    You'll have a hard time finding anything but Coke products in the deep south.

    As a matter of fact, the Pizza Hut and Taco Bell on the Georgia Tech campus in Atlanta are the only Pepsico restaurants that serve Coke instead of Pepsi.

    In the south, it is referred to as a co-cola.

    Cheerwine is also regional.

    9 Replies
    1. re: BlueHerons

      Coca Cola was invented in Atlanta. The Woodruff family ran the company for decades. They donate huge sums of money around the city, including at Emory University, where I went to graduate school and it seemed at the time that almost every building was named after another Woodruff. I don't recall ever seeing a Pepsi product around campus, or around town, for that matter. Even though Atlanta is truly the center of the Coca-Cola universe, I'm surprised that Pepsico permits the service of Coke. Interesting.

      What's cheerwine?

      1. re: Shayna Madel

        Cheerwine is a cherry cola made in Salisbury, NC with a strong regional following.

        1. re: carolinadawg

          Like Dr. Pepper?

          1. re: Shayna Madel

            Not really. Cheerwine is VERY cherry...much more so than Dr. Pepper. It's also so sweet it makes your teeth hurt!

        2. re: Shayna Madel

          We have Pepsi and Pepsi products in the convenient stores, grocers, and some restaurants. And Dr Pepper, which I "think" is a Pepsi product, is pretty popular. But not Pepsi. I was discussing this issue with friends and relatives today. Most said they didn't like Pepsi- some said they would rather have water than Pepsi even.
          Seems like RC was popular when I was a kid in both Texas and N.C. In Texas it was not uncommon to see people putting salted peanuts in RC and Dr Pepper bottles. Go figure...

          1. re: Spencer

            Dr. Pepper is, I believe, actually independent. In any given locale, it can be bottled by either Coca-Cola or Pepsi, depending on who has bought the distribution rights, a la syndicated television. Usually, this seems to be Pepsi, but I have run across the odd place that has Coke products and Dr. Pepper, rather than Mr. Pibb. At least, this is how it used to be done.

            1. re: Wahooty

              According to the FAQ section of the Dr. Pepper site, the company is owned by Cadbury Schweppes Americas Beverages, along with dozens of other beverage brands and it's bottled by different bottlers throughout the country. The site does not reveal the identity of the bottlers, but I bet it varies by region.

          2. re: Shayna Madel

            i did my undergrad at emory, and the school was often referred to as "coca cola u." i grew up in jersey drinking pepsi and 7-up, but discovered my first day on campus that i was SOL, and had no choice but to convert to coke products if i wanted to continue drinking soda while i lived in atlanta.

            1. re: Shayna Madel

              Taco Bell, Pizza Hut, etc. are not exactly part of Pepsico these days, although Pepscio may still own a good portion of Yum! Brands http://www.yum.com/ That spinoff happened, hm, several years ago now I think. Pepsico retains Frito-Lay.

          3. pepsi is popular in NC where it originated...

            1 Reply
            1. re: atlantanative

              Seems like Laverne, from the Laverne and Shirley tv show(1970's I think), used to drink Pepsi with milk. Think they lived in Milwaukee though.
              Part of my youth was spent in Reidsville, NC, but we were so broke back then I think we only drank water and homemade saspirilla(?sp.).

            2. I prefer Pepsi, by a lot. I walked most of the Atlanta airport, dreadfully hungover, looking for a Pepsi a few years ago. I didn't find one!! So I can verify that Atlanta is a Coca Cola town.

              I grew up in Buffalo NY, and we all drank Pepsi. I'm not sure if that's true now, though.

              1. Is RC cola still around? Been living in California the last 21 years-- something I loved to have in Chicago when growing up...

                1 Reply
                1. re: drmimi

                  RC's still around. The restaurant I work in sells it as its only Cola; a native Chicagoan is the owner and he swears that all the cool cats in Chicago drank it and that the other stuff was for the stuffy, elitist types....

                2. Chicagoan here, and 3-4 can of cola a day drinker as well.

                  I drink whatever a restaurant has available, and when I am purchasing at the grocery store, I buy whatever is on sale. I am not brand loyal to either.

                  1. I live in Rowan County, where Cheerwine originated. It's a good drink, but I think Sundrop, which is another regional brand, is even better. Cheerwine is like a very cherry tasting cherry coke, but Sundrop is a lemon-lime drink that is lighter, and very refreshing.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: breadbox

                      Can't forget about Blenheim Ginger Ale!

                    2. I grew up about 30 miles from Vidalia in southeast Georgia. Coca cola was the preferred drink in that area. Then I moved to Indiana where Pepsi is the soft drink preferred by almost everyone I know. Restaurants here do serve Coke but most people are upset and will drink root beer or something else instead. When I first moved here, Coke didn't taste quite like it did in Georgia. I'm not sure why but I drank Pepsi for about 9 years. Now on the rare occasion I drink a pop, it's Vanilla Coke or Mug Root Beer (Pepsi product). The plain flavors just don't taste good to me anymore.

                      1. Growing up in N Ohio our favorite pop was Vernor's. It's a very gingergy, effervescent ginger ale, I think from the Detroit area? When I travel to Detroit, I see it in a lot of the vending machines there. I can't even find it in most markets in Asheville, NC.

                        1. I grew up in E. N.C., and Coke was always the beverage of choice, of course with the exception of an occasional RC cola. And, BTW, does anyone recall the Lotta Cola that entered the NC market back in the 50s? I lived most of my adult life in Atlanta, so of course Coke was the prevalent cola there. I did have a good friend who moved to Atlanta from Pittsburgh, and would drive 10 miles out of her way to buy Pepsi products.