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Is RC Cola Better Than Coke? [What Happened]

Is RC Cola Better Than Coke

I’ve been researching various soft drinks brands and the history and competition with the more well known soda giants and started to delve into RC Cola.

I wondered about its history, is social appeal and more importantly how it compared Coke.  let me share some of my findings with you.

So, the quetsion at is is RC Cola actually better than Coca cola?

Well firstly RC Cola isn’t as popular as Coke because Coca Cola makes almost double the yearly sales of RC Cola, according to data provided by

In many taste tests RC Cola reports as being like a blander Coca Cola – where the flavor isn’t as impactful and strong. 

RC Cola does have a cult following though and many do love its distinct cola flavour, one that’s very different from coke.

RC Cola has a unique taste, and is distinguishable from Coke and Pepsi in a blind taste test.

Pepsi, is also the second most popular cola after Coke.

Below I’ll explain the unique characteristics of RC Cola, which came first Coke, Pepsi, or RC Cola, and how the sales compare between the different brands of cola.

Does RC cola taste like Coke?

Does RC cola taste like Coke

RC Cola and Coke taste similar, they are both colas after all but RC Cola certainly tastes a lot lighter, slightly more bland.

Coke by comparison has a very sharp strong and sweet taste which is instantly recognisable the moment you take a sip.

They both have a similar ‘cola’ taste, however it’s very easy to taste the difference between them.

The name cola for these kind of drinks such RC Cola, Pepsi Cola, and Coca Cola come from the kola nut.

Which was an ingredient in earlier brews, according to Wikipedia. And is high in caffeine.

All carbonated drinks have a slightly bitter taste, which they get from the CO2 gas that is used to make them fizzy.

CO2 is a mild acid, similar to what naturally occurs in fruit such as  lemons, and limes.

I recently explained this in more detail in an article about why sparkling water tastes bitter.

You can read that article by clicking Why Does Sparkling Water Taste Bitter?

Coca Cola is the most popular cola and dwarfs the sales of RC Cola.

Here’s a breakdown of the how big the major soda companies are:

Brand % market share (2016) % market share (2017) % market share (2018) % market share (2019)
Coca Cola 42.4% 42.8% 43.2% 43.7%
PepsiCo 26.4% 25.6% 24.9% 24.1%
Keurig Dr. Pepper
(RC Cola)
17.6% 17.9% 17.9% 18.2%
Refresco 3.8% 3.7% 3.6% 3.8%
National Beverage 3% 2.9% 3.1% 3.1%
Other 6.8% 7.1% 7.2% 7.1%

Data provided by

And as you can see Coca Cola has almost two times the sales of RC Cola.

The RC Cola brand and recipes was acquired by Keurig Dr. Pepper according to Wikipedia.

RC Cola is in the ballpark for the third most popular cola drink in the US today.

Companies that are smaller than RC Coal are Refresco and National Beverage.

I have never heard of any Refresco drinks, and they don’t say what drinks they make on their official website.

National Beverage on the other hand makes:

  • La Croix (I’ve heard of this one)
  • Rip it
  • Clear fruit
  • Everfresh
  • Shasta
  • Faygo

Is RC Cola a Coke product?

Is RC Cola a Coke product

RC Cola or Royal Crown Cola is not a Coca Cola product.

RC Cola is owned by a company called Keurig Dr. Pepper who acquired RC Cola. Keurig Dr. Pepper makes many well known sodas including Schweppes, Canada Dry, and 7Up.

As well as well known coffee and bottled water brands.

Keurig Dr. Pepper makes the following sodas, of this list I’ve heard of 2 or 3 of them:

  • Pepper (definitely heard of it)
  • A&W Root beer (heard of it, has a brown label)
  • Sunkist (heard of it)
  • Crush
  • Sun Drop
  • IBC
  • Diet Rite
  • Squirt
  • Vernors
  • Hires
  • Stewart’s
  • Big Red
  • CPlus
  • Cactus Cooler
  • Nehi Cola
  • Tahitian Treat

They also own the popular Snapple range of fruit drinks, Evian – a bottled water, and Gloria Jeans coffee.

As you may be aware, all the major cola brands are brown in color, and I wondered why that was.

I found some very interesting information about the color of Coca Cola, and why it’s probably the same reason other cola’s are brown, and put it together in an article.

If you’re interested to know why cola’s are brown then click here, why is coca cola brown to read the article.

How popular is RC Cola?

How popular is RC Cola

RC Cola is the third most popular cola on the market.

The most popular is Coca Cola, which accounts for 40% of US carbonated drink sales.

Followed by Pepsi which has 25%. Finally, Keurig Dr. Pepper, the company that owns RC Cola makes up 18% of yearly US carbonated drink sales.

All three companies have multiple carbonated drink products, so that is a rough estimate.

According to Keurig Dr. Pepper’s 2019 Annual report, RC cola is one of their most popular carbonated drinks, however, they don’t give exact numbers for each soda they make.

I have been unable to find any data in Coca Cola’s earnings reports, and presentations about the percentage of sales that Coca Cola makes from just their Coca Cola drink and syrup.

However, my instincts tell me it’s quite a large percent.

And comparable to the percentage of RC Cola sold by Keurig Dr. Pepper.

If you know where I can find this information, please let me know in the comments.

Can you buy RC Cola?

Can you buy RC Cola

RC Cola is available at many supermarkets and stores throughout the US.

You can also buy it online on websites like

It is sold in stores such as Dollar General Stores, Walmart, and online on their respective websites.

You can also find it in some 7/11 stores.

RC Cola is less popular than Coke and Pepsi, so it’s less available.

However, it’s still very easy to source, as Walmart, and 7/11 stores have a almost everywhere.

Additionally, internationally, Royal Crown Cola is available in 67 countries, according to their website.

RC Cola price

Based on the pricing on the Walmart website. RC Cola and Coca Cola are both priced exactly the same.

A 2 liter (67.6 oz) bottle costs $1.25.

RC Cola has a few different flavors as well and there’s a vanilla, coffee, and lemon flavored RC Cola.

Is RC Cola older than Coke?

Is RC Cola older than Coke

Coca Cola was invented in 1886, by Dr. John Pemberton, according to the official Coca Cola website.

Whereas RC Cola was invented in 1907, by Claud A. Hatcher, according to the RC Cola company website.

Therefore, RC Cola is not older than Coke, and Coke was invented first.

At the time that RC Cola was invented Mr. Hatcher also created a Royal Crown Ginger Ale, Royal Crown Root Beer, and Royal Crown strawberry.

Coke is also older than Pepsi, because Pepsi was invented in 1893, by Caleb Davis Bradham, as explained on the official Pepsi website.

Pepsi was originally called Pepsi Cola, because it was made out of kola nut extract.

The inventor also thought that the drink helps with digestion, similar to chemical Pepsin.

Pepsin aturally occurs in your stomach, and is thought to be responsible for breaking down protein.

Which is found in large amounts in foods such as meat, eggs, and beans.


RC Cola is not as popular as Coca Cola, and for this reason Coca Cola is better.

Coca Cola has a stronger, more impactful taste, whereas RC cola is quite bland.

RC Cola is now owned by Keurig Dr. Pepper, which isn’t owned by Coca Cola.

Pepsi has more sales of it’s cola than RC Cola.

RC Cola is still widely available in stores such as Walmart, and 7/11.

And Coca Cola was invented before RC Cola.